Looking further into HubSpot's The State Of Inbound 2016 report and survey results, it is noticeable that there is a real disconnect between what content is being produced and how users want it presented. There's a danger too many businesses are prioritising the wrong content.
Companies Are Prioritising Blogs
Blog content creation is being cited as a top priority by 66% of inbound marketers who took part in the 2016 survey by HubSpot. 4,500 professionals, from all sorts of different digital businesses and industries, took part in the survey.
One differentiating question was whether the respondent classed themselves as using outbound or inbound marketing techniques. But marketing their brand, product or their clients was something that they all had in common.
The results showed that both inbound and outbound companies put "growing SEO and organic presence" as one of their top priorities, with 69% and 59% respectively.
The second most common top priority for inbound marketers, however, was blog content creation and 66% of those who use inbound marketing are planning on keeping this as a priority over the next 12 months.
The problem is that this goes against what users and content consumers have been showing is their favoured means of accessing and absorbing content. Step forward, The Future Of Content Marketing survey report, by HubSpot who employed Survey Sampling International (SSI) to canvas internet users from 11 countries, including the UK.
People Don't Thoroughly Consume Content In Blog Form
Yes, the irony of this sub-header is tangible, I know. But if you are reading this, you aren't an everday user and consumer of content.
Generally speaking, the huge aforementioned survey by HubSpot and SSI has found that users tend to skim read blog posts and favour videos, social posts and news articles to thoroughly absorb their content. They also prefer long form posts and research material.
50% or more of users questioned say they consume videos, social posts and news articles thoroughly but 43% of users skim blog posts.
66% of inbound and 42% of outbound marketers are prioritising blog content creation, but only 29% of users surveyed earlier this year want to see more blog posts (data from HubSpot). That's because they tend to skim read blog posts, unless they are a news article/update, and prefer to digest videos and social media posts more thoroughly.
This isn't to say blogging should be abandoned altogether, but it should be a call for businesses to think about how they prioritise their content format: long form content and research material are more preferable than a succession of blogs.
And video is a juggernaut which shows no sign of slowing down.
This is something we have been pushing for a while now and is further backed up by these facts:
- Facebook users watch 8 billion videos a day
- Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos per day
- 45% watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week
- 49% of 18-24 year olds watch at least 3 hours of video on YouTube a week
And this all helps to explain why YouTube is now the biggest used search engine on the internet behind only, you guessed it, Google.
Users Are Consuming Content Directly On Social Media
In the past two years, according to HubSpot research, content consumption directly on social media has increased by the following amounts, and this is on the platform not hitting a link to a company's site:
This means that where content producers host their content is set to be more important than ever. It could be the greatest blog you've ever written about your niche or sector, it would really help people solve that problem and come to the decision that your company is the one to employ in the future.
But the guys who gave them the answer right there on Facebook stopped them ever reading your blog.
This is why half of all the people who took part in The State Of Inbound 2016 survey said they are adding YouTube and other more visual content platforms to their marketing efforts this year.
Another dimension to social media that is going to have to be considered is messenger apps. For perspective, by 2018, chat app users worldwide will represent 80% of smartphone users, and there are already over 4 billion users of messenger apps PER MONTH.
So, there is essentially a double-barreled change to deal with: users are prefering their content presented to them in different formats - and one of them is social media. At the same time, what we are most familiar with as social media is likely to change.
Stay Ahead By Getting The Full Picture
Make sure you get the full picture to stay ahead of your competitors and don't target the wrong channels with your inbound marketing.
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