Internet Use in 60 Seconds: What It Means for Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Internet Use in 60 Seconds: What It Means for Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Much has been said about the pace and volume of online activities. With over 3 billion people on social media, we expect activity volume to continue increasing. Lori Lewis and Chadd Callahan have illustrated what happens – on average – every 60 seconds on the internet. For instance, there are over 973,000 logins on Facebook and 3.7 million Google searches every 60 seconds! To put that into perspective, that’s 42 billion Facebook Logins and 159.84 billion Google Searches a month! I have analysed the growth trends of these platforms and what it implies for content marketing. In this blog, I will highlight some considerations for content marketing based on internet use in 60 seconds between 2016 and 2018.

Internet Use in 60 Seconds: Average Growth Rate, Activity Volume & User Accounts (2016-18) [INFOGRAPHIC]

internet use in 60 seconds and what it means for content marketing

 

Internet use in 60 seconds: High Growth-High Volume – Google Searches & YouTube Video Viewed

Google isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it guaranteed its position as the online search capital by buying YouTube for $1.65 billion in November 2006. Google searches and YouTube videos viewed had a 60-second usage growth rate of 26% between 2016 and 2018.  Both platforms command over 3 million actions each (searches and videos viewed) in 60 seconds!

There is no ignoring the impact of search and video on content marketing. As a business, your content makes to be relevant and engaging. Organic search overtook social media for web traffic in 2015. The bottom line is people are looking for information. This includes how-to content, trends, in-depth knowledge of complex topics and entertainment.

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, you’re missing out on the opportunity to engage a huge audience. With 56% of B2B marketers admitting that search is the most effective channel for driving early-stage engagement, relevant content is the anchor for building brand awareness.

Related: How to use a content scorecard for more effective blog posts

Internet use in 60 seconds: Low Growth-High Volume – Emails Sent & Facebook Logins

Email and email marketing continue to be vital communication channels for business. Recent research by DMA reveals that email marketing receives more than 30 times ROI. As of 2018, there are over 5 billion email accounts! Email has been around a long time but its growth rate is the lowest (12%) of the internet channels reviewed here. The younger generation is less and less on email so consider your target market. However, emerging trends around email marketing could see future increased growth in usage.

 

It’s tricky mentioning Facebook (young and cool?) and emails (old tech, needing a refresh?) in the same breath. At 2.196 billion active users, Facebook has the highest number of users of any social media platform. But recent times has brought slowed growth for the social media giant. In the first quarter of 2018, Facebook grew by 3.14%, down from 3.39% of the prior quarter. The reasons for this slowed growth could be a range of recent changes such as modifications to its algorithm. In addition, the company has endured scandal after scandal in the last 18 months. With data showing new daily active users being its lowest quarter-over-quarter growth since early 2011, has Facebook’s user growth hit a wall as suggested by a recent Recode article?

Facebook Monthly Active Users - internet use in 60 seconds - techcrunch

Source: TechCrunch (2017)

Email marketing remains a key channel for reaching a known audience and it reaps significant ROI. Review and refine your email marketing strategy to include email-enhancing techniques such as basic segmentation, optimising for mobile devices and re-marketing to name a few. For Facebook, make a call on whether investing in advertising is worth it to reach your target audience. If it is, keep resourcing it. Remember it owns Instagram too so it probably won’t hurt to keep active on the platform.

Internet use in 60 seconds: High Growth-Low Volume – Instagram Scrolls

While Instagram has the smallest number of activities per 60 seconds, it’s had a massive usage growth over the last 3 years. The platform went from 38,194 to 174,000 scrolls per minute between 2016 and 2018. When Facebook bought it in 2012, it had around 50 million users and wasn’t making any money. Now, Instagram has risen to 1 billion active users per month!

internet use in 60 seconds

As a result of Instagram’s development, it has become a crucial element of business-to-business marketing. Companies like Hubspot, Business Insider and Dell have thousands of followers by regularly engaging with target audiences. The launch of Instagram’s long-form video feature (IGTV) has added to its popularity among businesses. For instance, Hubspot often creates tutorial videos to educate its audience on topics such as Facebook audience targetting and SEO.

The future of Instagram is bright in the world of content marketing. To continue to grow, I foresee the platform enhancing its search capability to be similar to Google and YouTube. As far as I know, you can’t effectively search for specific content on IGTV. Adding this feature could further boost growth for Instagram. If you haven’t already so, get into IGTV and be one of the first few companies to use it. I’m having a blast with it!

Internet use in 60 seconds: Low Growth-Low Volume – Tweets Sent

Overall, the number of tweets sent on Twitter every 60 seconds has grown by 18% between 2016-18. This is a relatively low growth rate compared to Instagram, for instance. It also shows the general slow down of Twitter and its struggle to engage users on its platform. Recent stats show another struggle: Attracting new users.

Twitter User Growth - YO! Marketing - Internet Use in 60 seconds

In 2016, Twitter’s user growth rate almost halved from 7.8% to 4%. Growth is expected to slow down by 2% each year until 2020. Yet, Twitter is a widely used platform for B2B sectors with 77% of B2B marketers using it compared to 73% of B2C marketers.

Internet use in 60 seconds - Twitter stats

There have been suggestions about what Twitter could improve to make its platform a more enjoyable experience. For an amusing list, check out this Mashable blog by Tyler Schmall where he offers improvement ideas such as automatically filtering out Hitler praise and labelling which trending topics are depressing.

The increase in character count is the most recent of its updates but in my opinion, it’s not significant enough. I’d call it a “tweak” rather than anything that changes the game. Twitter appears to be the only social platform yet to make video a core feature for users. Current video use seems to be mainly for GIFs rather than serious content. There’s also the passive, attention-deficit nature of the platform and how easy it is to target abuse at other users. I wonder if an additional video capability will aggravate these issues or improve professional use. What do you think?

In Summary

There are many places you could be on the internet. For marketers and everyone else, it is often overwhelming. Below is a summary of how I believe each platform/internet use might impact your content marketing goals.

Internet use in 60 seconds Facebook Instagram user growth YO! Marketing

  • Instagram is growing. Get involved with new features for engaging your market.
  • Videos and search are the now and the future. Establish your brand with it to build your online presence.
  • Facebook and email won’t disappear just yet so watch trends and technological advances. Don’t be left behind – keep active.
  • Twitter is key for some industries but if you are short on time and resources (and your target audience isn’t even on Twitter), do the minimum if you do it at all.

What I suggest in this article is based on my take on what is happening on the internet and its likely impact on content marketing in general. However, aspects of this might not apply to certain industries such as retail and media/news. That said, I’d love to hear what you think about the future of content marketing on the internet. Tell me in the comments!

**% growth are CGR
How I help SMEs get started with social media

How I help SMEs get started with social media

My first digital marketing specialism is social media. After doing research and subsequently publishing my best-selling book, The Smart Sceptic’s Guide to Social Media, I’ve become more involved in developing frameworks and guides for social media in a B2B setting. Social media is probably the most powerful channel for sharing information and knowledge. Over 3 billion people are social media users – that’s 42% of the world! In this blog, I will tell you how I help my clients get started.

Yekemi Otaru published author of The Smart Sceptic's Guide to Social Media in Organisations

Social Media: Do You Really Want It?

I spent over a decade in corporate organisations. One thing I learned is if senior management does not wholly back an initiative, the chances of it succeeding are almost ZERO. This is the same with social media; it is generally a great channel for boosting a company’s brand and developing thought leadership. But the lack of support at a high level could make it unsuccessful.

That’s why I start the “Getting Started” process by establishing affirmation from senior leaders. I work with the MD/CEO to understand the business objectives and expectations from social media use.

Are these expectations realistic?

Also, do senior managers use social media themselves?

For instance, it’s a red flag if the C-suite executives are not on LinkedIn.

Related Blog: Does it matter if your organisation has a social CEO?

Brand surveys such as Brandfog consistently reveal that C-suite engagement on social media makes a brand more honest and trustworthy.

“Since 2013, we’ve seen a 15% increase in the number of respondents who believe that social media engagement makes CEOs more effective leaders. Regarding the changing nature of communications, an astounding 93% of survey respondents view socially engaged CEOs as a means to build better connections with customers, employees, and investors.” – Brandfog survey, 2016

I establish that senior management will genuinely support social media participation for business purposes.

More than once, I’ve had to walk away because the C-suite really weren’t onboard and it saved a headache for all involved.

Social Media: What Do We Need To Do?

Let’s assume that all is well and your C-suite is game. Fantastic!  This is when I put together a proposal that would include a policy, guidelines, training and ongoing support if required. The investment from the client will depend on:

  • How extensively employees will participate in sharing on social media
  • Existing social media policies and guidelines
  • Size of organisation/ Employee number
  • Availability of internal marketing resources
  • Existing knowledge of social media marketing
As an example, I provide training for up to 8 employees with a limited understanding of using social media for business. This costs between £600-£800.  More advanced training costs are a little higher.

If the company accepts my proposal, I work with the MD and/or a designated manager (usually a marketing or communications manager) to understand the current social media status in the company.

Are there existing social media accounts and if so, how well are they working at the moment?

Do employees use social media and are they engaging with their employer’s content?

Related Blog: 20 Tips for getting an employee social media advocacy pilot off the ground

If the company has an online presence, I analyse performance and highlight what’s working and what isn’t working.

I list the actions that will help close the gap between the current status and where the company wants to get to. These actions might include a policy refresh, basic and advanced training and developing strong personal brands for the leadership team.

Sales people using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers (Source)

Now that we have figured out what we are going to do, are we done?

You’ve guessed it: We are not done. In many ways, we have only started. Many companies spend a lot of time analysing and planning, watching the list of actions and nice-to-haves get longer and longer. It could become difficult to move into action.

When I have a good understanding of actions that can make improvements to my client’s brand, I work on implementing their bespoke policy and delivering training that empowers employees to use social media effectively. This is crucial. I’ve come across policies that are heavily restrictive hence, demotivating employees from taking part in building an organisation’s brand.

Social Media: Smart Sceptic® Framework

I use my Smart Sceptic® Framework to ensure that my clients are getting the best start to social media. This framework summarises the essence of successful social media programs. The detail of this framework can be found in my book mentioned at the beginning of this blog. In summary, agreeing shared values with senior leaders and getting their support to embed those values is a key starting point. It ensures that employees feel affirmed and hence, they are more likely to be motivated to participate in social media for the business.

social media employee advocacy YO! Marketing Yekemi Otaru

Content shared by employees receives 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source)

The next step is to create a social media strategy that works for the business. The strategy should be based on the company’s values and it should support business goals. Research shows that experimentation is a big part of successful social media programs. Don’t be afraid to test your strategy with early adopters in your organisation. Experimentation can be controlled by using one social channel or a group of 5 employees, for instance. Having a group of early adopters that understand the policy and can guide others allows me to adequately handover social media participation to an in-house team when the time comes.

Finally, we move into action. Drumming up participation means resourcing the team. There must be a focal point for social media queries. It is important to equip the teams responsible for making social media a success. Train them, support them and recognise them.

Social Media: Taking Sustainable Action

Sometimes, companies want to keep me on a retainer basis. As part of a retainer service, I’d get monthly updates on social media progress and goals. Working closely with the MD and internal team, I would deliver refresher training on topics such as content creation and personal branding on social media. I am also part of the content creation team and available to be the focal point for employees when they have questions or require one-on-one support.

Retainers range from £350-£1,000 per month depending on support needs, contract length and the size of the company.

To make good progress, there needs to be sustained and deliberate efforts to build a participative culture. This takes time.

Related Blog: Employee Social Media Advocacy Stats & Examples

In research with companies like IBM, Dell and Cisco, marketing managers admitted that this could take as much as 18 months. So don’t give up too soon. Social media is worth getting right. Let me know if I can help.

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