No matter their station in life, everyone is equal in one critical way: We each get just 24 hours in a day, and only so much of that time is devoted to media consumption. Companies looking for the best bang for their advertising buck need only consult venture capitalist Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report.
Released in June, highlights of this year’s report include some critical behavioral trends, the most important of which is that Americans are now spending more time on their mobile devices than they do watching TV. The average adult now spends 3.5 hours daily on a mobile phone, compared to just 20 minutes a day a decade ago. While Americans spend nearly as much time watching TV every day as they do on their phones, smartphones currently have a 10-minute advantage that will only grow with time. However, the amount of time Americans spend strictly on digital media, which may include smartphone use, has risen to an astonishing 6.3 hours daily.
The Captive Audience
For e-commerce retailers, that captive digital audience is welcome news. In 2010, Americans spent only half the amount of time on social media, Google, Amazon and retail sites they do today. The younger the demographic, the more time spent online. In fact, nearly 40 percent of adults age 18-29 “rarely” disconnected from the internet.
Digital Ad Revenue Dropping
Counterintuitively, while digital use rates grow exponentially, digital ad revenue is dropping. The decrease relates to greater competition and more money needed to reach target markets since the supply remains the same while demand has increased. Also contributing to the digital ad revenue slowdown are new regulations designed to protect privacy, and privacy issues will continue as crucial consumer considerations. Companies need to be even more strategic with their digital ad spend, which is why geo-targeting or proximity targeting has become even more appealing to advertisers.
Most Used Platforms
When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook still leads the way with at least 30 percent of internet users interacting with it at least once daily, followed closely by YouTube and What’s App. China’s WeChat is at 25 percent, but it has dropped 2 percent in recent years while Instagram’s share has risen to 19 percent. Facebook Messenger is next on the list at 15 percent, with Twitter following at 11 percent. Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitch are all in the single digits. Keep these statistics in mind when budgeting social media marketing dollars for each platform.
Meeker also focuses on multiplayer video games, especially Fortnite, which are serving many of the same purposes as social networks for the Generation Z crowd.
More Visual Content
A focus on visual content continues on all social media platforms, with more than half of all Twitter tweets containing images. Platforms such as Pinterest have especially benefited, with its “shoppable catalogs” an excellent use of product promotion for e-commerce retailers. A combination of the right images and storytelling are key to organic marketing and branding success.
More Than Half the Planet Online
As of 2019, more than half of the world’s population is online, at 51 percent. That figure is up slightly from 49 percent in 2017. There is still plenty of digital room to grow and more opportunities for advertisers to reach customers as well.