What’s on tap for brand content marketers in 2018?

December 19th, 2017 by

Retailers and brands must have an agile content strategy to keep pace with an evolving array of customer-engagement channels

customer engagement

Mary Meeker’s most recent analysis of the internet (Internet Trends Report, 2017) highlights some key global trends that retailers, brands, and developers of content management systems should be tracking.

Core usage trends
There are 3.4 billion users to target, most of them (2.8 billion) have a smartphone, and the gap between mobile versus desktop engagement is widening

   User growth is holding steady at +10% per year (the number of global internet users is equal to 46% of the world’s population—more than double the 2009 figure).
   Smartphone shipments and user (installed base) growth are slowing; (+3% and 12%, respectively).
   Internet usage (engagement) grew at +4% Y/Y; mobile >3 hours/day per user vs. <1 five years ago (USA).
   The emerging “fully digital” younger generation will consume pretty much everything on their smartphones.

Advertising and ecommerce
Growth in online advertising is accelerating.

   Digital advertising rose 22% to $73 billion last year, up from 20% in 2015 and 15% in 2014.
   The growth is coming from mobile ads, which is offsetting a decline in desktop ads.

The pace of ecommerce growth is up, rising steadily from 14% in 2013 to 15% last year.
   Visual media are at the heart of online engagement strategies for retailers and brands.
   The future of search will increasingly include pictures over keywords.
   Forward-thinking retailers and brands are enabling users to use context-inferred images and video to replace typing… and this is enabling image-driven storefronts in social media and emails.
   Images are enabling some very successful content-marketing strategies employed by some retailers

New brands, new channels, channel cross-overs
   The emergence of digital-native brands (such as Warby Parker and Bonobos) is transitioning to the arrival of these same brand opening Main Street storefronts.
   The channels for advertising and selling products are expanding: desktop browser, mobile browser, native mobile apps, home voice appliances, in-person/IRL stores and venues…
   …which underscores the importance of ensuring your brand content can easily be adapted to these new channels

Is your content ready for 2018?
It’s clear that brand content must be at the heart of retailers’ and big brands’ customer engagement strategy. This means it must be mobile optimized AND easily repurposed into new channels such as home voice appliances, in-store signs, and (soon) augmented reality. Have a great holiday season — we’ll see you in 2018!

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