The Future of Digital Content Consumption: 5 Emerging Trends

By Kirsten Oelrich 4 min read

The proliferation of smartphones has changed the way content is served and consumed. Consumers spend an incredible amount of time looking at their smartphones. For businesses this has become a gateway to content and engaging customer experience. The usage of smartphones has tremendously influenced consumer content consumption habits. Digital content consumption is on the rise and so is the consumer’s preferences and expectations. Here are the latest trends that are set to shape digital content consumption:

Consumers Prefer Pleasant Personalized Content

Nowadays consumers are using multiple devices. They expect to have a continuous and seamless personalization experience too as they move from one device to another. Content plays a crucial role, as the content driven by data can help marketers to achieve personalization at a greater level.

According to a study, 38% of consumers frequently receive content from brands that is not personalized. 51% are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that sends personalized content. 49% are loyal to a brand if the content is personalized. 82% of consumers stopped purchasing from brands if they sent them weird or disturbing or alarming personalized content. Therefore, brands need to be very careful with their personalized content. In order to make your brand desirable, you need to think about what’s practical and achievable.

Consumers trust brands, at the same time they are very cautious. They engage with brands that respect their privacy, and use the data given with utmost care. Brands need to use the given data to deliver good experience and live up to their reputation. It has also been observed that 80% of Gen Z and 76% of Millennials are taking more control of their experiences by actively adjusting their privacy settings, in order to protect their information.

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Consumers are Dissatisfied with Poor Experiences

Consumer expectations are changing due to companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and many more. They want a good and enjoyable customer experience. Brand marketers have the tools to monitor digital touch points, like website performance or an app. There is no excuse for a poor experience, and the consumers are very well aware of it.

According to a survey around 35% of consumers are frustrated by slow page load and 41% of Millennials feel the same too. 51% will completely stop viewing the content if it takes a lot of time to load. 39% of consumers get annoyed when branded content is poorly written, while 28% when poorly designed. 25% are repulsed by content that’s too personalized and 21% are annoyed when the content is not optimized for their devices. Consumers who experienced such situations, stopped making purchases with the brand.

It has been observed that videos can make or break experiences too. According to a study, most of the consumers would stick to a brand if video content is included. Around half of the consumers would stop viewing the content completely if the video is slow or has poor resolution.

Latest Tech is Used for the Consumption of Digital Content

According to a study, 49% of consumers still make purchases from brick and mortar stores, 48% of consumers make online purchases and 44% of consumers go directly to the brand’s website to purchase goods and services. At present there are numerous emerging technologies that have swept the market. Out of these some consumers have taken a liking to the voice technology. According to a survey, consumers using smart speakers and voice assistants to make purchases have increased to 165% year on year, previously from 4% to 10% at present.

Compared to the other generations, Gen Z has a distinct relationship with their devices. Around 17% of Gen Z use home assistants/smart speakers to make purchases. They mostly use gaming consoles as well as laptops to engage with content. They are more likely to engage with content on wearable device and smart speakers. By next year AR and VR will be used for more engaging and immersive content formats.

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Consumers Trust Social Networks

66% of consumers trust social media channels, while the rest 34% don’t, because of the privacy issues over the past 12-18 months. There has been a generational divide when it comes to trusting the social media channels. According to a survey, 52% traditionalists, 48% of Baby Boomers, 30% of Gen X and 15% of Millennials and 2% of Gen Z don’t trust social media. At the same time 26% of consumers trust Facebook, 16% of consumers trust YouTube and 9% of consumers trust LinkedIn.

Social media is here to stay regardless of numerous headlines. It’s the best way for consumers to stay connected with their friends and families and stay up to date with what is shared amongst them.

Consumers Spend Hours Engaging with Digital Content

Content formats available on smartphones vary from videos, blogs, memes, social pages and others. There has been a rapid increase in digital content consumption due to these content formats. According to a survey, consumers usually spend around 8.8 hours a day engaging with digital content. The younger generation spends two or more hours than the usual, for instance, Millennials spend approximately 10.9 hours and Gen Z spends 11.4 hours. It just doesn’t stop at smartphones; they also consume content on more than one device. Around 25% of Millennials are using three or more devices simultaneously to engage with digital content. The year over year increase is 130%.

The major reason behind such consumer behavior is the fear of missing out. They feel the need to keep themselves updated with the latest happening and events, to be in sync with their friends and don’t want to be left out. Apart from this, consumers find it easy to stay connected. There is a different level of engagement with digital content that’s part entertaining, useful or redundant.

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Kirsten Oelrich

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Kirsten Oelrich