“Emerging media,” “new media,” “digital media;” it has many names but one thing is for certain, whatever it’s called, it offers some of the most engaging forms of advertising available ranging from podcasts, email, and web sites to social bookmarking, blogs and advergaming. Engagement is the highest honor a brand could receive from its target audience. It’s more important than loyal behavior such as repeat purchase. It’s even more important than a community that forms around a brand (think Apple). Engagement has the consumer spending not only money and time with the brand but their energy and more, leading to brand advocacy.
Marketers are pouring increasing portions of their advertising budgets into these digital media because of their engaging capacity but also because consumers are paying attention to these media more than ever before. Any smart marketer knows you advertise where your audience is. To get a feel for how much attention consumers are paying to digital media these days consider the following internet statistics collected between July 2010 and July of 2011:
- Online spending on U.S. sites was $21 billion, up 13% from July 2010 where retail spending decreased by 2%.
- 86% of internet users viewed an online video which accounted for an average of 18.2 hours each person.
- 93% of internet visitors made at least 1 search, the average searcher made 124 searches in this 1 month.
- Search has increased 8% since July 2010.
- Conversational media sites such as Tumblr, LinkedIn, Skype and Yelp received great increases of users with 223%, 52%, 71% and 43% increases respectively.
- Streaming media sites Pandora and Vevo received increased usage by 48% and 38% respectively.
- The sources driving the growth of the above mentioned sites are Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and YouTube, all digital media.
- The number of unique visitors to social media sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and LinkedIn has grown by an average of 5%.
- In the first 21 days of the existence of Google+, visitation to the site grew by 561%.
Below are specific examples of how we as consumers have embraced digital media:
- Glamour magazine received 512,339 scans off of QR codes placed in their print editions, which is 25% of their readership.
- Email marketer GetResponse used social sharing buttons to improve email click-through rates by 115%.
- 50.3% of music sales were in digital format rather than physical in 2011; the first time digital has outsold physical music formats.
This continuing increase in demand for all things digital influences our world and the products and services we use. Just think about all the digital technologies you use on a daily basis and the influence they have on the world around you. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have the power to shape a brand. Our positive and negative posts about a product are often monitored by the manufacturer and used to sculpt the product for the future. These same posts about a brand can truly affect other consumer’s perception of it. How often have you decided against purchasing a certain product because of what friends and family say about it or what you read in consumer reviews of the product?
Social networks have also made the brand more available to the consumer. Brands that have a presence on social networking sites have become the target of disgruntled consumers if they don’t respond to customer service inquiries within record time. Such demand for immediacy due to digital technology has also made brands more transparent, which is a good thing.
We have realized that the internet and all its digital glory can provide us what we want most – information. It’s easier than ever to stay informed on trends, topics of interest, gossip etc. Rather than waiting for a printed magazine or newspaper to arrive or for the 5 o’clock news to start, which by the time we read it or view it is already out of date, we can turn to our laptop, tablet, smartphone or go-go-gadget whatever to find the latest news via RSS feed, podcast, videocast, chat room, widget, smartphone app etc. The immediacy of information acquisition provided by digital technology these days requires all brands to continually adapt in order put their information closest to our grasp if they want to sell the most, get the most donations, have the most downloads, be talked about the most or whatever their goals are.
As of now, it’s an all-out race to get ones brand into the newest and greatest digital media. Why? Because you said so.
- 80+ New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed (mashable.com)
- It’s a Facebook World (wir-sprechen-online.com)
- 5 Trends Affecting how we Consume Digital Content (hudsonhorizons.com)