After reminiscing on an old blog post of ours—9 Visual Content Predictions from Marketers for 2017—I thought it would be a fun idea to assess some of these predictions and see if they’re still relatable to today’s marketing trends. A mere two years later, it’s surprising to see how things have shifted. I looked at Social Media Examiner’s 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report for their findings and compared the statistics to predictions made back in 2017.
It isn’t easy to tell which predictions will become true, in any sense of how predictions work. So, I wanted to start by saying that the people who made these predictions are by no means at fault! The best we can do is look at current trends and assess how they might help marketers in the future, while keeping in mind the ever-changing needs of the consumer.
Which predictions missed the mark?
- Audio content is the next big thing
I wasn’t able to find any hard data on this prediction—I feel like this is a big sign—so I can’t speak to it in terms of statistics, but I’m going to assume that audio hasn’t lifted off as much as predicted. Although, podcasts have become a hot commodity in this day and age. (Apparently, people became sick of road trip sing-alongs. Who knew?)
- Instagram stories are on the rise
57% of marketers are using YouTube Videos, while 38% are on Instagram stories. A whopping 62% of marketers plan on increasing their YouTube posting efforts—while no one mentioned expanding their use of Instagram stories at all.
- Snapchat is the next big marketing platform
Nope! 78% of marketers planned to not use the platform in future marketing efforts.
- All the while, Facebook still dominates. Although sometimes it might seem like Facebook consists solely of cat videos, it still rolls in some high traffic numbers. 94% of marketers are using it, and 61% in that group say it’s their most important platform.
What wasn’t predicted: Instagram surpasses LinkedIn in popularity; 73% of marketers are using Instagram, whizzing past LinkedIn’s 58%.
Which predictions hit the nail on the head?
- Content is king
This hasn’t changed from previous years, and we’re not expecting it to change any time soon. To no surprise, people are still looking for quality content. That means blogs (yay!), educational videos, step-by-step processes, or any other format you can think of to teach somebody something. If you see a post with the title “Top 5 Ways to Get Your In-Laws to Love You,” you can assume it’ll get a lot of clicks. Why? Concise, to-the-point reading. Who has time to search through nine paragraphs of fluff before you get to the nitty-gritty? Also, that magical number 5 in the title draws in the skimmers (aka, people that are there just for the fast facts).
- Visual content as a whole still trumps any other type of content. Videos take the cake, while pictures and graphs are always a hot trend.
Consumers are looking for what specifically caters to their needs. HubSpot comments that mobile searches with the key phrase “for me” increased by over 60% last year.
- Ephemeral videos get the job done
The attention span of the consumer has shortened drastically over the years. People expect to receive the same sort of key information in a shorter amount of time than has been in the past. A large number of marketers—80% to be exact—are cutting video content down to 3 minutes or less.
What wasn’t predicted: Interactive content is taking the lead in preferred types. 91% of people wish to interact with content. Not only does it stand out more, but it keeps visitors on your page for longer. We find this tactic better for running through presentations as well, as it allows readers to navigate through content quickly.
In the digital age, things change all the time—and at rapid speeds. Be sure to keep up on popular methods of communication and stay ahead of the game!