I’m not athletic, yet as a media professional I’m jumping, dodging, and sprinting to make sure I’m keeping up with the digital trends. Based on today’s market, I should be fit in no time.

It’s imperative that media professionals are aware of digital trends and adjust to them. Here are just a few trends reshaping how we engage with our audiences and those of our clients’, as well as some tips on how to improve your digital skills.

1. Mobile writing and layout

The average adult will spend 5.6 hours a day consuming media online. More than three of those hours are spent on mobile, according to the recently released Mary Meeker report. The report is a comprehensive study of digital consumer trends released from Meeker, a venture capitalist who specialises in the internet and new technologies.

That’s where our audience is: scrolling through Facebook and Googling “how to make avocado pudding” on their phones. Or maybe that’s just me.

With this emphasis on mobile use, Google favours mobile-friendly websites by using mobile-first indexing, so that sites that are mobile-friendly will be ranked higher in Google searches. This means it’s more and more important that a website adapts to different screen sizes and creates a simple user experience.

Everything a company or organisation developing an online communication strategy does should consider the importance of mobile to reach clients and customers.

The writing style of posts is equally as important as the layout of a website when targeting mobile users. Writing for mobile and for social media requires direct, concise language that also engages the reader. This means short paragraphs coupled with sentences that encourage some sort of conversation.

Professionals should also prioritise video, photo, and pull quotes for a mobile website, so the reader can anchor onto the visual and continue scrolling.

Everything a company or organisation developing an online communication strategy does should consider the importance of mobile to reach clients and customers.

2. Analytics

Studying the analytics of websites and social media platforms is imperative to knowing which audiences are on what platforms and how best to engage with them through content marketing. For example, the average Irish person will spend about six hours each week on Facebook.

Statistics from Connector, a digital marketing and social media strategy company (and Alice client!), show that the best platform to reach journalists or males in Ireland is Twitter, while Instagram is favoured by women 18-34 years old and 83 percent of teenagers use Snapchat. Facebook is the consistent platform to reach a general audience in Ireland.

Connector infographic

Advances in technology allow us to better target our audiences, engage them more easily, and optimise our websites for better results. As a media professional, it’s important to be familiar with the analytics provided on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook sites to see what kind of audience is most receptive to a client’s posts. Reshaping posts to fit this information collected from analytics will create better engagement as well as gather better market and customer insight.

Facebook analytics

3. Adblocking is on the rise

You hate popups, I hate popups, we all hate popups.

Consumers are developing an aversion to push advertising and it’s our job to find a way to reach them another way.

Adblockers on the rise

Native or sponsored content, which appear as news articles by or for media outlets, skirts around that issue and pushes to engage with audiences more. For example, a food brand might partner with a lifestyle magazine and will sponsor a helpful article sharing recipes and nutritional information about their product, in a way that doesn’t scream advertisement. By partnering with media outlets, certain audiences are already receptive to posts or information from that organisation and partnering with the outlet will help get more attention for the company.

Sponsored advertising examples

But the best way to address this rise in adblocking is to know where it’s coming from. People are tired of being bombarded with advertisements. Find ways to inform or entertain audiences with advertisements or posts rather than throwing a product or service at them.

4. Video is key

Video is on the rise — for every social media platform.

  • Facebook video posts increased by 94% annually in the United States, which shows its popularity and demand.
  • Facebook videos increased 360% across people’s newsfeeds.
  • 100 million hours of Facebook videos are watched each day.
  • Instagram Stories is more popular than Snapchat, according to Forbes.

As Facebook users become more passive networkers, choosing to peruse the site rather than post statuses, they’re more likely to watch a video that comes up on autoplay rather than clicking a link to a separate website to read an article.

Using video will be one of the most important ways to adjust to changing digital trends.

What are some other digital trends you see reshaping the way we communicate and engage with audiences? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box.

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