Have you ever visited the Wayback Machine? This website is a digital archive of almost every website that has existed since 1996. If you want to see what Yahoo, Google, or The Huffington Post looked like in their infancy, the screenshots are there.
While browsing the archive, you may find yourself pondering the developments of the Web. Everything has changed so much and so fast, especially in the last ten years.
Mobile devices now rule the world. Most of our conversations take place via apps like WhatsApp or Viber. It is a trend that has also changed expectations when customers browse websites.
This week’s roundup touches on mobile, marketers, and measurement practices.
Almost Half the Global Population Has an Internet Connection!
Last week, We Are Social released its latest Digital Statshot, which offers numbers for Internet and digital usage around the world.
As always, the figures are mind-boggling.
Let’s start with active Internet users. Three billion people (or 41% of the global population) officially have access to the Internet. This represents a 5% increase since last year!
Social media penetration is now at 28%, with users being active on more than 2.4 billion accounts. Facebook remains the biggest platform for those people, followed by Qzone (645 million active users), Google+ (343 million), Twitter (284 million), and Tumblr (230 million).
Even more important to marketers is the number of unique active mobile users. At 3.6 billion, it’s half the world population. Mobile social networking via apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and Viber has become, to many, the de facto way to connect with others.
“[D]ata from Facebook, Tencent and VKontakte indicat[es] that more than 80% of the world’s social media users now access via mobile devices,” says Simon Kemp on the We Are Social blog.
And the trend is not likely to stop anytime soon:
“Mobile continues to register impressive growth around the world too, with GSMA Intelligence registering almost 1 million new unique users every day since our last report – that’s more than 11 new users every second.”
So what does it all mean? That there is a huge, (almost) untapped market opening for marketers and businesses!
Want to see We Are Social’s entire Digital Statshot? Here it is below:
Brand Loyalty and the Mobile Web
The increasing reliance on mobile devices has also had an impact on the relationship between customers and brands. The latter are now forced to face a new reality: Build websites that are mobile-friendly or run the risk of falling into oblivion.
“How so,” you ask? Here is something to put things in perspective:
The stat comes from Netbiscuits’ latest People’s Web Report. This survey of 6,000 people in six countries reveals important insights on mobile consumers and their expectations towards brands.
Check out the list of highlights below:
- The users most likely to complain about slow mobile sites are in the 18-24 age group
- Visual content matters when it comes to company and product descriptions: 1 in 2 mobile millennial users prefer it to text.
- Text is more welcomed by older generations, especially users 65 years old and over
- 8 in 10 people will recommend a brand based on their mobile web experience, with millennials leading the charge
- Men are more likely than women to make recommendations
- Privacy matters: 4 in 10 respondents will leave a site if asked for their location, unless additional services are offered
- 54 percent of respondents shop while connected to the mobile web
Customers demand more. They also want a faster experience when visiting websites from their smartphones. Optimizing your pages to accommodate them will definitely have a positive impact on your bottom line.
The full report is available for free here.
Marketers Still Not Confident about Measuring Content
They may create more content than a year ago, especially in the B2C department, but marketers are still behind when it comes to measurement practices.
In April and May 2014, Contently surveyed more than 300 B2B and B2C marketers to understand their relationship to content.
Almost to 3 in 4 respondents (73 percent) stated that the goal behind creation was brand awareness. They also mentioned lead generation and thought leadership as major objectives. Ad monetization seems a minor concern (10.6 percent).
However, an overwhelming number of marketers (90 percent) are unsure of the effectiveness of the key metrics they use (e.g., pageviews / unique visitors, social shares, followers, subscribers, time spent on site…) to measure the success of their content strategy. Seven percent of them even admitted to not measuring anything!
These numbers are confirmed by Content Marketing Institute’s latest report, titled B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America:
“[T]his year we asked how successful [marketers] are at tracking ROI on their content marketing programs. Only 21 percent said they are successful; however, the number goes up to 35 percent for marketers who have a documented strategy.
Similarly, when looking at challenges, almost half of B2B marketers cited measuring content marketing effectiveness as a challenge — a number that has gone up from 33 percent last year.”
The key takeaway? While 300 respondents may not provide an accurate representation of the entire marketing field, their responses show a growing gap between expectations and reality.
Maybe a change of focus is in order…
According to you, what’s the most surprising stat?