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  • Mark Kalkwarf

Understanding How People Consume Content to Make Better Content

It’s not just about what content engages people; it’s how it engages. The best idea in the world can fall flat if pitched the wrong way. Think of it this way: would you launch a new music album exclusively on radio stations? No! You’d want it to be on a streaming service and available for digital download. So, if you don't know how people are consuming their content, you might be wasting time and resources producing the wrong kind.

Consumer behavior is changing all the time. One day, Twitter’s in, the next day, it’s all Instagram Stories. How people join the digital world fluctuates by demographics, purpose, and intent. A CEO looking for a new data solution might turn to LinkedIn to find top recommendations, or watch a YouTube video review of a tech provider.

Adobe Digital Insights recently did some research on consumer behavior related to the media and entertainment industry. I believe some of their findings also apply to how people consume the digital marketing created for the commercial real estate space.

Smartphones first

Marketers need to track what kind of device people use to access their digital content. A few years ago, there was across roads where mobile content consumption started to exceed desktop content consumption. People never looked back. Now we’re more likely to engage on a hand-held device than a desktop.

The point is, we need to optimize our digital marketing for smaller screens. The content must be quick to download, whether through using Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) or instituting other creation standards. Marketers must think about how graphics will display and how quickly videos will upload for streaming.

Another interesting finding from ADI’s survey is they found only six percent of consumers used apps as a source of entertainment news. It would be interesting to see how this transfers over to commercial real estate. For CREtech companies with a mobile app, take a look at how many people are accessing information on the app versus your website.

People like video

Video game engagement is up, and experts see it only increasing. Video streaming, in general, is completely disrupting how people are consuming everyday content. People are ditching the cable to stream.

Part of this increase in video consumption ties right back into our mobile lifestyles. Faster smart device processing allows us to watch videos anywhere, at any time. According to Deloitte, streaming of video has grown 450% since 2009. They also found that consumers spend up to 38 hours a week watching video content.

All this is to say that video needs to be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy in some capacity. Chances are high that it will drive visitor engagement.

Facebook leads referrals

In the ADI research, Facebook accounted for 16 percent of referred traffic. However, age played a factor. Over half of consumers under 35 get their information from social media, while less than 25 percent of consumers over 35 indicated the same.

Generally speaking, people are using Facebook for discovery, engaging with, and consuming news. While the network has come under fire for privacy concerns, its importance for a marketer’s social strategy hasn't really diminished even as other social media platforms gained market share.

It's not to say that using LinkedIn or another platform like Instagram isn’t valuable. Again, take a close look at your metrics and do audience research. We know that the broader real estate industry finds LinkedIn to be a useful driver of leads and traffic. We also know from our work with clients that Instagram has been a big success for them. It is a marriage of targeting your audience, having a smart strategy for hat platform, and tracking where your visitors come from.

The best digital marketing content for you

Of course, the most important advice is to know your numbers. Whether you are using Google Analytics or something else, know where your visitor traffic comes from. Every audience is going to be different, so customize your marketing to them. Do keep in mind the importance of video and optimizing for smartphone engagement.


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