The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we live.
Across the world, 87% of students are out of school.
88% of organizations have mandated or encouraged their employees to work from home.
What does this MEAN to us as content marketers?
It means people are sitting on their couches instead of commuting to work. Staying home instead of traveling.
They’re constantly checking news channels to get the latest updates on the spread of the coronavirus. Trying to figure out how to work productively without someone looking over their shoulder. Searching for homeschooling advice.
They’re streaming movies online instead of going to the theater. Having food, clothes, and household supplies delivered to their doorstep. Competing in virtual athletic events.
YES. People are now constantly online.
In fact, searches on Google have almost doubled since the onset of the pandemic. Numbers rose from 3.6 billion searches per day to a whopping 6 billion searches per day!
This is a HUGE opportunity for you as a content marketer to get your brand in front of your audience.
But will these content consumption trends last?
Is it a fad that will die out as soon as the economy reopens, or can you see consistent gains if you boost your content marketing efforts during this unprecedented time?
In this blog, I’ll show you the data I collected on content consumption trends during the pandemic, and what will stay after it.
Content Consumption Trends in 2020: What’s Happening during the Pandemic
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people of different generations have been consuming unprecedented amounts of content online.
- 53% of Americans say the internet has been an invaluable resource to them during the pandemic.
- Internet usage grew by 70% since the beginning of the outbreak.
What exactly are they doing online?
Here’s data from Global Web Index.
- The biggest online activity is searching for COVID-19 updates. This accounts for 68% of consumers.
- The social aspect of social media is returning. 49% of American consumers now read more news stories on social media.
- Video content has exploded, with 87% of U.S. and 80% of UK users consuming greater amounts of video-based content. This includes broadcast TV, YouTube videos, livestreams, and podcasts.
- A third of consumers are looking for escapism in online content and media. To bring a sense of normalcy to their lives, they consume non-coronavirus related content like celebrity news, sports, and stories that boost positivity.
- 40% of consumers in the U.S. and UK are willing to pay for media subscriptions.
Speaking of paid media subscriptions, here’s the percentage of people who consider getting one during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the same study by Global Web Index, Millennials and Gen Zers prefer consuming media mostly in the form of online videos.
On the other hand, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers prefer consuming media mostly through broadcast TV.
Moving business, learning, and life in general online isn’t new. Even before the pandemic, there was slow but steady progress towards this trend.
What the pandemic is doing is accelerating the move, forcing people to re-evaluate their lives and find new sources of information, education, income, and entertainment.
Content Consumption Trends: Will They Continue after the Pandemic?
As a marketer, the shift to doing things online is a HUGE opportunity for you.
The only question remaining is: will it last?
After the pandemic (because yes, it will end), will people continue consuming the same amount of online content?
Or will they go back to life before the pandemic when the economy opens?
Here are interesting insights that show the content consumption trends will continue even after COVID-19 becomes nothing but a memory.
Subscribers Who Convert During the Pandemic Are Likely to Remain
Bo Sacks is one of the oldest newsletter writers on the web. Recently, he shared multiple studies on conversions during the pandemic.
Subscribers who convert during the pandemic will likely remain after it.
According to the study, a pandemic is long enough for new behaviors to form. (It takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to settle in and become automatic.)
If people subscribe to your content and love it, they’ll likely keep reading it after the pandemic has ended.
The Pandemic Has Only Accelerated What Was Already Becoming a Trend
As mentioned earlier, people are consuming tons more video content than they did before the pandemic.
But the growing consumption of video content is nothing new.
- In 2019, 83% of marketers said video content gave them positive ROI.
- This was up 78% from 2018.
I can back this data with what I see in my YouTube channel. I only produce a video once every three or four weeks, but each time I’ve done so since March of this year, the views have been up quite a bit (some videos, by 150%!).
The trends we’re looking at during the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t new. They’re only an acceleration in the direction we were already headed before it.
Working from Home Will Continue to Be an Option after the Pandemic
According to Andrew Savikas, chief strategy officer at getAbstract, the pandemic is “one of those rare opportunities to radically rethink the way we work and live.”
What he meant was trends that have become popular during the pandemic will continue after it.
This includes remote work. In fact, 43% of American employees say they want to work from home even after the economy re-opens.
With more people working from home, the content consumption trends we’re seeing will likely continue.
Consumers Intend to Keep Their Content Consumption Habits after the Pandemic
Even after things go back to normal, consumers intend to continue watching online videos, reading ebooks, listening to podcasts, and streaming online TV.
How You Should React to Today’s Content Consumption Trends
The content consumption trends brought by the pandemic are here to stay.
This means one thing: you should start creating more content TODAY.
But remember, you can’t just create ANY kind of content.
Don’t forget that your competition is also taking the online world by storm, producing more content than ever.
What kind of content should you be creating?
1. Content with a Strategy
Content strategy is the blueprint behind all your content marketing efforts. It’s the map that’ll help you reach all your content goals.
The good news is you don’t need a special degree to get content strategy right.
You don’t need a decade of experience.
All you need is the right skillset.
And you can learn all of it in just six weeks when you enroll in my Content Strategy and Marketing Course. As a student of my course, you’ll actually build what you learn and graduate with the right skills and a full-fledged brand strategy.
2. SEO-Optimized Content
As I mentioned earlier, there are now 6 billion daily searches on Google. Now more than ever, you want your content to appear to consumers on this major search engine!
One way to do this is through optimizing your content for SEO.
- Do keyword research to come up with high search volume, low competition keywords.
- Place your keywords in relevant parts of your content, but don’t overstuff.
- Optimize your content for search engines AND humans.
- Craft quality title tags and meta descriptions.
- Use quality internal and external links.
Want to dive extensively into SEO? Check out The Expert SEO Content Writer Course, where I guide you to build the tangible parts of outstanding SEO content.
3. User-Generated Content
User-generated content is content created by consumers rather than by brands. This includes text, videos, images, and reviews about a brand.
If you want your content to stand out, inject UGC into it. Since 85% of consumers find UGC more influential than brand content, you’ll see a boost of conversions from taking this step.
4. Video Content
Video content plays an important role in your marketing.
- 55% of shoppers say video helps them decide which brand to buy from.
- 90% of people discover new brands on YouTube.
- 55% of shoppers use online videos to decide what to buy while actually in a store.
5. Content with Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
To gain trust, you need to set yourself up as an authority in your industry.
- Earn mentions and links from high-authority sites.
- Create authority content with powerful stats and data.
- Constantly update your content and make sure it’s relevant and accurate.
Content Consumption Trends after the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest problem the world has faced since World War 2.
It has shut down the economy and changed life as we know it.
The good news is that as a content marketer, you can be there for your audience to help them make sense of this unprecedented time.
And if you give them value now, they’ll continue following you even after the pandemic has ended and life goes back to normal.