Viewership and media consumption habits are constantly changing — even more quickly due to the tumultuous past few years. That is particularly true for three information channels that people are using: streaming, social media, and video games.
More people have turned to OTT and streaming services for shows and movies, social media to stay connected with friends and family, and video games for entertainment purposes.
During COVID, streaming subscriptions topped 1 billion, social media usage increased to an average of 65 minutes a day from 54 minutes the year before, and the video game industry experienced a 63% increase in sales.
To take advantage, here's what you need to know about social media during the pandemic and the best platforms to advertise.
Streaming is Becoming More Popular
Traditional television is still a powerful means of advertising, especially when reaching local groups. However, streaming has recently surged in popularity, exceeding many research groups' expectations. In 2021, subscriptions hit an impressive 230 million, with forecasts of 277 million by 2026.
In fact, eMarketer had to reevaluate its predictions for the future of streaming after the pandemic accelerated over-the-top (OTT) growth. They reported that U.S. OTT subscription revenues were experiencing a slow-down before the pandemic hit. However, following the pandemic, they rose by 41.2% year over year (YoY).
Running your TV ads on OTT services is a good investment. Its substantial growth will likely continue as new streaming platforms introduce a ton of highly-anticipated content and viewers switch to streaming to save on cable costs amid uncertainty.
To see maximum ROI, the best OTT tip you can get is to integrate your TV and OTT. OTT ads function as a linear extension to TV ads since the differences are more with distribution than content.
People are Still on Social Media
Social media (SM) use has maintained its popularity through the pandemic, going through some steady rises and falls. Not only is it still one of the most popular online activities with more than 3.6 billion active users (expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025) around the world, but social media usage rose to an average of 145 minutes a day worldwide following the pandemic.
It has transformed into a means of connectedness for people and serves to gain more news and continue interactions. While you'll find a lot of success with paid ads on social media platforms, it's also incredibly valuable as a means to engage your audience.
It includes plenty of:
- Posting — One to two times a day is optimal (varies from platform to platform)
- Likes, Comments, and Responses — Try to keep up with liking and responding to your followers' comments on your posts. Interacting with SM followers keeps the conversation going, your brand top of mind, and consumers more personally connected to your brand.
- Engaging with Users on other Relevant Pages — Attracting more consumers to your page entails expanding outside the followers who are already on your page by engaging with new audiences on other pages similar to your business. A good example would be a cosmetic brand engaging with audiences on a make-up influencer's page.
Gen Z is the Video Game Generation
When marketing to specific generations, it helps to follow them to their preferred source of media consumption.
Gen Z, for instance, prefers playing video games ahead of all other forms of media. Weekly (and some daily) gaming is common for 87% of Gen Z, while only 83% of Millennials and 79% of Gen X. It ranks higher overall for Gen Z, who put video games and music as their top preferred entertainment.
Note that different forms of video gaming are popular outside of consoles. That also includes mobile and subscription-based games that have ads.
Following the pandemic, reports found that not only did more than 3 in 5 respondents say that they increased their mobile gaming after COVID-19, but 75% of that increase to mobile gaming will likely 'persist indefinitely.'
Consider making mobile game ads a valuable extension of your digital and mobile ads. This way, you will be able to collect extensive analytics data about your users to optimize ads further — not to mention you'll reach a substantial portion of the younger generations with this technique.
The Pandemic Has Changed Consumers — Adapt To Keep Up!
COVID-19 took the world by storm in 2020, suddenly and without warning. Not only did businesses have to think quickly and adapt to the new environment to survive, but consumers couldn't spend time with friends and family and had more unfilled time on their hands than ever before. It led to a shift in behaviors as new habits emerged and continued trending well into the pandemic.
The truth is, people are making new habits due to the pandemic, and advertisers must adapt to these to stay relevant and connected.
That includes advertising more on the channels today's consumers prefer — social media, video gaming, and streaming. How much you allocate your advertising budget to each will depend on your target audience. Let Gray Atlanta work closely with your team to pinpoint your audience and determine which platforms suit your needs best.