I know what you’re thinking: Here is another post about trends. Yes, it’s true communications folks love evaluating trends. And for a good reason – they can be helpful, and we can almost always find ways to apply them to our client work.
So when I saw the key trends in social and digital news highlighted in a recent Pew Research Center study, I thought it was worth a review. Here are my thoughts on the first five trends in this two-part blog series.
- The gap between television and online news consumption is narrowing.
This shouldn’t come as a shock since the rate of online news consumption has been creeping up to that of broadcast for some time now. And with more people ditching expensive cable packages for Internet-only options, that gap is narrowing further. This will influence even more marketers to shift how they reach target audiences.
- Use of mobile devices for news continues to grow.
This makes sense given the first trend. More people are consuming the news online, and many of us are walking around with mini computers in our pockets. Between built-in breaking news alerts and apps, using a mobile device to keep up with the latest is as natural as turning on the TV to watch the news used to be.
- Older adults are driving the growth in mobile news use.
Adults age 50 and up are catching up in the mobile news arena. While the increase in the number of people entering the 50+ club is one factor, increased accessibility to smartphones and Wi-Fi could be another.
- Online news that comes via emails and texts from friends or family is the type of news encounter most likely to result in follow-up action.
We trust our friends and family. Most of the time. So, if they send us content that includes a call to action, we are more likely to trust it and take the required action because of its source.
- An analysis of nearly 2,700 different search terms associated with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan shows that online searches can be a good proxy for the public’s interests, concerns or intentions.
If I’m seeking more information about something I’ve heard about or seen on social media, my first inclination is to search for more information. It looks like I’m not the only one.
While some of these findings may seem obvious, the results of this study validate theories and provide communications and marketing professionals with substantiated context for reaching our audiences digitally.