4 Trends in Digital Media that Continue to Shape Customer Engagement in 2017
Digital media has become one of the most important platforms for businesses hoping to reach out to audiences and potential customers. The market segment previously occupied by newspapers, magazines, and other forms of print media has taken a severe hit as subscriber numbers continue to fall as a result of digital media.
Digital media has transformed the way end-users consume and engage with media content. Understanding how this transformation is happening is critical for media organizations and marketing agencies that depend on media platforms to reach out and engage with customers.
The evolution of digital media has largely been driven by the technology boom of the early 2000s. Specifically, the internet has completely revolutionized when, where, and how we interact with media. And even though some of the traditional forms of media like cinema, TV, and radio aren’t about to go away, the methods of interaction have also completely changed.
The following trends will continue to play a major role in redefining digital media in 2017 and beyond.
1. Streaming Vs cable and ownership
Cord-cutting picked up a few years ago as bandwidth restrictions reduced and advanced internet-capable devices became more affordable. Plus, the number of OTT content providers and streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for movies and Spotify for music has made it easier for consumers to make the switch from traditional media to digital media.
In the United States, over 60% of households subscribe to at least one video streaming service, with many ditching the traditional Blu-rays and DVDs. The following infographic from Ooma provides more information on the state of content streaming and how consumers are engaging with digital media.
Infographic Courtesy of Ooma
2. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and immersive experiences
Immersive is the new form of engagement, thanks to the rise of virtual reality and augmented reality. 2016 was a huge success for both VR and AR, with games such as Pokémon Go and the launch of different VR gadgets proving that both AR and VR could be part of everyday life.
By 2018, at least 40 million people will own a virtual device. At that rate, media and content creators will have to design media content in such a way that consumers will still be engaged when accessing it from devices such as the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. Gamification, AR, and VR will be important talking points in the workplace as far as immersive customer experience, engagement, and retention are concerned.
3. Social is central to everything
Very few disruptive innovations come close to the impact of social media in the digital world. Young people are increasingly logging on to their social media accounts to catch up on the latest news. An Australian study conducted by accounting firm Deloitte found that millennials between ages 14 and 32 used social media as the primary source of news, a trend that is bound to spread worldwide as social media users increase.
Plus, with live video now a standard feature on the major social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, anyone can fire up their camera, shoot raw, unedited videos, and broadcast them to millions of viewers in real-time. Brands that use the tools presented by social media will undoubtedly have an upper hand when it comes to customer engagement and retention.
Brands can also use social platforms to engage with customers in real-time, letting them pose concerns, questions, or general comments.
4. Enhanced content delivery across multiple devices
The growth of the Internet of Things has seen consumers own multiple devices with unorthodox connections to each other via the internet. Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs and other devices within the IoT offer a myriad of challenges to media content creators. Will users be able to watch customized selections of their favorite movies or TV series on their smartwatches or other wearable gear?
While consumers generally believe multiple gadgets have improved their lives, there is always the constant worry that media content won’t be accessible via some of these devices.
Still, this segment has the most promise when it comes to transforming customer engagement in the future. For instance, the GOQii fitness wristband connects the wearer to a real personal trainer who monitors training data from the wearer and offers tips and feedback in real-time.
Digital media is going through one of the most pivotal times in digital history. These trends will continue to test and shape how technology and digital media will impact customer engagement. Businesses that implement the right media and content creation strategies stand to benefit the most as this field continues to mature going forward.