I feel like I’ve been having the same conversation now for a decade.
In 2010 a huge percentage of the world was shifting its attention to this internet thing. Businesses were curious, but few were willing to embrace the shift enough to invest in quality websites and content. I was telling everyone who would listen that the best thing they could do was create content built specifically for the places that people were consuming it. Many insisted on repurposing flyers, catalogues, and poster designs for their dot-coms.
From 2012-2016 it was social and social advertising. Again, brands across industries were hesitant to make the jump. Some invested in social teams and content creators, while most tried to jam their square pegs (website content, press releases, product photography) into a round hole (social).
So what’s the 2019 conversation? This may come as a surprise, but it’s still about mobile.
This year we reached the official tipping point where not only is the majority of internet-browsing done on mobile, but mobile screen time exceeded time spent watching TV.
That’s obvious though, right? Look around and anyone can see that the majority of people’s days are spent buried in their smartphones. Somehow, brands still aren’t listening.
A study done last month by eMarketer showed that 53% of top brands on social are publishing video that isn’t optimized for mobile (vertical ratio, viewable without sound).
That means that more than half of the US’ most prominent brand videos are being published in a format that just doesn’t work right on the devices that the majority of people are trying to use.
It’s not enough to “embrace digital” by claiming the URL/username only to push out the same old content. When user behaviours change, that means that we also need to change what we’re publishing and/or how we’re publishing it.
My greatest fear: Right now I promise there are entire teams of “content strategists” trying to figure out how to reformat their YouTube pre-roll ads for TikTok.
If you’re reading this, please be better than that.