Why Content Amplification is Critical for Brands Today and Tomorrow [Data]

Content Amplification
Why Content Amplification is Critical for the Foreseeable Future

There’s been much ranting and raving the last four plus years about the implications of what Mark Schaefer calls “content shock.” This concept predicted that the amount of content on the Internet would at some point exceed people’s ability to consume it. For many industries this content surplus is real. This has manifested itself in digital marketing in many ways. The days of build it and they will come disappeared in many marketing departments around the world this decade. Many used to be able to rely on organic search and social exclusively to drive content visibility and achieve KPIs.

For those brands that can’t achieve maximum organic visibility (most are in this position) or wish to increase their visibility there’s only two other options – earned and paid media. This explains the rise of influencer marketing and native advertising this decade. To get an idea of how much data and content is crisscrossing the Internet everyday check out internetlivestats.com. The below GIF is a small snippet of what’s on the website. The GIF was made at 3:00 PM Pacific time so it only represents 15 out of 24 hours.

Internet in Real Time 1

Just three years ago only 2.8 million blog posts were written and published in a 24-hour period. Today, nearly 3.6 million were written and published by 3:00 PM. That means that almost 5.8 million blog posts will be written and published just today.

There are only 10 positions on the first page of Google and social media has extremely limited the organic visibility of content from brands. As a result, the likelihood of search engines and social media driving copious amounts of non-branded organic traffic is slim to none for most websites.

…and guess what? It’s only getting worse.

According to Cisco’s “The Zettabyte Era: Trends and Analysis” report, annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 Zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2021. To put the ZB in terms we may better understand, it’s 10^21 or one sextillion bytes. In 2016 the world was at 1.2 ZB. That’s nearly a three-fold increase over five years. If you extrapolate that for every human on the planet in 2021 it would be 35 GB per capita. To put that in perspective, in 2016 it was 13 GB per capita.

The Cisco VNI forecast: historical internet context

Year

Global Internet Traffic

1992

100 GB per day

1997

100 GB per hour

2002

100 GB per second

2007

2,000 GB per second

2016

26,600 GB per second

2021

105,800 GB per second

The above does a good job at detailing the veracity of the growth of Internet traffic globally. Some folks like to point to the Internet of Things (IoT), video streaming, gaming and mobile as the reason so much Internet bandwidth is being used. While this is certainly true, it’s also true that normal web, email and data is driving much of the Internet bandwidth as shown in the chart below in bold.

The Cisco VNI forecast: Global consumer internet traffic, 2016–2021

Consumer Internet Traffic, 2016–2021

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

CAGR
2016–2021

By Network (PB per Month)

Fixed

52,678

67,081

83,518

103,696

127,152

154,023

24%

Mobile

5,953

9,345

14,029

20,556

29,343

41,417

47%

By Subsegment (PB per Month)

Internet video

42,029

57,116

75,109

98,182

125,853

159,161

31%

Web, email, and data

9,059

10,681

12,864

15,120

17,502

19,538

17%

Online gaming

915

1,818

2,857

4,396

6,753

10,147

62%

File sharing

6,628

6,810

6,717

6,554

6,388

6,595

0%

By Geography (PB per Month)

Asia Pacific

20,049

26,401

34,179

44,669

57,659

74,419

30%

North America

19,365

25,132

31,802

39,647

48,224

56,470

24%

Western Europe

8,929

11,475

14,344

17,857

22,011

27,211

25%

Central and Eastern Europe

4,206

5,152

6,321

7,960

10,155

12,822

25%

Middle East and Africa

1,771

2,801

4,218

6,209

9,059

13,229

50%

Latin America

4,311

5,466

6,683

7,909

9,387

11,288

21%

Total (PB per Month)

Consumer Internet traffic

58,630

76,426

97,547

124,252

156,496

195,440

27%

This is proof that online content surpluses will continue to grow in the foreseeable future, globally, and shows little signs of slowing down.

Why should this matter to marketers?

It means getting content visibility and engagement online, while difficult today, is only going to get harder moving forward. It means that there will be even more noise for marketers to compete with in their pursuit of consumer’s attention.

This is where paid content amplification comes in for brands. Marketers can breakthrough the glutton of noise online by using the latest AI technology to scale amplification across all of the appropriate native and social channels. Projected spending on many of these channels reflects this new reality and the data presented above justifies these paid media investments for marketers.

eMedia advertising projections

In addition, according to Adyoulike, global native advertising will surpass $85 billion in 2020. According to Forrester’s report, “The End of Advertising As We Know It,” CMOs are shifting billions from interruptive ads to branded relationships using content. This equates to as much as $2.9 billion being moved to native advertising via exchanges or social media in the US alone this year.

Marketers need to prepare for this new reality if they haven’t already. All the data I’ve seen points to the amplification of branded content for consumer engagement as the future of online advertising as we know it.

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