Mary Meeker’s Latest Internet Trends Report Suggests Content Marketers Should Focus on Snapchat, Facebook Video

What can a Silicon Valley venture capitalist tell you about content marketing opportunities? Plenty. That’s because for 21 years, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers’ Mary Meeker has obsessively studied how people use the Internet. Meeker presented her 2016 Internet Trends report last week and here’s what content marketers should know:

There are more ads than ever, but less on mobile

From 2014 to 2015, there was a 16% year-over-year increase in online ad spending. Many of those buys were on mobile, which saw a 66% bump. But when you look at available inventory, mobile ads aren’t even close to saturation. With Reuters research identifying that a whopping 19% of people read articles on their mobile devices more than five times a week, it only makes sense to promote your content where people are viewing it.

Video is a huge opportunity if you do it right

Speaking of mobile, it’s also a tremendous platform for video. According to eMarketer, in the third quarter of last year, 39% of all video views happened on smartphones. But where mobile is ripe for display advertising, Meeker’s research shows people aren’t responding to video advertising. This is largely because Internet users don’t want to engage with shilly videos.

Snapchat provides marketers with a highly engaged audience

The exception to the advertising rule: Snapchat. Meeker’s previous slide stated people want authentic, entertaining videos and Snapchat — with its low production values and real-time immediacy — delivers that in spades. Consider using it for celebrity/influencer takeovers, product previews and to go behind-the-scenes at live events. Need some inspiration? We profiled a few of our favorite Snapchat use cases back in January.

Video views on Facebook and Snapchat are exploding

This should come as no surprise, but when Meeker studied where millennials were spending their time online, Facebook and Snapchat led the pack. Despite the supposed decline of Facebook with younger people, its usage was 3X as much as Snapchat (Instagram was a very close third). Though as Meeker points out, video consumption on Snapchat is 20% greater than Facebook.

There’s value in programming Snapchat content

From National Geographic to Fusion, a wide variety of publishers have dedicated resources to Snapchat Discovery channels (Refinery29 alone has a 10-person team). Snapchat’s own survey of users 13 – 24 revealed that 47% check in with publisher-powered Discovery content on a daily basis. With this kind of adoption, it’s no wonder that Burberry and Sony Pictures have experimented with limited-time Discovery channels of their own. Expect to see more.

Ditto for Facebook Live

Not to be outdone, Facebook is now allowing brands to deliver real-time video a la Periscope. Given the runaway success of BuzzFeed’s watermelon and Candace Payne’s Chewbecca mask, more brands should be producing live video on Facebook. So far, Disney, Chevrolet, GE, Target and Dunkin’ Donuts are the biggest names to do so. If you’re curious to learn more about the advantages of Facebook Live, we dug in back in March.

Of course, these are the easier things for brands to lean into because they’ve been creating videos for years (it’s only the approach and distribution that are changing). There was one thing Meeker mentioned later in her presentation that will be harder for marketers to wrap their head around — using messaging apps like Facebook’s. This is something I’ll be digging into in a future post, citing how CNN and others have been using chat bots to successfully promote content.


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