• Emily Malone

The most engaging type of content your visitors want more of in 2016

HubSpot research has given us loads of insight into the marketing trends of 2016, and because we’re dead nice, we’re sharing that knowledge with you.

2016 has brought a lot of disheartening rubbish with it. I mean, I’m still not over Prince, or Bowie. And don’t even get me started on this guy. But at least it’s also brought with it a positive new phase of technological development, where new innovations and preferences will affect how marketers do their thing.

HubSpot surveyed over 1,000 internet users worldwide to learn about their preferences and behaviours regarding their content consumption habits. This should help you work out the most effective and engaging content for your audience.

So, what kinds of content are users expecting more of in the future?

Apparently, more and more people are drawn to visual content, and they’re also choosing social media platforms over traditional blog and long-form outlets as a way to read their content.

Here’s the top forms of content this year according to HubSpot’s research:

  1. Social Media – 45%

  2. News Articles – 44%

  3. Videos – 43%

  4. Online Classes/Educational Games – 33%

  5. Research Content – 31%

The above suggests not that marketers should abandon blogging or podcasting, but that they should develop a more diverse strategy for their content creation to meet the growing demand for content from videos and social media.

How are readers consuming content?

It seems that longer written content is more likely to be skim-read, and content with more visual elements like videos and images are more likely to retain attention.


The most wanted? Video content.

It seems video is increasingly becoming the most popular of all content, and this makes total sense; think about the unmissable rise of video storming your newsfeed. In fact, Cisco says that a staggering 80% of web traffic will be from video by 2019. This is reflected in HubSpot’s research, which shows that 45% of survey respondents admitted to watching at least one hour of video on Facebook and Youtube a week. I know I probably watch more than that myself!

What’s more, a lot of these videos can be watched without sound due to the autoplay fuction Facebook has implemented onto our timelines. According to Digiday, 85% of viewership now happens in total silence. Take Buzzfeed’s Tasty, for example; they create “snack-sized videos and recipes you’ll want to try”:

Chances are you’ve seen one of these videos pop up on your newsfeed and started salivating. The one above alone has 252,320 views so far. They work so well because they’re short and sweet (pun intended), they don’t need sound to understand what’s happening, and they teach how-to skills, which, according to Google, is the kind of video content that’s risen by 70% year over year.

Other kinds of popular video content

Live streaming

People spend 3 times more time watching Facebook Live videos compared to other videos. This is because they give real-time insight into the world at any moment, allowing businesses to gain more interest and engagement from their followers. Discover and Snapchat are also big users of this type of live streaming content, but it’s Snapchat’s Live Stories that are really killing it, with 10 to 20 million viewers per day.


GIFs are being used everywhere by brands and regular folk alike on social media and email marketing. They’re especially popular when used as reactions.

They’re great for businesses mostly because they’re short, cheap, visually engaging, and more often than not they’re pretty funny too, which adds a relatable, more human element. But best of all, they’ve now also infiltrated political campaigns — check this one out:

Donald Trump just did every emoji face on your phone in 7 seconds. #GOPDebate https://t.co/jkTnY0xBp8 — Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) September 17, 2015


Snapchat currently counts 10 billion views daily from users who catch up with the latest ephemeral content, which is what really makes it special. The 24 hour-long snaps have created a sense of urgency, making users compelled to check the app daily for fear of missing out.

Loads of brands have already started using Snapchat for their business, and it’s said that the unique mobile-focused vertical video creates a more engaging experience alone.

Landing page videos

Some brands even use video on their landing pages. For example, ASOS has a video catwalk feature which shows a more complete view of the product, and that helps to build more confidence when buying. Apparently, using video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%. There’s several reasons for this:

  1. Videos increase the length of time people stay on your page, giving you more time to make an impression on the viewer.

  2. It helps you become more trustworthy.

  3. People are lazy and prefer to watch something rather than read.

And let’s not forget Youtube of course, which has over a billion users — that’s almost a third of internet users! Not to mention the 3.25 billion hours of video watched each month. In fact, it’s expected that by 2025 half of viewers under 32 won’t subscribe to a paid TV service.

So if you’re someone who’s trying to work out if video marketing is really worth investing in, you should hopefully have your answer by now. The reach and engagement that’s possible with this kind of content is really astonishing. Now, start creating those videos!