(originally posted on IMGembed’s blog 2014)
Online publishing has become so commonplace, and tools so ubiquitous and available, that it’s simple to forget how much of a recent explosion this was, how broad it has reached, and how it continues to grow.
Blog use is on the rise, as both Tumblr and WordPress statistics confirm. Within the past 3 years, Tumblr has seen its number of blogs increase by over a factor of 10, from 17.5 million to over 181 million. The cumulative amount of posts (within the same period) increased by almost a factor of 17 from 5 billion to 82.9 billion. WordPress has seen its page views increase over twice the amount within the same timeframe, and is averaging over 14 billion page views per month in 2014.
Driving this growth is content creation in both business and non-business capacities. In general trends, creation of online content is now the cultural norm with Gen C (“generation connected”), with over 90% creating online content at least once per month. This engagement spans generational boundaries (35% of Gen C is over the age of 35), and across nationalities. In the US alone, over 78% of Gen C engage in the curation of content online, and over half of global users do the same. The process of selection, sharing and use is both habitual and commonplace.
Trending in business looks equally compelling, with one-third of US businesses planned on increasing image use in their marketing in 2013, and over half planned on increasing their content marketing output that is inclusive of imagery (blog posts, articles, social media). Clearly, the adoption of content marketing by businesses from small to large has taken firm root, and the growth of image use within content marketing contexts will expand. Image consumption by businesses is going to continue to grow across industry verticals and will reach deep into various levels of the product, sales and marketing cycle, driving essentially ubiquitous integration of use.
Images sell ideas in ways that text cannot. Whether for a commercial context, or editorial, imagery has been proven to increase engagement. As online publishing grows, so shall opportunities for image use.
Where is the new image inventory going to come from to serve the marketplace? From those who take an active part of creating and sharing content online. Business models that allow for participation by both creators and publishers, connect them, and focus on a seamless transaction with significant value add in the process will benefit in the new content economy.