Content marketing plans should move full steam ahead as a report from Deloitte highlighted the growth of digital content consumption in the United States, with an increasing amount of Americans accessing content from multiple devices.

As more Americans access the web from their laptops, smartphones and tablets, the demand for digital content in all forms has grown. Deloitte’s sixth “State of the Media Democracy” report, suggests new media marketing stands to reach the rising number of consumers between the ages of 14 and 75 who regularly access digital content.

Thirty-three percent of Americans would rather access books, magazines and news content on their laptops, smartphones and tablets than traditional hard copies. This represents a substantial increase in digital content consumption over the past few years; in 2007, 23 percent of respondents expressed such a preference.

Video content marketing may also merit a boost in light of the news that 42 percent of Americans regularly stream video content on internet-enabled devices, compared to 28 percent in 2009. In fact, 14 percent of respondents say online video viewing is their preferred method of watching content, up from just 4 percent in 2009.

News content is another form of media with growing digital access. According to the report, millennials are especially prone to keeping up with the news online, with 11 percent saying it is their favorite method entirely – and many get their news via portable devices. For businesses launching news content marketing campaigns, the increased popularity of mobile platforms should signal the need for website content to be mobile-ready so it can be accessed whether the reader is at home or on the go.

The smartphone has become a primary access points to the web. Deloitte found that there is at least one such device in at least 42 percent of households. Consumers use smartphones for just about everything, including news and social media content.

“Our data shows that while Americans may be less interested in physical content, their appetite for digital content continues to grow. That appetite, coupled with the introduction of new technologies, is leading consumers to access the content they want on a number of different devices,” Phil Asmundson, vice chairman and U.S. media & telecommunications sector leader for Deloitte, said. “Consumers may be watching fewer television shows and movies on TV, or reading fewer physical copies of books and newspapers, but they have not stopped consuming the content. They are simply watching or reading on different media or platforms.”

Tailoring content to reach search, social and mobile internet users will likely improve a business’ chance of generating greater web leads and conversions. For B2B marketers, generating web leads is the primary goal. However, consumers are also using their devices to research and eventually purchase goods and services from their handsets. A report from eMarketer recently pegged the current growth of mobile commerce to reach more than $31 billion by 2015.

Digital content consumption’s growth is no longer something businesses can ignore. Brafton recently reported that 71 percent of purchase decisions for B2B buyers begin on search engines. Creating content that improves visibility in search and improves a company’s standing as a thought leader is a strong way to appeal to these prospects. Moreover, a separate Brafton report stated that consumers check more than 10 web resources before deciding which items to purchase from which companies. 

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.