Top 5 Digital Trends of 2014 for the HIV community

Content From: Pavni Guharoy Communications Director, AIDS.gov, and Yumna Bahgat New Media Coordinator, AIDS.govPublished: December 30, 20143 min read

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The HIV.gov team monitors the digital landscape so we can adapt our outreach to meet our audiences’ communication preferences. We also learn about the HIV community’s evolving needs through HIV.gov’s Social Media Labs—free, in-person, technical assistance sessions we offer at conferences—and our newly launched Virtual Office Hours, when we offer free technical assistance twice each week.As the year comes to an end, we reflect from our lens on the top five trends of 2014 and what they mean for our HIV community:Mobile versus Desktop: Currently 59% of HIV.gov’s visitors are coming to the website from their mobile devices. Our website statistics are consistent with national trends. In fact, 52% of U.S. smartphone owners have used their phones to find health and medical informationExit Disclaimer. This year marked the first time more Americans accessed the Internet with smartphone and tablet appsExit Disclaimer than with PCs. For the HIV community, this means that you need to assess your audience’s need to have information accessible across multiple platforms. Having mobile-responsive websites, images, and videos can mean improving your reach in your community.

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Keep it short, keep it useful: It is becoming increasingly important to pay attention to content length (conciseness), structure (usability), and precision (useful information). To do this, we reflect on five key design tips for mobile content . To effectively offer resources for the HIV community, we have a responsibility to design our content so people can easily find the information they need—and increase the chances they will share it with their own social networks.

The power of (short) videos: In 2014 we saw the increasing popularity of “real-time” video-sharing, such as Instagram videoExit Disclaimer, VineExit Disclaimer, and Snapchat videoExit Disclaimer. As sharing information through 3-15 second “micro-videos’ is gaining popularity, we will watch how this trend is adapted for sharing health information. In fact, trend-watchers predict that two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2017Exit Disclaimer. For the HIV community, this means we need to find creative ways to share information, engage audiences through videoExit Disclaimer, and make video content more mobile-friendly.

Less text, more image: In 2014, the HIV.gov team told many stories through pictures. We joined InstagramExit Disclaimer - each image with a resource that could be used on that very day. Like us, the HIV community is recognizing the need for image-based storytelling because those images combined received 151 RT’s, 646 Shares, and 803 Likes—our highest level of engagement ever across our social media channels.Strategize for social media: Social media management has become a key part of marketing plans. The 2014 State of MarketingExit Disclaimer states that 57% of respondents have a dedicated team to strategize, execute, and steward social media initiatives. At the HIV.gov Social Media Lab at APHA2014Exit Disclaimer, our team responded to many questions about how to incorporate new media into existing outreach and we shared one of many available examples of an editorial calendarExit Disclaimer. For the HIV community, this means adjusting your marketing strategy to incorporate a social media plan and planning the development of social media content.

What new media trends did you observe in 2014? For a collection of our new media blogs visit: https://blog section/category/new-media