What Consumers Want from Branded Content Marketing


Individuals took charge of their customer journeys some time ago and content marketers are in a constant battle to keep up with ever-changing demands.Marketers are challenged with continuously creating new and relevant content that can grab the attention of consumers who have very little time to spend engaging with and responding to marketing and advertising. For example, in 2015 the average attention span was 8.25 seconds—and that number is getting shorter every year.

To meet consumers’ expectations, and earn their trust and attention in the process, brands needs to deliver on three key demands:

1. Individualized content experiences

If you aren’t giving consumers what they want when they want it, your brand can quickly become irrelevant. Our research shows that 87% of people say that personally relevant content improves their opinion of a brand. Conversely, brands that deliver irrelevant content and messaging risk driving consumers away.

These kinds of missteps can be costly to a brand—41% of customers have abandoned brands due to poor personalization. The latest Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research study cites that $756 billion was lost in 2017 in the US and $2.5 billion worldwide due to lack of trust driven by improper personalization strategies.

What may have seemed creepy even just a few years ago is the new normal—retargeting campaigns that keep your brands in front of customers through repeated exposure on other sites are commonplace today. If you’ve ever searched for a product on Amazon to later see ads for similar items on Facebook or other sites, you’ve got an idea of how brands use these strategies to turn someone just browsing today into a customer tomorrow.

2. Smart content recommendations

Generic content delivered to the masses won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Instead, brands must understand what their customers and prospects are interested in—and be ready to deliver individualized content and product recommendations every step of the way.

For personalization giants like Netflix and Amazon, a significant percentage of their success can be attributed to the personalized recommendations these brands deliver—75% of Netflix content, and 35% of Amazon purchases, are attributed to the recommendations their AI algorithms and analytics offer customers.

Today’s consumers want help making decisions; smart recommendations help them feel like they’re saving time. For example, Ally Bank delivers a superior content experience by educating its audience with relevant financial advice articles, establishing themselves as a preferred financial resource. Now, Ally enjoys deeper engagement with its customers via the content experience—visitors scroll on average 74% down the page and spend at least a minute reading the content they are delivered.

3. Speed

Even the best content marketing program won’t help your brand if you can’t deliver quickly. If your site takes longer than 2 seconds to load, you start losing potential customers. A delay of a single second decreases customer satisfaction, and nearly half of online shoppers won’t hesitate to share their negative experience through social media and other means. To a consumer, a slow load time equals a shoddy experience—if you don’t care about your website, you must not care about your products or customers.

With the right individualization tools and a content strategy in place, you can overcome these challenges and meet consumers’ expectations.

Download our guide: How to Master Individualization to Delight Your Customers for best practices for delivering 1:1 personalized content experiences across every channel.


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