3 Things Consumers Expect From Your Content Marketing

by Marissa Sternberg, Senior Director of MarketingJan 24, 2017

3 Things Consumers Expect From Your Content Marketing

The overwhelming amount of branded content out there creates an abundance of choice and variety for consumers. But how are consumers dealing with the avalanche of content and what do they expect from the brands publishing it? For starters, they’ve become much pickier about what they consume and have set higher standards about what they want from brands, which in turn has an impact on which brands they purchase from. For example, studies show that 75% of people prefer personalized content, and 56% of consumers state they would reward the brand’s relevant content with a purchase.

Our survey of 1,500 US consumers supports these earlier findings, suggesting the impact personalization has on content marketing and brand perceptions is no joke. We know that when brands deliver personally relevant content, consumers are more likely to believe the brand itself is relevant and feel a stronger connection to it. We also know there are some serious risks for brands that don’t invest in content personalization—if your brand doesn’t deliver on personalization, consumers are more likely to give your brand less attention and have less interest in what you’re selling.

While personalization is important, delivering the right content to the right audience on the right channel requires insight into how consumers discover, perceive and engage with branded content. To learn more, we asked respondents about their preferred channels for accessing branded content and which types of content they find most valuable.

Facebook, websites and social media are the leading platforms for discovering and consuming branded content
50% of respondents cite Facebook as the leading channel where consumers come across branded content, which is a significant jump over other sources. While half of consumers say they discover branded content via Facebook, email, online search and YouTube also play an important role in branded content discovery.

branded content discovery channelsSource: OneSpot/Marketing Insider Group

When it comes to consuming content, it’s not just about desktop websites. Social sites and apps are equally as important in helping consumers access branded content. Other mobile/tablet apps are less frequently used, most likely because these platforms don’t offer content promotion capabilities.

Source: OneSpot/Marketing Insider Group

Quality and relevance are the most important factors for consumers as they determine the value of a brand’s content
81% of consumers indicate that quality is somewhat or very important, while 78% of consumers indicate relevance is somewhat or very important in judging the value of a piece of branded content. These two factors were deemed more important than the channel through which the content is presented, visual attractiveness or design and familiarity with the brand.

Source: OneSpot/Marketing Insider Group

Consumers value education over entertainment when it comes to content
2/3 of consumers say that content marketing is at its best when it educates and informs them. Only 17% of respondents say that entertaining content is most valuable, and only 11% value inspirational content. Clearly content like how-to videos or tutorials align with what consumers say they value most since these assets are designed to enrich the viewer or reader, whether by teaching something new or helping solve a problem with the brand.

To learn more about the impact of personalization on consumers’ attitudes, preferences and expectations when it comes to content marketing, download our latest report, The Personalization Imperative for Content Marketing.

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Marissa leads marketing at OneSpot.