Attractive content: three key elements from the consumer’s point of view

If you are engaged in content marketing, then you can not live without research and calculations. While promoting projects, you will certainly strive to evaluate every aspect of a marketing campaign - from link building's ROI to social media promotion and content marketing strategy in general. Resting in the evening after work, you accurately study the cases and the results of large-scale marketing research, putting the new Akunin novel off before the holidays.

Having found some interesting graph or diagram confirming your assumptions, you immediately share your insight with colleagues and friends on social networks. You publish the link, accompanying it with phrases like “interesting, recommend” or “very useful article”. Your colleagues also enthusiastically study the results of various case studies and studies and share with you links to the most interesting materials from their point of view.

Yes, internet marketers love to find useful and high-quality content and discuss it with colleagues and friends. They are looking for new ways to increase conversion and lead generation, talk about the criteria for marketing effectiveness and increasing audience coverage. But are they able to identify useful and high-quality content from the point of view of consumers? After all, marketers must take into account the views, preferences and needs of ordinary customers in order to successfully promote projects using content.

Below you will find the results of several studies that will help to look at the problem of high-quality content through the eyes of an ordinary user. In particular, you will find out which content distribution channels consumers prefer, when they interact with the business, and what content pushes them to buy.

Using the above data, you can safely say that you are guided by the interests of the audience, and not by abstruse theoretical concepts and the opinion of colleagues when planning marketing campaigns.

1. What channels do content consumers prefer?

In short, consumers like all existing content distribution channels. Clients seem to say: “We are everywhere, so your content should also be everywhere.” This is confirmed by a number of studies, the results of which are given below. Consider the following key points regarding customer attitudes towards content distribution channels:

  • When planning a marketing campaign, experts should find out which channels the audience of their project prefers to receive information. For example, potential customers of companies operating in the B2B segment prefer LinkedIn, while B2C consumers spend more time on Facebook and Vkontakte.
  • Your information campaign should be consistent. Information transmitted through channel A should not contradict data distributed through channel B.
  • Good content should be easy to view and replicate. Users do not need to download additional programs or try to open the material in another browser to view it. They should also be able to quickly share material with friends. This applies to all content distribution channels.
  • Content must stylistically match the channel through which it is distributed.

The research results described below confirm and explain these theses.

Mobile traffic gives deals

The joint Google and Nielsen Mobile Search Moments Study, the results of which were released in March 2013, confirms the important role mobile traffic has for business. Consumers are increasingly using smartphones to find the information they need to make purchasing decisions. Note that 73% of mobile search queries generate additional actions and leads, for example, phone calls, purchases, retailer visits. At the same time, 28% of mobile search queries generate conversions.

A study by Google and Nielsen found that customers are looking for information using smartphones not only on the go. 83% of consumers use a smartphone to search for information at home. They explain this by the convenience and the ability to quickly find the necessary information.

Marketers have long considered the mobile channel of information distribution of little prospect in terms of traffic conversion. However, consumers are actively using it for decision making and shopping. This confirms the need to optimize resources for mobile traffic, adapt content to this channel and the relevance of experiments with mobile advertising.

According to a study by IDG Enterprise, mobile traffic is important both for companies operating in the B2C segment and for their colleagues from the B2B segment. IDG researchers have found that the leaders of IT companies want and will use mobile devices to find and consume content associated with purchases. However, they are currently facing some obstacles in their efforts to find the information they need using smartphones and tablets. It is not hard to guess that suppliers who will remove these obstacles in time (optimize websites and content for mobile traffic) will be able to successfully use the mobile channel for B2B sales.

E-mail gives odds to new-fashioned facebook and twitter

According to ExactTarget’s marketing research, email remains the dominant channel for disseminating information. Therefore, the effort spent on email marketing is not wasted. In the article “How to use Email Marketing”, we mentioned that 77% of Internet users in the world prefer to receive business emails. According to ExactTarget, Email remains the main distribution channel for marketing information around the world. In the illustrations below you will see the ratio of Email-subscribers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers for British and Brazilian companies.

Facebook is a champion among social networks

According to a study by marketing companies Edison Research and Arbitron, consumers consider Facebook as the most important for making a decision on purchases as a social network. The second place with a large gap from the leader is Twitter. At the same time, the importance of Facebook and Twitter as a source of consumer information has doubled in 2012 compared with 2011. At the same time, the number of consumers who believe that social sites are not needed for making purchasing decisions has halved.

It remains only to recall that there are other social networks in RuNet, for example, Vkontakte, which can easily compete with the global leader in the local market.

Some marketers still think that people use social networks exclusively for chatting with friends and entertainment, and when they receive marketing messages they immediately click the “spam” button. The aforementioned study by Edison Research and Arbitron refutes this. The number of users subscribed to pages or groups of brands on a social network doubled from 2010 to 2012.

What makes an ordinary user to subscribe to the ubiquitous brands, even in social networks, originally intended to search for Vanka Ivanov, with whom he sat next to the pot in the nursery? Most consumers follow marketing messages in order not to miss the next sale or discounts. Almost half of the users can not clearly answer why subscribed to the brand page.

And now important information for content marketers. 43% of consumers subscribe to publics and groups of brands in social networks for useful and interesting content and ideas. You lose a lot if you use the Vkontakte group or Facebook only to publish discounts. Half of users want to get interesting content or a new idea, not a discount. This gives brands great opportunities for community development.

2. In which cases the content helps to engage users in interaction with the business.

Consumers are ready to interact with the brand if they consider the published content to be expert and trustworthy. The following abstracts summarize the results of research on customer readiness for business relationships with business:

  • Users want to consume marketing content at a convenient time for them in a convenient place.
  • They welcome a large variety of content.
  • They want to receive unique, trustworthy expert materials.

Below are the results of studies confirming these theses.

Users need trustworthy content.

Some businessmen believe that consumers do not trust commercial branded content, considering it as a form of advertising. Research content marketing company Content Science refutes this assumption. Content Science experts say the following:

  • Yes, consumers want information from the business.
  • The attitude of users to content depends on its characteristics. They trust quality, honest and expert materials.
  • Brands should not position themselves and their content as the ultimate truth. Moreover, consumers have more confidence in the information being published when the brand refers to other resources.

According to a study by IDG Enterprise, mentioned above, consumers trust content in such cases:

  • Materials must be adapted for quick sharing. The number of shareings also affects consumer confidence.
  • Content must be adapted for distribution and consumption through various channels.
  • Publications should be objective and contain links to reputable sources of information.

According to a CMO Council study, B2B consumers find credible articles as well as materials published in online communities. Interestingly, they do not trust the official white paper brands.

This means that customers trust more analytical materials and reviews from independent sources. What should brands do in this situation? Probably, the business should refer to third-party resources that are credible from the point of view of the consumer.

3. When content converts visitors into buyers

Everything is simple here. This happens when the content meets the needs of the client. For some reason, many brands forget that they are writing articles and reviews for consumers, not for themselves.

Content Science experts formulated the following rule based on a study of the attitude of users to content: “Create useful content. Think about whether your articles really help readers make important decisions? Do not limit yourself to repeating obvious truths; offer users the information they need to make purchases. ”

According to the CMO Council, a wide coverage of topics and the depth of disclosure of each topic is the main criterion for the value of content for B2B consumers. They also appreciate the readability, clear presentation and originality of ideas and approaches.

Thanks to the reviewed research results, you have learned what content users find attractive. Do your ideas about the ideal content coincide with the customers? Tell us about it in the comments.

Adaptation of the material Compelling Content: 3 Key Points from the Consumer POV [Research] by Anna Ritchie.

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