The typical consumer is bombarded with marketing messages as they surf the web and interact on social media.
To capture attention, many brand managers create articles, videos, infographics and other visuals to reach audiences and help them solve pressing issues. Communicators can no longer ignore content marketing—and consumers, too, recognize the trend.
A recent content marketing survey by Clutch showed that the majority of people recognize content marketing—but most also find it valuable (and prove that the effort is an effective marketing strategy).
Eighty-six percent of people are confident that they can recognize content marketing, though fewer (60 percent) of those surveyed recognized the most recent branded content they consumed as content marketing.
Several characteristics can signal to consumers that they’re consuming marketing content. These include content that is published on an organization’s site (27 percent), content that links to a particular organization (21 percent), content that calls out the organization involved in the author bio (21 percent), or content that mentions the organization’s products and/or services (19 percent).
“If people are marketing their own products and services online and have a website they write content for, they assume that [the content] they consume is also produced by someone doing the same thing,” said Matt Travers, executive vice president of Lead to Conversion, a digital marketing agency based in Cleveland.
That’s not to say it’s bad to create content that is easily recognizable—several consumers might also appreciate the transparency. The bigger emphasis should be on providing solutions and speaking directly to your target audiences, not trying to disguise branded content as something other than what it is.
Though 33 percent of consumers view branded content as unreliable and biased, the remaining 67 percent reported that it can be useful and valuable.
However, not all content is created equal. Your content should be aimed at serving the consumers you want to interact with your content, along with holding their attention.
Clutch wrote that valuable content carries several hallmarks. These include providing new information, unique points of view, telling an engaging story, proving understanding of consumers by discussing the issues they face and sharing actionable solutions that solve consumers’ problems.
Though your content should focus on the reader, each piece can help your organization boost its bottom line. Eighty-two percent of consumers said they purchased from an organization due to content marketing efforts.
Content marketing can have an immediate effect, as well.
Half of consumers research products and services after encountering branded content and 53 percent revisit an organization’s website. Thirty-nine person are driven to buy that organization’s products and services.
How do these results match up with your content marketing efforts? How have you noticed success with your efforts?