Content marketing has been a hot topic over the past 8 years as marketers have looked for ways to connect with consumers. At Perficient, we use content marketing extensively, as evidenced by this blog.
We’ve also blogged about content marketing going all the way back to 2012 (Content Marketing Impact & #SocialBusiness). The trick for content marketing is to produce content that attracts potential customers and encourages them to engage with your brand.
In general, companies have used techniques like story-telling, inspirational content, education content, product announcements, etc. all with varying degrees of success.
In light of this, I came across a study on what consumers expect versus what marketers prioritize from a content perspective. This study was conducted by Sprout Social, but appeared in an eMarketer.com round up report on customer experience called “How Digital Factors Are Fueling More Personalized Content“.
What Consumers Want
The Value and Engagement of Customer Insight Informed Content and Commerce
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So what do consumers expect or want in terms of content? Here are the top four content types that consumers want according to the survey results:
- 72% wanted content about discounts or sales
- 60% want content that showcase new products or services
- 59% want to see content that teaches them something
- 56% want content that entertains them
How do marketers prioritize these types of content when posting?
- 18% of marketers prioritize discounts or sales (vs 72% for consumers)
- 46% prioritize new products and services (vs 60% for consumers)
- 47% prioritize entertaining content (vs 56% for consumers)
- 61% prioritize content that teaches (vs 59% for consumers)
So marketers really miss the mark on presenting content about discounts or sales. They fall short of producing content about new products or services and entertaining content. Marketers are pretty close to meeting expectations for education content.
What Marketers Prioritize
Often times, marketers want to prioritize content that tells a story, tell what’s happening at the company, or showcases their company’s personality or employees. You could classify this content as “Let me tell you about us”. How do consumers prioritize receiving this kind of content?
As my headline suggests, consumers don’t really care about your stories that much, or your brand’s personality, or even your employees. Here is the breakdown of how marketers prioritize this kind of content versus what consumers actually want to see:
- 58% of marketers want to tell a story, while only 37% of consumer want this type of content
- 51% of marketers prioritize content that announce what’s happening at the company, while only 41% of consumers care about this
- 44% of marketers promote content that highlights the company’s personality, while only 23% of consumers want to see this
- 24% want to post about employees, but only 13% of consumers want this content
The take away from this survey shouldn’t be that marketers only focus on one type of content, like discounts, because the majority of consumers want to see this content. To reach the broadest set of consumers, multiple types of content need to be developed and delivered.
However, marketers should be tracking the types of content they produce and measure consumer interest in each type. Then, content marketing has to adjust to produce content that your consumers actually want to read. Of course consumer expectations change all the time and content marketing has to continually produce, monitor and adjust.