Adapting your content marketing to the 2013 consumer

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In the next few weeks many companies will be working on their marketing plans for 2013. For most of them, content marketing will be a part of those plans. While making those plans, it’s quite important to consider changes in online consumer behaviour. Research agency InSites Consulting, data and sampling partner SSI and translation agency No Problem! recently conducted a global consumer survey to better understand the consumer. Based on this research, we were able to draw 5 key conclusions for content marketers to take into account.

1. Pinterest offers more potential for content marketers than Instagram

A lot of content managers are not sure whether they should invest time and resources in these two photo sharing sites. Considering the growth potential of both sites, it is certainly something to look into. About one quarter of the online population knows both sites. The adoption rates are still very low: 3% uses Pinterest and 4% Instagram. Apart from the growth potential, there are also major differences between Pinterest and Instagram. Half of the Pinterest users log on daily as opposed to just 31% of Instagram users. Also, 60% of Pinterest users intend to use the site more often in the future whereas for Instagram users this is “only†40%.

In addition, our survey shows that Pinterest probably has the biggest potential for brands. 41% of Pinterest users are currently sharing brand-related content on the site, compared to 35% of Instagram users. Both sites do well in this regard, but just as with the overall stats, Pinterest scores better than Instagram.

2. Small window of opportunity for your content

An average consumer is linked to 11 brands on social media. 7 brands are followed in an active way and people are engaging with about 5 brands. So in order to reach consumers on social media, the challenge is to be one of the 11 brands the average consumer follows. When you want to have an engaging relationship, you need to be one of the 5 brands people interact with. Knowing there are a large number of strong brands out there (the usual suspects of course: Coca Cola, Apple, Disney…), this leaves a small window of opportunity for the other companies out there.

3. Social advertising needed to increase reach

Consumers are cutting back on the number of brands they interact with on social media. Also, as a brand, you are not only competing with other brands for the attention of the consumer, you are actually competing with the consumer’s friends. This makes it a difficult battle. Brands should consider promoting their story in order to improve their odds of getting that attention.

4. Fans are not seen as a credible source

Other internet users consider brand fans to be unreliable. Consumers feel that brand fans are biased, so their recommendations have a limited impact. This implies that our content should reach the average consumer as well. Content has a bigger impact when shared by average consumers. Fans are still an ideal way to kick-start the content and spread it to other consumers. The quality of the content will determine to what extent the second layer (after the fans) will share it as well. Layer sharing is becoming more and more important as a content KPI.

5. Consumers want to be involved in the creation of content

Consumers are clear: they want to collaborate with brands they like. The majority of brands often overlook this opportunity in their content marketing plans. Select a small group of relevant consumers and involve them in product improvement, development or broader strategic questions. The use of key consumers as consultants should be part and parcel of a conversation strategy.

If you would like to see more results of this global consumer survey you should definitely have a look at our free research report: