07:54 AM

Nielsen Study Finds Very Poor Performance For Branded Content

2014 03 26 15 53 11

Nielsen this week released the results of a multi-month study on consumer brand awareness and buying decisions. The study, commissioned by San Francisco-based InPowered, found that consumers rely on online content five times more than five years ago and that they overwhelmingly seek trusted content written by unbiased, independent authors.

 The results paint a poor picture for the performance of content marketing by brands, and new trends such as native advertising, which seeks to look similar to trusted content. Here are some of the findings:

- 85 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally seek out trusted expert content — credible, third-party articles and reviews — when considering a purchase.

- 69 percent of consumers like to read product reviews written by trusted experts

- 67 percent of consumers agree that an endorsement from an unbiased expert makes them more likely to consider purchasing.

InPowered helps clients by promoting trusted articles about a product or service. It is the opposite of content marketing produced by brands themselves. It also shows the value of trusted, independent media as a key factor in sales of products and services early in the decision cycle. Yet the pool of trusted, independent media is shrinking.

Peyman Nilforoush, co-founder and CEO of inPowered, said.

“This isn’t about disproving any particular type of content, it’s about identifying the most effective blend of content types to help effectively educate and inform consumers.”

 The survey involved 900 consumers interacting with three types of content, expert (written by journalists), branded (written by a brand), and user generated such as Amazon reviews. 

On average, expert content produced a 38% higher purchase intent, 50% more brand affinity, and 88% more brand familiarity than content produced by the brand itself. Expert content is so much more valuable than brand content marketing. 

Expert content was 88% more effective on purchase decisions than user reviews, a surprising discovery but possibly it is a result of the large number of fake reviews polluting many sites and leading to mistrust.

This shows the value of an independent media to the health of commerce in general, yet brands are focusing on their own content marketing efforts, which are expensive and require new skill sets, and are viewed with suspicion by consumers. Supporting trusted media would seem to be a far better approach. 

A copy of the report is here: www.inpwrd.com/nielsen.