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Market Voice 17 May 2022 - 3 min read

A third of Aussies who see brand content buy something: How content marketing is driving huge sales, turning consumer journey into a cycle, boosting brand affinity, loyalty

By News Corp Australia | Partner Content

With its ability to tell consumers something about a brand, rather than just sell to them, content marketing or brand content has become a far more important player in the marketing mix.

Here are some stats: Almost three quarters of Aussies engage with brand content every week – 90 per cent in the 18 to 24-year-old range. A massive 84 per cent of consumers took some form of action – buy, share, follow or save. Of those, the most common action at 34 per cent was purchasing the product. Those are the findings of News Corp Australia’s recent research into the power that brand marketing has, released at its Decoded event. Big money follows the good brand and content marketing, and those that crack this code can cash in.

Who doesn’t love a good yarn? Australians have always had a soft spot for an anecdote. As a society we thrive on humanising elements that evoke emotion and add purpose to general life and everyday situations. In the past two years, there have been some notably unfavourable everyday situations, and in this climate, consumers have been looking to brands to form a relationship with them, rather than just transact with them. With its ability to tell consumers something about a brand, rather than just sell to them, content marketing or brand content has become a far more important player in the marketing mix. Here, we’re talking about content created by brands, and delivered on their own channels, be it via their digital platform, social media channels or print publications to their own audiences or customers. It’s not a new thing by any means, but the market is at a point where consumers truly understand content marketing – so much so that they have come to expect it. News Corp Australia’s research study, The Power of Brand Content – commissioned by content agencies Medium Rare, Storyation and Suddenly and undertaken by global cultural insights and strategy consultancy firm Crowd DNA – unveils why.       

The rise of content marketing represents a real opportunity for brands to convert their customers into fans. As the research explains, consumers are now marketing savvy and they see the two-way exchange of utility, inspirational, educational or in-deed entertaining content as a win-win.

These rapid and recent shifts in consumer expectations, accelerated in part by Covid, are driving demand for brand content. Because in a post-Covid world, getting your customers on board to explore new ideas and experiences has never been more important.

The key stats

·             75 per cent of consumers engage with brand content at least weekly. This rises to 90 per cent for 18–24-year-olds.

·             73 per cent of consumers expect the brands they like to provide them with relevant content.

·             73 per cent of consumers agree, “I feel more positively towards a brand that provides valuable content to me.”

·             50 per cent of consumers believe staying connected to brands via communication channels makes them feel part of a community.

·             71 per cent of consumers feel a sense of accomplishment when a brand provides the best deals, offers and added value.

·             84 per cent of consumers took some form of action (buy, share, follow, save) after engaging with a recent piece of brand content. The most common action (34 per cent) was purchasing a product.

·             48 per cent of consumers feel proud to share a great piece of content that comes from a brand they like.

·             34 per cent of consumers believe brands are truly meeting their content needs.

Content sits at the very centre of the new purchase cycle

The research has uncovered consumers have a new purchase journey, which is now cyclical. Rather than a linear pipeline, brand content operates as a doorway to brand ecosystems, with new content working as brand touchpoints to drive long-term relationships and ongoing affinity.

To drive stronger results for your business, you need to be aware of every stop on the journey, and ensure your brand content covers this cycle – from awareness to consideration, conversion, advocacy, and finally, loyalty.

Consumers continue to demand more

Recent and rapid cultural shifts have contributed to growing the marketing-savvy consumer. These consumers want more than just your product, they want to be part of your community. They want your business to impact their lives.

Despite uncertainty, Australians are optimistic, hopeful and motivated by what’s next, providing a great opportunity for brand content to help them realise their goals.

The growth of fandom demonstrates a shift in power, from passively “following” brands and influencers to more active participation. Consumers can spend a weekend engaging with media and content, however ultimately, it is the consumer who decides where and when they participate with their media and messaging. Here, the binge economy drives the attention economy.

Further to this, increasing demands on consumers’ time and attention mean that they are likely to switch off quickly and are increasingly annoyed by brands that focus on sell over service. It is crucial that as a marketer, you understand the shift in consumer expectations. Consumers demand a reciprocal relationship, one with a true value exchange. The research highlights that one in two Australians feel that staying connected to a brand through content makes them feel like they are part of a community.

Stories create immediacy and an emotional response

Data and insights help get your brand noticed, and it’s storytelling that can move customers to take real action. In a world where customers are “always shopping,” and where product and shopping opportunities are woven into much of the digital content we consume, it is crucial that your business’ content tells the right story.

Storytelling through brand content empowers the consumer to engage with brands on their own terms and lifts their sense of esteem – in both self and brand – with powerful returns on brand preference with three in four consumers feeling more positively towards brands that provide them with valuable content

There is a significant opportunity for your brand to garner stronger results when you understand the importance of meeting modern consumer demands by creating powerful brand content.

To find out more about News Corp’s new digital and data products that can help grow your business contact your News Corp Australia representative or visit newscorpaustralia.com for more information.

 

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