Consumers who read an educational article about your company are significantly more willing to buy.
More than 87 percent of marketing executives are increasing their expenditure on content in 2017. Increasingly, that investment is going to “early stage content”–customer-focused material that provides educational value without explicitly selling. The brand building and soft sell content that has been deemed a “fuzzy value” in seasons past is gaining in favor.
Instinctively, successful marketers are recognizing that “templated blogs”–put a keyword here, a backlink here, and insert at least 1-2 calls to action in the beginning third of your piece–are “last season.” The complaints of “unless I can see how many products that piece of copy sold, that investment was wasted” are going away.
A new research report from New York-based Conductor.com is giving measurable weight to these instincts by shedding light on the way value-add content influences decisions to buy. In this study, 500 consumers were divided into two equal groups of 250. The groups were invited to interact with 3 product categories–blenders, hiking backpacks and outdoor speakers–and were presented with 12 brands. The first group was given a piece of educational content to read about each product category. Participants were asked comprehension questions about the material they’d read and were then invited to interact with the products and brands. The second group was given no material to read in advance, but was taken directly to the products and brands.
It should come as little surprise that consumers were much more inclined to purchase from the vendors who’d authored the educational materials, even though the material was entirely non-promotional and covered topics such as “how to make almond milk,” “how to get started in hiking,” and “top tips for hosting a successful party outside.”