We recently polled over a thousand internet consumers, aged 18-55, and asked them about their content marketing preferences. The survey’s goal was to identify market shifts and consumer trends that affect digital marketers, and relate those findings to content marketing efforts.

Below we’re recapping what we consider to be the key findings from the survey, and underscoring ways marketers can adapt to the shifting content marketing landscape.

Key Findings

 

Let’s start with an overview of some of the key findings from the survey.

 Visual content is the most likely to delight

 

It doesn’t come as a big surprise, but the survey confirms what most marketers have long suspected: the more visual your content, the more likely it is to engage and delight consumers.

Of the platforms included in the survey, it was the most visual ones that consumers cited as providing the most useful content and influencing their decisions. When asked which platform provides the most useful content when it comes to new products and services they are likely to try, 33% of respondents said YouTube, 30% said Facebook, and 28% said Instagram.

Furthermore, when asked what type of content they typically prefer, 36% of respondents said pictures with captions, and 45% of respondents said video. A mere 6% of respondents claimed that blog posts were the content they typically prefer most.

Twitter and LinkedIn are less likely to engage

Twitter and LinkedIn consistently ranked the lowest in survey results when respondents were asked questions related to engagement on, and usefulness of, specific social media platforms. When asked which platform they share, post, or re-post on most frequently, 44% of respondents said Facebook and 21% said Instagram. Compare that to 15% who said Twitter only 6% who said LinkedIn.

 

Content fatigue is an issue for many consumers

 

When asked what the number one thing they would change about content marketing is, 58% of respondents said they would limit the frequency at which they are hounded with the same content and ads. When asked about the biggest problems with content today, 55% of respondents said it’s too commercial with no redeeming value and a further 21% said it’s too long and they don’t have the time necessary to engage with it.

Both of these survey responses point to a saturation in the content arena that’s leading consumers to feel frustrated with being bombarded by too many commercial messages.

 

Takeaways for marketers:

 

Given these key takeaways from the survey, here’s what we think marketers should keep in mind when it comes to content marketing in 2019 and beyond.

 

  • For discovery on social media, focus on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. These platforms are where consumers said they’re most likely to discover new products they’re interested in.

 

  • Your biggest content marketing investments should be in the creation of video and visual content. These are the formats consumers are most likely to engage with. Many consumers don’t feel they have the time to interact with longform content anymore, so short content that’s easily consumed between other activities is where most consumer-facing brands will want to focus their efforts.

 

  • Be strategic with influencer marketing. In the survey 18% of respondents said they’d like to outlaw celebrity endorsements. This points to a level of distrust and/or fatigue with this kind of marketing. Brands should be strategic about who they choose to work with so influencer campaigns are authentic and natural partnerships.

 

  • Remember that the quality of content your brand produces is more important than the quantity. Consumers in our survey reported feeling put-off by brands that hounded them with too much content or too many ads. Many of them also felt that the content they were being served was low quality or too sales-y.

In summary:

 

Content marketing has long been hailed as the game-changing marketing approach every brand needs to be focused on. But as content marketing has become a mainstay of brand marketing, consumers are beginning to turn away from certain tactics. To continue to win in content marketing brands should seek to understand their audiences and invest in the areas where they have the opportunity to be useful, entertaining, or insightful.