AOL commissioned the Data & Management Council to conduct an extensive survey on how consumers interact with and perceive content online.
1) Brands are Important
-Whether a branded site, branded content or an “author as a brand”, each matters to consumers and helps determine which content they will trust and therefore what they will consume.
-Good content brands will identify and surface the best content to save consumers time and frustration.
-Also, a valued and trusted content brand can enhance the overall consumer experience by providing opportunities for discovery (e.g., providing complementary content or links) to exceed the expectations of consumers.
-Trust and credibility are the hallmarks of the best content brands ␣ an attribute that must be continuously nurtured and vigorously defended in every aspect of the consumer content experience.
-Great content brands respect the needs of their consumers by being relevant and delivering content in ways that fit their lifestyle (e.g., customizing content for the proliferation of Internet-connected devices that are expanding into every part of consumers’ lives.
2) Authors Are Influential
-Well-known authors/blogger and experts carry significant sway in content
decisions for nearly half the online population.
-The best of these authors bring unique and highly valued perspectives, personality and tone, allowing them to generate a strong, loyal following of appreciative consumers.
-As a source of original content, good authors provide the “uniqueness” and “quality” that together represent the ideal equation for consumers who place high value on original content.
3) Advertising Becoming Accepted as Content
-Advertising is strongly recognized as a form of content to consumers. It is therefore an important element in the overall content equation. However, it must be delivered in an engaging, relevant and visually appealing manner to meet the needs of online consumers.
-Identifying consumers’ habits and preferences in order to provide relevant advertising must be done respectfully and in a transparent and confidence-inspiring manner with the primary goal of benefiting the consumer.
-Sponsored Content in particular must be developed with extreme care not breaching the trust of those who are skeptical of this form of content. When executed well and in a relevant way, this form of content brings value to both the consumer and the sponsor.