The Key To Content Marketing Effectiveness [Research]

4 Context Factors Influence Content Consumption

One key for content marketing

Content marketing isn’t new. It’s been around for years. Consumers seek content because their time is their most scarce resource and they need information at every step of the purchase process. What is new is that they now use four or more devices to gather such information.

Content marketing has become a more critical component of marketing plans because consumers don’t trust promotional marketing. Their lack of time and the options provided by multiple devices have altered their content consumption habits. Consumers today live on social media platforms that require fresh, quality content.

The key to creating quality, must-have content marketing is to understand the context in which your target audience is consuming your content. Recent research by Google, Ipsos and Sterling Brand highlight this trend. They found that 90% of all media interactions are screen-based. On average, we spend a whopping 4.4 hours per day of our leisure time in front of a screen.

Consumers use four or more devices to gather information and engage on social media networks as other research studies have shown. Specifically, use of the main four devices breaks out as follows. (Note: The data points below are from the Google, Ipsos and Sterling Brand research.)

  1. Computers or laptops are business devices. Whether they’re at the office, on the road or at home, computers are the device people use for productive, task-oriented assignments. Often, these activities require intense focus as well as research and time. 40% of respondents used computers to find information and 29% of respondents used computers to keep up-to-date. It’s used 69% at home and 31% out-of-home.
  2. Smartphones are personal devices. As the always on, always handy screen, mobiles are used to communicate and connect in short bursts of time as well as for immediate information needs. 54% of respondents used smartphones for communication and 33% of respondents used smartphones for entertainment. It’s used 60% at home and 40% out-of-home. (Remember, over 20% of US households have cut their land phone lines.)
  3. Tablets are primarily entertainment devices and secondarily used for personal business. Tablets are leisure devices used when consumers are relaxed. Beyond video viewing and content consumption, tablets are used to shop and handle other personal business such as finances and travel. 63% of respondents used tablets for entertainment and 32% of respondents used tablets for communication. It’s used 79% at home and 21% out-of-home.
  4. Televisions have become background devices, music in an elevator. While television viewing time has remained relatively constant, it’s no longer focused, appointment viewing. Now, more than three out of four television viewers have another device on at the same time.

This shift in content device usage has had a profound impact on content consumption. As a result, the context of content consumption drives our information goals.  Content context is driven by the following four elements which are key to your content marketing plans.

  1. Time Allotted. It’s not just the physical time of day, such as morning, noon or evening, but also, how much time we have or need to consume content. This means the difference between content snacking while we’re waiting for transportation to arrive or a meeting to begin or taking the time to focus on business research.
  2. Need fulfillment. What are we trying to achieve with our content consumption. Are we looking to be entertained while we wait for friends to arrive for dinner or are we seeking a place to have dinner?
  3. Location. Where are we physically positioned when we consume the content? Are you in your home, office or on-the-go? Place plays a significant role in the device availability. While smartphones are always within arm’s reach, the same isn’t true of computers and televisions.
  4. Attitude. What is your state of mind when you’re seeking content? Are you under pressure to get your boss an answer or are you looking to relax? This influences not only the device you choose to gather the content but also the format and source of the content.

When it comes to content marketing, context determines device and drives usage. Understanding the four major elements of content context drives content choice as well as your marketing.

What’s your opinion as to how context influences your content marketing and what’s the basis for your perspective?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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