5 Content Engagement Questions Answered

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5 Engagement Questions — Answered a Pardot Research Report

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crease do I in How ith my ent w engagem brand? and my content “The time has come to stop treating proprietary audiences as afterthoughts and instead embrace them for what they are — a source of critical business energy in need of investment, leadership, and support.” - Jeffrey Rohrs, Audience It’s the question at the heart of almost everything a marketer does: How do I increase engagement with my content and my brand? Providing valuable and authentic content is crucial to establishing your brand as credible and worthy of engagement. But if you’re creating large amounts of valuable content without ensuring that your audience is engaging with it, you could be wasting a significant amount of time. You need a thorough understanding of Research by Mathew Sweezey Marketing Evangelist Pardot, a salesforce.com Company @msweezey all the variables that contribute to brand engagement: what drives consumers to engage with a brand, to identify them as a credible source of information, and ultimately, to share that brand’s content with their own following?

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In an effort to answer these questions, we surveyed over 400 people on issues of brand engagement: the ways in which they engage, why, and how these engagements influence their decision to purchase. And for our respondents that indicated that they are highly likely to share content with their own following, we delved even deeper and attempted to answer the following five questions: orthy? hes my content as trustw 1. What establis 2. Does the type of content matter? to be dience consider my au ich channels do 3. Wh le? the most credib s, fans, and o I accumulate subscriber 4. How d followers for my brand? ? 5. How do I retain subscribers, fans, and followers t nten e co tabl repu them than trust in a brand’s employees. s oyee indicated that trust in a brand’s content was 3x more important to l emp When it came to making a purchasing decision, survey respondents 3x

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1 What establishes my content as trustworthy? Of those who are likely to share content, the following criteria “Trust has never been more important impact their perception of the content’s value: as a corporate asset, and it needs to On ghostwriting: be managed for people to believe the Honesty: 83% said if they found out content wasn’t written information you’re putting out.” by the company, it would negatively affect their level of trust with the brand in a significant way. - Amy Treanor, EVP Edelman Square, the division of the firm responsible for the On publishing primary research: Trust Barometer Fresh Data: 66% feel content containing primary research is more credible than content that shares secondary research. On overall brand credibility: Brand Ethics: 86% said “trust in the brand’s ethics and business practices” was more important than their trust in the brand’s people or solution. 3% 8 nt nte co en fect tt wri ly af st gho gative say d ne e l g wou d ima bran

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2 Does the type of content matter? 82% of those surveyed indicated that the type of content affects their perception of how credible the information is. What types of content were perceived as most credible? Survey respondents found the content to the right to be “very helpful” or “extremely helpful” in their search for credible content. eferrals papers and r white Content from are the ought leaders th from industry erceived es that are p yp two content t and . Social media thentic to be most au ity. lowest credibil ve the blog posts ha 44% Referrals from industry thought leaders 34% White papers 31% Videos 30% Email 29% Articles on third-party sites 23% Podcasts 22% Blog posts on company website 18% Social media

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3 Which channels do my audience consider to be the most credible? 54% Referrals 39% Company websites 52% Conferences and networking 26% Online search 43% Thought leaders 5% Banner advertising Referrals and conferences/networking events are considered to be the most credible ways to find authentic information. Online search and banner advertising are among the least credible methods.

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4 How do I accumulate a following for my brand? Increasing the reach of your content starts with accumulating a following for your brand. Out of all those surveyed, the criteria to 59% Authenticity of content 43% Peer recommendations or referrals 28% Ease of signing up for online communication 57% Helpfulness of content 35% Brand’s perceived position in the marketplace the right was found to be “very influential” or “extremely influential” when deciding to become a follower of a brand: 15% A personal invitation to become a fan, subscriber or follower

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4 How do I accumulate a following for my brand? (continued) 80% 80% of survey respondents say that “the authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand. 77% say “the helpfulness of content” is the second most influential factor. These factors weigh more heavily than peer recommendations and the brand’s position in the marketplace. t” nten r o of c acto y f ticit ential n he “aut t influ nd. a say e mos a br h is t lowing ol in f 77% say “helpf ulness of content” is the second -most influential factor.

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5 How do I retain fans, subscribers, and followers? t ic contenful Authent impact s 2x moretrust in i than . mployees e Authentic content is 3x more important than a brand’s market position. 67% of responde nts consider authent content icity w hen consider ing bran d solution s. Your followers are valuable. In fact, 80% of those surveyed indicated that they are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social channels. When it comes to retaining these followers, survey results reveal that content might be your best friend (or your worst enemy, if not done correctly). When Done Correctly: When deciding to stay with a brand, customers indicated that authentic content is 2x more impactful than the trust they have in the brand’s employees. It’s also 3x more important to them than the brand’s “perceived position in the marketplace.” 67% of those surveyed indicated that they are more likely to consider buying a brand’s solution if the content they received after becoming a follower was both authentic and helpful.

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5 How do I retain fans, subscribers, and followers? (continued) 63% When Done Incorrectly: 63% of all respondents have engaged with with ngaged t. have e d conten bran pointing p content at some point in their career only to be disappointed by what they received. Of those who have been disappointed, 97% indicated that the experience either slightly or seriously affected their disa trust of the brand. In addition, 23% of those who were disappointed indicated they would never read content from that company again, and 41% said they are only slightly likely to ever read content from that company again. 97% indicated the experience either slightly or seriously affected brand trust. 23% said they w oul d never re ad that brand’s content again after th e experi ence.

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While this study points to the importance of content as a tool for customer engagement, it also teaches us a few additional e away I tak at can Wh search? this re from best practices: Quality over quantity. If you focus too much on producing content, but not producing quality content that’s both authentic and helpful, you risk alienating your followers. Remember: over half of your audience will likely never read your quantity ity over Qual ustomer cus on c Fo etention r content type of The matters content again after only one bad experience. Focus on customer retention. The type of content matters. This study has shown that customers are more likely Keep in mind that your audience views white to evaluate solutions of brands that they follow, and papers and referrals as more credible sources of content plays an important role in retaining your information than blog posts and social media, so be existing customers. careful where you invest your time and resources.

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Smarter Marketing. Better Results. www.pardot.com Marketing Automation for the Customer Company Your customers are smarter, more capable, and better-informed than ever before. This new breed of consumer demands a better breed of marketing, and the Pardot platform has the capabilities to get you there.

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