A recent content marketing study conducted by Nielsen revealed consumers are more likely to be influenced by third-party expert content over branded content and user reviews when making buying decisions.
According to Nielsen’s “The Role of Content” study, expert content — product reviews and articles from third-party websites and blogs — was 83 percent more effective at lifting product purchase considerations than user reviews, and 38 percent more effective than branded content.
Commissioned by content marketing solutions provider inPowered, Nielsen surveyed 900 consumers, measuring their responses to different forms of content marketing for nine separate product types, ranging from smartphones and video games to car seats, new automobiles and auto insurance.
The study analyzed how the different types of content marketing – specifically expert content, branded content and user reviews – impacted product affinity and familiarity, as well as purchase considerations.
Not only were consumers more likely to be influenced by expert content when making purchases, the study found expert content from third-party sources also had a greater impact on product affinity and familiarity:
On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content and 50 percent more than user reviews; they lifted affinity 50 percent more than branded content and 20 percent more than user reviews.
Impact of Content Types Across Purchase Process:
While expert content had a greater influence overall, the study discovered branded content had the most impact in categories where product specs were a critical component of the evaluation process, like cameras.
Users reviews were most valuable for products where users were considered to have a “higher degree” of product expertise: “We found for car seats that, even though expert content was most effective at increasing familiarity and affinity, user content provided the strongest lift to purchase intent.”
Here’s a breakdown of how expert content, user reviews and branded content impacted the different stages of the buying process for all nine product categories.
Positive Lift by Content & Product Type (In Percentage Points):