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16 stats that show branded content works

Content marketing is one of those ambiguous terms that might imply anything. In this expanding field, there is no single expert or guru that has all of the answers. Pressboard understands this better than most. While our platform analyzes thousands of stories each month, we still learn something new about storytelling every day. Here are 16 reasons why branded content is a successful marketing tool.  

1. Branded content is 22 times more interesting than display advertisements.  

Readers engage with written branded content for an average of 45 seconds, which is substantially longer than the 1.6 seconds they spend with banner ads.  

“Banner blindness” is a serious problem for marketers nowadays. Users have grown accustomed to ignoring the advertising that surround their content, and banner click-through rates have dropped to fewer than 0.1%. These commercials are often deemed annoying and disruptive, so it’s no surprise that they’re less engaging than branded content, which provides information that readers are already looking for. 

2. Branded content leads to stronger brand recall than pre-roll commercials.  

While video remains a powerful tool for digital publishers, branded content trumps it in terms of brand memory. According to a Nielsen study, branded content resulted in 86% brand recall, but pre-roll produced only 65% brand recall. 

3. Branded content promotes consumer intent and interest.  

According to an IPG Media Lab-led study, consumers are 14% more inclined to seek out additional content from an advertiser after viewing branded content. However, Forbes Chief Revenue Officer Mark Howard believes that branded content and banner advertisements can work together in this process, reminding consumers of the brand they were introduced to while also pushing them down the funnel. 

4. Brand memory is 59% higher for branded content compared to other digital ads.  

According to the same IPG Media Lab-led study, branded content recall has increased 17% since it was originally conducted in 2013. It appears that either consumers are growing acclimated to it, or we are getting better at it. Or a little of both. 

5. Branded content provided through premium publications results in a 50% higher brand lift.  

Partnering pays off. Marketers who distribute branded material through a publisher’s network experience a 50% increase in brand lift compared to those who publish on their own.  

The theory behind this boils down to pattern recognition. Humans are extremely adept at spotting patterns, and when a brand is associated with a reliable source, such as a publisher, our brains interpret it as a hint that the company shares the same values and reputation. 

6. 90% of media groups expect branded content income to improve during the next 12 months.  

The branded content market is increasing. In a poll of 20 North American media companies, almost all stated they expect branded content to increase faster than any other revenue source, including subscriptions, video, or display advertising. 

7. Native advertising is expected to surpass $402 billion by 2025.  

Those publishers might also be right. According to the native advertising agency AdYouLike, the sector will expand from $85.83 billion in 2020 to $402 billion in 2025.  

8. 74.5% of communications professionals incorporate branded material into their initiatives.  

Of those, 67% expect their clients to spend more on branded content in the coming year.  

9. 27.5% of internet users use ad blockers.  

That’s one in every four, and millennials are even more resistant to banner ads. Nearly two-thirds of millennials reject commercials, despite believing that retargeted ads and social media ads are relevant to their interests.  

10. Most advertisers purposefully avoid advertisements. Even their own.  

According to a Pressboard study, 98% of marketers consume ad-free content, while 27% use ad blockers. However, 96% prefer articles to banners, so there is still hope for us content creators.  

11. Younger viewers will see advertisements to promote their favorite celebs.  

Even though millennials despise advertisements, 58% will watch them if they support their favorite digital celebrities. However, the information must be authentic, interesting, and informative. 

12. Consumers trust premium publications more than news articles on Facebook and Twitter.  

The “fake news” scandal has had a significant influence on consumer faith in social media. According to a Qualtrics survey performed in the United Kingdom, 79% of respondents believe it is vital to know the source of news material. The same amount of people said they trusted the BBC, while 55% trusted Time and The Guardian. Only 36% of people trust news on Facebook and Twitter.  

13. Readers like adverts that mix seamlessly with the page.  

The majority of respondents to a Verizon Media study accepted advertising as a type of content, with 79% preferring to see ads that blend into the website over conspicuous banners. 

14. Viewers respond more positively to sponsored video content than normal advertising. 

People who watch branded videos are 62% more likely to have a positive reaction than those who see 30-second advertisements. Happy customers remember your brand and are more inclined to purchase, so keep that in mind the next time you design your media budget. 

15. Users who sense a connection with a brand spend twice as much money as those who don’t. 

According to a Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute study, 70% of respondents spend twice as much on a brand with which they have a strong connection. Furthermore, 81% of respondents recommend their favorite products to their relatives and friends. Finding a means to connect emotionally with your audience makes smart financial sense. 

16. Customers want brands to take a stand. 

It’s more than just snappy taglines and quality products. According to a recent study by Sprout Social, the majority of customers want brands to express their opinions on social and political topics. Nike and Gillette have already integrated this into their Colin Kaepernick and “The Best a Man Can Be” ads, with varied results. If your organization intends to do the same, make sure your viewpoint is authentic and values-based. Sales will follow later, but only if people believe your message is genuine. 

All of this demonstrates the importance of branded content, regardless of where your customer is in the sales funnel.  



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