Consumers want brands to engage them with customised branded content rather than traditional advertising, revealed a new study by Time Inc, which found that two-thirds of people trust creative videos, articles and other resources more and believe that they are more relevant and offer greater value.
Time Inc commissioned the study to uncover how Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z are responding to both branded content and branded native, which is known collectively as “custom content.” There is a thirst for interesting content among younger adults, as 93 percent of Gen Z said that they prefer to see brands publish something new and unique to attract their attention.
This demographic is also very much a “visual bunch,” according to The Foundry’s President of Enterprise Content Sales and Agency Development, Chris Schraft, who noted that it wants to embrace “all the components of storytelling” within creative videos to get the most out of them. Almost three-quarters said that infographics and clips are great for exploring data or a story.
Custom content is desirable for all age groups, as 90 per cent of the 17,000 US consumers surveyed said that it is a preferred outlet for brands to engage with them, and a similar number said that it is particularly useful for cutting through digital noise and clutter to make an impression.
Brands are also in a unique position to showcase their authority within a market or sector, and consumers like this, as expertise on topics adds value to any content published. In total, 93 per cent said that they prefer to see brands sharing things that they would not otherwise have seen or thought about.
Schraft added that a “Be Relevant, Be Distinct and Be on Brand” mantra would enable brands to deliver valued content to improve campaign performance. “You have to know your audience and create a content experience that offers value, utility and entertainment. It’s important to understand the wants and needs of consumers and how to create a brand narrative.”
Value appears to be more important now, as the majority of consumers said that they are more willing to engage with brands when they know that there is a “value exchange” and something to gain from consuming an article or video.