The tech giant believes that marketers “don’t know how best to deliver against content” so commissioned the research that spans four markets, including the UK, France, Germany and Italy.
The study revealed that when achieved and done right, inspiring consumers has a proven uplift on behaviours such as purchase intent, brand affinity and likelihood to share content by up to a factor of 1.84 times (see infographic below).
For the study, Yahoo showed 1,000 consumers in each of the four countries a set of ‘best-in-class content marketing’ and asked them a number of questions about different aspects of it. It then took this data and used a statistical tool called CHAID to model out which aspects are most likely to drive purchase, positive feelings towards a brand and advocating the sharing of content.
The research also shows that consumers who say they trust the content are at least three times more likely to share it or feel positive towards the brand.
Speaking to Marketing Week ahead of his preentation at Cannes Lions today (24 June), Albano admitted that brands are already looking to inspire consumers in their marketing, but the focus is on where marketers prioritise inspiration – in relation to the type of content.
He said: “You always want to inspire someone to go and buy your product, and you do that in different ways, but this research speaks to the idea that you should tell them stories of inspiration. The core focus of your message should be that the consumer walks away feeling inspired and that will end up getting them to buy your product.”
Another focus for the research was to look at not only look at the content that brands produce and how people interact with it but also, based on that interaction, look at what the long-term impact would be. Albano said: “The number one driver we saw here was that if you can inspire people it would drive up purchase intent – that’s what makes this the most interesting for brands.”
In the next 12 months the brand will also focus on incorporating return on investment into its programmes, so that when they work with brands it can to give them a view of the impact of the engagement they got from that content programme.
Yahoo are working on building a tool for marketers to help them see, based the different attributions of the content and how people engage, the estimated return on that spend.
The brand said it’s exploring how to tie revenue into the research data. Patrick Hourihan, research director for EMEA at Yahoo, said: “We have the consumer output about what makes good content marketing and we are looking to be able to create something from a forecast perspective to work with brands on.”
The growth of the Tumblr platform is also a key focus for the brand in the coming months and Albano believes that what differentiates the social site from the other platforms is that “it’s about content that users are passionate about”. He said that a lot of brands are trying to figure out how to evolve a content strategy to work on Tumblr.