Content marketing: we know all the benefits. It seriously boosts your SEO efforts, it encourages trust in your brand, and despite being hella cost effective, the payoff is spectacular. Content marketing has become really, really popular over the last few years though, so how do consumers feel about it now?
Kind of surprisingly, our over 45 population seems to find content marketing the most useful, with one in three (34%) of them saying they’ve used content to make a purchase in the past. A solid 10 per cent of them say they often turn to content or how-to guides to help them make a purchase with another 23.1 per cent of them saying they have in the past.
One in five 45-54s would consider using a guide to make a purchase in the future.
Our 45-64s seem to have the strongest history with 23.9% saying they’ve done it once or twice.
Inside our over-45 group, men are even more likely to rely on content than the women. A pretty significant 11.8 per cent of the women say they often seek content, while more than a quarter of them say they’ve used it in the past.
While there is one per cent more devoted content consumers in the 18-24s camp, over 45s surprisingly seem to be way more into content.
And, one in five of them would consider doing so in the future.
Our over-45 group being the most enthused by content doesn’t mean the rest of us aren’t though. Nearly one in three (28.5 per cent) have used content to make a purchase before while 10.3% of them say they do it often.
Aside from the 18.2 per cent of Australians who have already been swayed to make a purchase by content marketing in the past, a further 10.3 per cent say they do it regularly and 10.9 per cent are open to doing so in the future.
Really interestingly, most 18-24 year-olds, in fact 67.9 per cent of them, say they’ve never made a purchase after watching or reading a how-to guide.
Meanwhile 1 in 10 (12.1%) say they often seek guides before they buy a product, and another 1 in 10 (12.9%) say they have once or twice.
It’s especially interesting because this age group is the first to truly come up with a metric f*cktonne of content at their disposal.
Australia’s 2016 Census found the median age of all our business owners was 48 years-old. The highest portion of Australian business owners were aged between 45 and 64 years-old, which is also the age group most likely to turn to a how-to guide or piece of content before making a purchase.
On top of that, while women account for 35 per cent of Australian business owners, 65 per cent are male. Men in this age bracket are pretty likely to seek content when buying something, but so are women. One in three (33.3%) men in this age bracket have used content to buy while 35.4 per cent of women have.
We wondered if the purchase process was different for business owners, especially with these content marketing stats in mind.
Chris Kaiser, Founder and CEO of Click A Tree, compared the process to hiring an employee.
“We generally always test people we’re thinking of hiring. It helps us sort out the less motivated ones – some may not even make the effort to respond to the simplest of questions without being paid,” said Kaiser.
“Those providing helpful answers are the ones we consider when making a choice, and most of the time we hire the agency that has pre-invested the most time. It simply proves they’re motivated, and that’s what we need: motivated people to help us grow our business.”
Gen Z, our 18-24 year-old population, isn’t so into content. It doesn’t mean it’s completely lost on them — 32.1 per cent of them are open to it. But a significant 67.9 per cent say they’ve never read a content piece to make a purchase. Younger women are even less likely to be swayed by content with only 30.4 per cent open to it, compared to 34.6 per cent of men in the age group.
Alex Porter from SearchItLocal points out that the over-45 demographic is used to reading longform content and that longform content does make you appear to have more authority.
“In that regard both demographics are ultimately searching for the same thing – a trusted source of thought leadership,” says Porter.
“Younger demographics seek this out in the form of individuals, which is why influencer marketing was worth $2 billion in 2017 and will grow to $10 billion in 2020.
“While older demographics seek out thought leadership in the form of authoritative content.”
Founder of RightlyWritten, Jitendra Gidwani says that Gen Z uses the internet differently to us. While the bulk of the age groups that came before them love using tutorials and content to guide our purchases — Gen Z are off it.
“That sort of content feels contrived to Gen Z; it’s precisely because young people have grown up on content that they expect it to feel organic,” says Gidwani.
“Because Gen Z has never differentiated their digital lives from the “real world,” they want digital content to feel as seamless as a personal interaction, and a how-to guide or something of the like might feel too stiff to meet that standard.
“Influencer marketing fills an obvious void for Gen Z—they love social interaction but they hate excessive orchestration, so influencers strike the perfect balance.”
Methodology: We surveyed 1,001 Australians to learn about how their content consumption coincides with their purchasing habits. Data was collected via Google Surveys.