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How do different types of content assets influence the consumer purchase decision process

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 26 Mar, 2014
Essential Essential topic

New research shows how different types of content marketing supports brand engagement and purchase in different sectors

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Recommended link: Download InPowered/Nielsen report

With the increasing focus on content marketing, it’s important for marketers to work out how effective different types of content are at different points in the buying process. This new research from Nielsen, commissioned by InPowered shows dramatic differences in the effectiveness of content types across sectors affecting these brand metrics:

  • Stage 1: Familiarity with a new product
  • Stage 2: Affinity toward a brand or product
  • Stage 3: Purchase consideration of a brand or product

The research reviews three types of content, credible experts, third-party articles and user-generated content reviews. The importance of this type of content is shown from the statistic that 85% of consumers regularly seek out expert content ­- credible, third-party articles and reviews -­ for products they consider purchasing. The impact of content through the buying process is shown below.

Content type review

It's clear that all three content types have a role, but Expert content is most influential. This is supported by this sector breakdown too.

Consumer decision influence content marketing

I think the research shows the importance of blending different content types, since some consumer groups will prefer different content which they will seek out to inform their decision.


I always take a look at the methodology on research, since the sample frame and size is so important in assessing the validity of research. Since this is Nielsen the research review seems well designed, but the recruitment approach was a new one to me:

"900 respondents were recruited off casino floors in Las Vegas, NV to participate in the experimental design at the Nielsen MediaLabs. Each respondent was identified to be in the target audience for the products in the content they would be exposed to. Respondents answered an online survey before and after the experience in order to measure the impact of the content on their familiarity, perceptions, and purchase consideration of the products".

Are this audience representative of consumers? They certainly have time on their hands, but their minds may be elsewhere?

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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