Skip to main content

How Do Brands Create Relevant Content? Wave Study Results

Anyone googling the term "Content Marketing" receives around 361 million search results, and we live in an era where any kind of content is just a click away. Films and TV Series can be watched with Netflix and Amazon, and everyone can listen to songs on Spotify or YouTube. Brands have no choice but to face up to this competition for consumer attention.

Except, what exactly does the consumer expect from a brand? How can we grab their attention? Answers to these questions are contained within the social media study "Wave 8 – The Language of Content," conducted by media and marketing agency Universal McCann (UM). The Wave study series first appeared in 2006 and is now the largest ongoing social media study in the world, containing data for 65 countries and representing nearly 1.3 billion active Internet users.

Anyone Googling the term "content marketing" receives around 361 million search results, and we live in an era where any kind of content is just a click away. Movies and TV Series can be watched with Netflix and Amazon, and everyone can listen to songs on Spotify or YouTube. Brands have no choice but to face up to this competition for consumer attention.

Except, what exactly does the consumer expect from a brand? How can we grab their attention? Answers to these questions are contained within the social media study "Wave 8 – The Language of Content," conducted by media and marketing agency Universal McCann (UM). The Wave study series first appeared in 2006 and is now the largest ongoing social media study in the world, containing data for 65 countries and representing nearly 1.3 billion active Internet users.

All content is not the same.

In the last year, UM has shown with "Wave 7 – Cracking the Social Code" that user behavior in social media is oriented towards the satisfaction of certain needs. The study identified five basic needs:

  • Relationship maintenance
  • Entertainment
  • Self-realization
  • Recognition
  • Learning

Back then, it was all about understanding which devices and platforms could best meet those needs – and what interactions consumers wanted with brands from different industries. As a result, it was possible for companies to develop a customized social media strategy.

This year, the study went one step further and analyzed the effect of certain content on these basic needs. In essence, the intention was to examine the social media content that brands post in order to balance the brand's communication objectives with consumer expectations.

For this purpose, the study asked what kind of content consumers value in principle, such as material that’s informational, entertaining, challenging, etc. The results showed that both in Germany and also at a global level, informative and entertaining content is most in demand.

Graph on types of content valued by consumers

Four of the five most valued types of content can help consumers strengthen their own reputation, and different parts of the world attach importance to different types. Whereas Germans value content that provides knowledge, consumers in other parts of the world prefer material that creates an emotional response that they can use to entertain their friends or exchange views. This is especially true in Latin American countries such as Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

The study also shows that content requirements differ according to the industry: For example, while financial information is generally prominent, in the travel industry, Germans want inspiration about new destinations.

Chart of valued content by product category

Now that it’s clear what expectations consumers have for content in different industries, how does the content affect the brand? The Wave study examined the effect of content in terms of 9 different communication goals along the customer journey – including Awareness (the likelihood that the consumer remembers the brand), Desire (how it makes the brand/company more desirable) and Trial (its ability to persuade consumers to try a brand).

Let's look at an example of the results in the field of finance: When a brand's content creates the perception of a knowledge broker, there's a win-win situation. With new insight, the consumer can impress and gain respect from friends on social media. The brand has successfully engaged a consumer in its target audience, who is then persuaded to specifically consider this brand when planning a purchase. Based on Wave data, it's possible to show the effect of certain types of content on different communication goals.

Commication goals through content

It's not only brands that use content marketing: It’s also consumers.

Just like brands pursue content marketing, so too does almost every consumer – though perhaps not always consciously. This is why 74 percent of Germans have already shared content online, and behind everything shared, there is always a personal recommendation. For example, when information about the latest study results is posted on a personal Facebook or Twitter account, the user not only wants to provide information but also wants to appear knowledgeable.

What is shared is similar all over the world: information that’s particularly funny that allows us to express our personality. However, there is a gender difference: Women are more practical in their content preferences while men are more playful. It also seems that women are more concerned with the reactions of their friends.

content that consumers share based on gender

The consumer is the key to success.

Only when brands note which types of content their target audience values, and will even share on social media, can they stand out from all the content available on the Internet.


 


Join our over 53,000 customers world-wide
and use Textbroker for your Content Marketing.
Register now for free

About the Authors:

digital and social media research expert

Jessica Seis has been Head of Research with the Frankfurt media agency UM since 2011. She advises advertisers, such as Media Markt, Bridgestone, and Zurich Insurance, in matters of media and advertising research. Her particular expertise lies in the area of Digital and Social Media Research and includes "Wave," the world's largest social-media study.

digital media and advertising research expert

Philipp Buhse has been Junior Researcher with the Frankfurt media agency UM since May 2014. In this role, he supervises advertisers, such as Ecco, Häagen-Dazs, and Napapijri, in matters of media and advertising research. His many research areas include Digital and Social Media Research as well as "Wave," the world's largest social-media study.


Similar posts


No comments available


Do you have a question or an opinion on the article? Share it with us!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Managed-Service

Textbroker offers an extended level of service with the Managed Service option. Managed Service gives you additional support and a personal account manager when you want us to manage your projects for you. Find out more here.

Request a quote

Self-Service

Do you need up-to-date content? Then manage your project through Textbroker’s Self-Service. You choose the quality level, price, and author for your content.

Register for free!

Authors

Thousands of authors from around the globe earn money with Textbroker, the leading provider of unique, custom content. Become a Textbroker author now and access thousands of projects to choose from.

Register for free!