Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Content is the Fuel of the Social Web


Skip over the AOL advertising bid and check out this research report put out by both AOL and Nielsen. In June 2010, AOL began studying the factors that influence consumers' choice of content using Nielsen research. One of the main findings was that users spend over half their time online consuming content. You can download the entire report here.

The findings in a nutshell:
  • Everyone is sharing. Content sharing is neither an age nor a gender specific activity.
  • With 23% of conversations online including links to content; it is clear that content is the fuel of social interaction and connection across the web.
  • Content sharing occurs all across social media platforms. 99% of people who share on a social network are sharing on multiple platforms.
  • Email is the most popular social networking platform. 66% of people use email as the primary method for sharing content.
  • Content sharing is an authentic activity. People prefer to share informative and trustworthy content, and share mainly with friends and family.
So, how are you supposed to interpret the findings? The study says there are two key ways for advertisers and marketers to capitalize on content sharing:

1. Link-Back Media: 60% of content is shared via links - to a URL on another site. Association with shared content will enhance your brand's visibility.

2. Pass-Along Media: By branding your message when users click back to access the content, you can ensure that the brand's message travels with the content being shared. This is perfect for embedded media like pictures and video.

I guess I fit all of the stats in the study by passing this branded piece of content on via email and social media ;)