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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Bob Gourley, Mike Kavis, Elizabeth White, John Treadway, SmartBear Blog

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WP Engine Study: Majority of Americans Want Original Content Directly from Brands

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WP Engine, a leading SaaS content management platform for websites and applications built on WordPress, announced today the results of its WP Engine Content Creation Study. The survey, fielded by TNS and developed by WP Engine using the company’s expertise in content management and website hosting, examines consumer behavior and sentiment towards brands producing their own original content, and found that the majority of Americans (62%) want to see content directly from their favorite brands. This was followed by tips on using a brand’s products (44%), stories from customers like themselves (34%), and anything that does not blatantly “sell” a company’s products (18.6%). Surprisingly, nearly all consumers (96%) do not want to see stories about how celebrities use a company’s products.

Highlighting consumer’s desire for original content directly from the companies themselves, nearly half of respondents (46%) read the blogs of their favorite brands. The survey also shows that 2 out of 5 consumers prefer to read content directly from a company blog rather than a news magazine or website. Additionally, a majority of Americans (60%) said they want to see content directly from brands including articles on important issues (27%), research on the company’s industry (16%) and funny stories (12%).

In addition to consumers frequenting the blogs of their favorite brands, half of consumers (48%) said that it is important for brands to produce content on their blog for reasons such as:

  • It provides consumers with the most up to date information – 32%
  • It gives consumers a more personal connection with the company – 16%
  • It gives brands a voice – 15%

Inversely, nearly half of consumers (40%) said that there are negative effects if brands do not produce content on their blogs, including:

  • The brand loses communication with its customers – 19%
  • The brand may lose customers to its competitors – 16%
  • The brand looks lazy – 12%
  • The brand becomes less relevant – 10%

Interestingly, even with the prevalent use of social media a majority of consumers (52%) still prefer to go directly to the company website for content about the brand while only 25% go to social media and 22% go to third-party articles. Additionally, women more than men were inclined to visit social media sites for brand content (30% vs. 19%).

The survey also examined the specific styles in which consumers like to read content from brands and found that consumers preferred to read content in news article style such as the New York Times (25%). This was followed by feature article style like People Magazine (21%), short blogger style (17%) and a fun “listicle” style such as Buzzfeed (11%).

“It’s never been more important for brands to stay relevant by producing their own content,” said Heather Brunner, CEO of WP Engine. “Consumers demand content and the research shows that even with various outlets they can go to, consumers still want to hear directly from the brands. It’s important for companies to share their thoughts as it gives them a personal touch with their customers allowing more meaningful conversations to arise.”

About WP Engine

WP Engine is a leading SaaS content management platform for websites and applications built on WordPress. The company powers thousands of websites and apps built on the WordPress platform delivering a fast, reliable and secure web experience. All levels of users including bloggers, marketers, SMBs and large corporations rely on WP Engine’s platform to keep their websites up and running. The company’s exceptional customer service team specializes in quickly solving technical problems, and creating a world-class customer experience ensuring that each user’s WordPress site continues to perform at its full potential. Founded in 2010, WP Engine is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has offices in San Francisco, California.

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