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A new study by Ad-Rank Media has revealed that the majority of consumers feel that they are being spammed by brands online, with 75% adding that they would boycott their product or services as a result.
We asked over 1000 internet users the following questions, and here is what we found out…
Do you trust Google to display the most relevant content you are looking for?
Yes – 79%
No – 21%
Users said that they feel they can trust Google to display the most relevant content in their search results, likely due to Google’s ever evolving spam-filtering algorithm.
Do you think Google is getting better, worse or staying the same as a search engine?
Better – 34%
Worse – 9%
Staying the same – 57%
The majority of users either feel that Google is maintaining its standards or improving as a search engine – again, this is likely to be related to their continuing work on spam-filtering.
Do you think the quality of content online has improved over the last few years?
Yes – 70%
No – 30%
Improved search, and filtering out of thin or irrelevant content, means that users are finding it easier to seek out high quality content relating to their needs.
“Targeting consumers with relevant, useful content has never been more important,” said Ad-Rank Media’s Managing Director, Chad Harwood – Jones, commenting on the findings. “With so much information available online, brands need to build trust.”
Are you familiar with the term ‘advertorial’?
Yes – 17% Somewhat – 20%
Not at all – 63%
Are you familiar with the term ‘spam’?
No – 0%
Do you regularly encounter spam content online?
Daily – 58%
Once a week – 20%
Infrequently – 22%
While it is likely that users are encountering both advertorial and spam content regularly online, only one term is commonly understood. This is likely because of the negative connotations – users will work to avoid something that annoys them, but may not pick up on subtle marketing if it is tailored to their needs.
Harwood – Jones goes on to say “I suspect that when most people think of spam, they think of junk emails. However, the rise of social spamming is a more recent trend, and as the internet evolves businesses will always seek to take advantage of new channels and platforms to reach large numbers of people at relevantly low costs, especially compared to paid-for advertising such as Google AdWords.”
Would you stop buying from a brand if they continually send you spam content?
Yes – 75%
Maybe – 24%
No – 1%
This is a particularly important discovery – that giving users irrelevant content could actually lead to them boycotting your brand. While the term ‘spam’ can be interpreted in different ways, being known for producing spam content or for spamming users can clearly have a negative impact on reputation and sales.
“It’s interesting to see that people are willing to go as far as completely disengaging with brands products and services as a result of being overly targeted with poor quality content. This is a stark warning to businesses who push the boundaries when it comes to implementing content led marketing tactics,” says Harwood – Jones.
Do you read content to help you decide on purchases?
Yes – 90%
No – 10%
Another important result – users are looking to online content to make decisions on how they spend their money. Producing original, interesting content that is relevant to user needs will create better results than risking lower-quality content that could be ignored or perceived as spam.