1 in 3 Internet Users Has Made a Purchase Based on Sponsored Content

Most people don't care if content is sponsored as long as it's useful and high quality

Internet users are fed up with poor-quality ads. Make no mistake, most users see branded content as a fact of digital life, but they are tired of intrusive, poorly targeted experiences, so they’re opting out by installing ad blockers. However, according to a survey from Collective Bias, an influencer-based content marketing agency, sponsored content may be an unobtrusive way to reach audiences.

Collective Bias surveyed 2,111 U.S. online consumers and weighed the survey data against data from the U.S. Census Bureau in order to ensure that it had a representative sample of the U.S. population. Unsurprisingly, nearly 40 percent of use social media daily, and 25.1 percent use it even more frequently; only 11.7 percent of those surveyed who knew what sponsored content is said they “never” use social media.

The majority of the survey respondents (51 percent) said they read blogs weekly or more frequently, which means that they’re reading longer-form content. Perhaps most encouraging is not the polarized rabid love or cold disdain for sponsored content, but the fact that most people are not bothered by seeing sponsored content alongside other content.

In fact, according to the survey, internet users don’t care if content is sponsored—all they care about the quality and usefulness of the content. They want content that helps them make informed decisions, which is precisely why they search for product information, and follow influencers.

Marketers need to meet these expectations, according to Bill Sussman, president of Collective Bias, who noted:

Just because marketers have paid for content does not mean they’re off the hook from having it be informative and high-quality for audiences. The findings of this study imply that by focusing on providing genuinely useful content rather than overtly promotional or generic material, marketers can implement sponsored content programs that not only inform and delight readers, but also positively impact the bottom line, as well.

And sponsored content delivers in the most meaningful way possible: sales. More than one-third of the survey respondents have been persuaded to make a purchase because of sponsored content. Indeed, sponsored content can provide exactly what users are looking for during their purchase journey. All marketers have to do is deliver useful, high-quality content if they want to break through the digital noise and reach their target audiences.

For more details about what moves people to purchase based on sponsored content and how much they spend, check out the infographic below.

Image courtesy of grinvalds/iStock.