Marketers may ask themselves if consumers have time for brands while they connect with friends and family via new media, but new research reveals that internet users look for brand engagement.

Fifty-nine percent of consumers make purchases with companies they engage through new media: Relevant, timely content is key

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Marketers may ask themselves if consumers have time for brands while they connect with friends and family via new media, but new research reveals that internet users look for brand engagement. Communication agency Cone's 2010 Consumer New Media Study reveals that 86 percent of consumers now connect with companies on new media (compared to 78 percent last year).

Marketers should be forewarned that the increased interest in brand engagement via new media coincides with more cluttered spaces – companies are quickly building presences on new media sites. To standout, Cone's director of new media, Mike Hollywood, advises that "the best new media strategies are those that balance relevant content with timely promotions and ongoing company-consumer dialogue."

Relevant content is key to attracting customers. Accordingly, brands may want to turn to a content marketing service. The investment could pay off: The study shows that 62 percent of new media users share info about companies across their preferred networks and 59 percent purchase the company's products or services.

When deciding the best platforms to seed with new media content, marketers should first turn to social sites. Brafton reported that SMBs are increasing investment in social channels in 2011, and Cone's study affirms that this is with good reason. Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) turn to social networks to connect with brands. Another 20 percent look for companies with a mobile presence and 13 percent turn to the blogosphere.

More consumers may turn to the blogs soon as brands are increasingly looking to offer relevant information via the blogosphere. By 2012, 43 percent of companies are expected to produce marketing blogs, and marketers may want to enter this space now to gain early-adopter advantages.

Katherine Griwert
Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.

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