Joe Meloni

In a recently released survey, Cisco found that 74 percent of consumers turn to the web to conduct research before making a purchase in store. The findings place a premium on digital content marketing campaigns that can help answer shoppers’ questions and point them in the direction of a brand.

For B2C companies, creating original content that informs consumers, rather than articles aimed solely at promotion, is more likely to appeal and improve sales. Businesses, such as Columbia Sportswear, have found that content targeted to specific audiences that hopes to educate without overt promotion is more appealing.

Moreover, Cisco found that 45 percent of shoppers enjoy using their mobile device to research products online while in stores.

Shoppers have more options than ever in terms of educating themselves prior to making a purchase. In addition to providing info that could encourage purchases, content boosts SEO standing and makes it easier for consumers to find a business through search.

Brafton recently reported that consumers who read content on a business’ website are 50 percent more likely to convert. Providing original articles, whether presented on a blog or news landing pages, improves the image of a business to a potential customer. In 2011, 42 percent of shoppers said they read articles when researching new products and were directly influenced by that content.