New study explores the importance of expert content in consumer decisions

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Content has been thrust into the global spotlight lately, appearing in all corners of the business world on a regular basis. But what kind of content performs best with regards to consumers’ buying decisions?

A new study commissioned by inPowered and conducted by Nielsen MediaLabs set out to shed light on the content types consumers prefer. They compared the impact of user content (user reviews), expert content (reviews from product experts), and branded content (content from the brand’s website) on consumers’ decision making.

The results

All content types exhibited some levels of success at increasing consideration during the purchase cycle, but expert content was the clear winner. Expert content saw the highest increase in every part of the purchasing cycle (product familiarity, affinity, and intent to purchase) when compared to user content and branded content.

The implications

It’s been known for some time that consumers are increasingly looking towards peers and fellow customers for product reviews. Consumers trust of these more human reviews even rival more traditional sources like certifications and media reports. This study shows that it’s not likely to change in the near future. So how can brands take advantage of these patterns in consumer behavior? One way is to try to produce and promote expert and consumer content on their own properties.


Consumers follow brands on social for informational and entertainment content. Make sure that you are creating content that is 1) engaging 2) entertaining or informative in nature. Here are a couple of my favorite examples of how Rock Content’s clients use expert content to interact with their prospects and consumers.

WebMD engages audiences with medical experts chats – WebMD runs regularly scheduled chats with various health experts. Our platform allows them to easily collect, moderate, and answer audience questions in real time. All the answers are permalinked (great for SEO!) and socially sharable. Here is their live chat with fitness experts, audiences gain valuable information from highly trusted and authoritative sources – creating just the type of content that influences consumer decisions!

webmd live chat fitness experts WebMD using Rock Content to educate and engage audiences

Samsung Canada brings product experts to answer consumer inquiries – has run a number of live chats around relevant, timely topics. Here is a live chat with their product experts about Samsung products. Notice how it’s embedded on their Facebook page, it was also placed on their website and optimized for mobile. What’s more they’re appealing to Canada’s bilingual audience by also interacting in French, one of the 21 languages supported in our platform. Most importantly, Samsung are bringing audiences maximum value for their time – literally – they’re answering exactly the questions consumers are asking. What if a troll shows up? Not to worry, we have various moderation tools to help you run a smooth and safe discussion!

samsung scribblelive q&a chat Samsung Canada engages audiences on their website and Facebook page using Rock Content’s social integration.

Cruise Critic educates travelers through expert chats – apparently there is an entire community dedicated to cruise travel! Who knew? Cruise Critic is the leading cruise reviews and information site, their content reaches more than 3 million people MONTHLY! They use our platform to bring their audience exactly what they need: information about cruises. By using our live chats they can bring that information to them in an engaging and interactive way. A great example of expert content that they’ve recently created was a live chat with Viking River Cruises’ destinations expert, Joost Ouendag. They used our real-time technology create interactive polls, post beautiful photographs, and answer their audiences’ pressing cruise questions. And notice that great call-to-action, allowing convinced travellers to book the perfect river cruise.

cruise critic river live chat Cruise Critic helps audiences choose the perfect critic cruise with a Rock Content chat – and a great call-to-action!

Are you interested in creating engaging expert content? Contact us to get started.


Human Crafted Content

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