What research tells us about how to make content more engaging

Increase audience engagement by harnessing these three consumer motivations.

Revmade regularly scours the internet for new studies that offer important insights for marketers. Then we write them up for you in as few words as possible. (Want to get them emailed to you? Sign up here.)

It was only four short years ago when 70% of consumers indicated in a study that they wanted to learn about products and services through digital content versus traditional advertising. Fast forward to now, when the world is oversaturated with digital marketing content from TikTok to YouTube, Twitter to Facebook — the list goes on. Consumers are faced with all kinds of content, which begs the question, how do organizations better connect better with audiences? According to one study published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing, there are three key consumer motivations for connecting with an organization’s content. 

The motivations (in their words): “Important consumer-based digital marketing content antecedents include functional, hedonic and authenticity motives.”

The motivations (in our words): Consumers want to engage with digital content marketing and connect with brands based on how useful the content is, how entertaining it is and how much it speaks to their personal identities.

Why should I care? Digital content marketing focuses on increasing customers’ (or potential customers’) appreciation for the brand by adding value to their lives. Creating value in your organization’s digital content can lead to major benefits such as:

  • More engaged audiences at a reduced marketing cost. Evidence from the article suggests that digital content marketing can cost 62% less than traditional marketing efforts and generate three times as many leads. 
  • Higher levels of trust and customer loyalty. This can lead to increased long-term customer engagement and improved lifetime value of a customer. We all know it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to gain a new one.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. Organizations have found that providing content that resonates with audiences and reflects their’ values results in a perceived greater worth and increased satisfaction with the firm. 

What do I do now?

  • Make a mental shift. Move from a selling perspective to a helping perspective. Instead of activating yet another ad campaign, give your audience an opportunity to connect with your organization. Offer them the ability to opt in to receive a newsletter, download an e-book or reach out directly with questions.  
  • Become audience obsessed. An important part of digital content marketing is having a  deep knowledge of a target audience’s needs and values, as well as their behaviors and preferred communication styles. Take time to do audience research — understand your audience’s media diets, their pain points, what they enjoy, what they find useful, etc. 
  • Build trust and maintain engagement. Invest time and resources to better study your audience. Do research to understand their problems, and use your knowledge to offer advice and practical solutions. Consider personal communication formats such as offering live-stream content to engage with your audience and answer questions in real time. 
  • Balance the scale. While most people enjoy entertaining content, be sure that your content has clear value to your audience and enriches their lives. Find the right balance of voice, tone and usefulness to create a magnetic content experience that keeps them coming back for more. 
  • Measure satisfaction and adjust accordingly. To gauge authenticity of your content, consider asking your audience how they feel while engaging with it. You could ask them to finish the following sentence: “While viewing this content I feel [fill in the blank],” then adjust future content strategies as needed to ensure content is functional, enjoyable and authentic. 

TL;DR: At its core, content marketing provides genuine, relevant value to audiences. Marketers can grow audiences by finding the right mix of content that provides utility, entertainment and reflected identities between an organization and its consumers. 

Trying to figure out what your audience wants from your content? Need to figure out if your current marketing is fit to meet the needs of those audiences? Reach out to us for more info.


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