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NRelate Study Reveals Content Recommendations Are King

NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- nRelate, a leading content discovery platform, today announced the results of its Behavior Shift: Getting Content in Front of Consumers study, conducted online by Harris Interactive, designed to shed more light on the ways in which U.S. adults (age 18+) discover and navigate the Internet's fire hose of content.

The study reveals that in the past three months an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults – 76 percent – clicked on links to related stories for more information. In fact, next to search results, these related links (often located at the bottom of an article and leading to a similar one) are the preferred method of discovering information online, even trumping content links (videos, articles and images) recommended by friends on social networks.

"No single search engine or website is the sole gateway to content discovery," said Neil Mody, CEO of nRelate. "Today it's a fragmented, highly contextual, often serendipitous process. Yet there's no arguing good content is in high demand: consumers spend more than seven hours a week actively looking for it, viewing up to four articles and three videos per session on average.  Content creators and marketers should pay special attention to this evolving behavior to maximize their visibility and reach."

The study found the following:

Make Discovery Easy and ContextualIt appears Americans are gravitating toward an exploratory, contextual information discovery process.

  • Ninety-two percent of U.S. adults read content online, spending more than seven hours per week looking for content (this is higher among the younger age groups (18-44));
  • Americans read three to four articles per session and watch two to three videos per session, on average (this number is higher among males for both articles and videos);
  • Thirty-one percent of online consumers indicate search engines are not the primary sources for finding content (articles and videos);
  • Nearly half of online consumers (48 percent) say that after reading an article, they are more likely to click on related content (e.g., article, video);
  • More than half (51 percent) of online consumers say they read and click on content pushed to them via email newsletters from brands whose products and services they use.

Deciding to Click

  • According to the study, a number of factors influence an online consumer's decision to click.
    • Most (62 percent) first look for traditional news stories versus images, videos, blog posts, or any other type of related content;
    • After finishing an article, more online consumers say they are more likely to click on a link to another article (34 percent) than to a video (15 percent) – but 39 percent indicate they are more likely to click on an article if there is an image associated with it.
  • The likelihood of a reader clicking through to related or suggested content differs based on the subject matter:
    • Local News. 84 percent are likely to click on a related link;
    • National News. 78 percent are likely to click on a related link;
    • Entertainment. 62 percent are likely to click on a related link;
    • Sports. 47 percent are likely to click on a related link
  • Quality is key, and online consumers indicate quality content has the following attributes:
    • From a source already known in the offline world (60 percent);
    • Includes images (24 percent);
    • Includes author image and byline (23 percent);
    • Includes embedded video (11 percent)

The Friend Factor – Not So Much?

  • Seventy-six percent of online consumers indicate they do not get most of their content recommendations from friends on social networks;
  • While researching, users are most likely to click on search results (48 percent), followed by links at the bottom of the article they've just read (28 percent) as opposed to links found on Facebook (8 percent).
  • When it comes to purchase decisions, consumers say they trust content from a brand or manufacturer's website (44 percent), an article discovered through a search engine (31 percent) an expert on a topic related to the product (28 percent), or a mainstream news site (20 percent) more than they do content posted by a friend on a social network (10 percent).

"The results of the study prove Americans are hungry for content that is not only relevant and timely, but trusted, and easily discoverable," continued Mody.

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