How relevant is your content? Consumers boycott brands in a bid to avoid spam

“Targeting consumers with relevant, useful content has never been more important…”

A new study has revealed that the majority of consumers feel they are being spammed by brands online, with 75% adding that they would boycott their product or services as a result.
In a survey of more than 1,000 internet users, 60% of respondents said they encountered what they regarded as spam content on websites, blogs and forums every day. At the same time, 72% felt that they had been spammed directly by a brand.
Strikingly, the research also showed that a staggering 75% of people felt that irrelevant advertising can irritate them so much that they will go as far as boycotting a product or service in order to avoid it.
Chad Harwood-Jones, managing director of Ad-Rank Media, which carried out the study, said: “Targeting consumers with relevant, useful content has never been more important. With so much information available online, brands need to build trust.”
Ninety per cent of respondents said they use online content to help them decide on purchases, clearly highlighting that information that does not fit the needs of consumers will have a negative effect on not only sales, but brand perception.
However, at the same time 70% felt that the overall quality of content online has improved in recent years – a number that perhaps reflects the huge strides that search engines such as Google have made in cracking down on poor quality content.
Meanwhile, 80% of those surveyed said that they felt they trust Google to display the most relevant content in their search results, and this is again likely due to Google’s ever evolving spam-filtering algorithm.
Websites that have pages of thin or duplicate content have increasingly ranked lower in search results, leaving more quality sites to attract visitors in greater numbers.
Harwood-Jones said: “I suspect that when most people think of spam, they think of junk emails. However the rise of social spamming is a more recent trend, and as the internet evolves businesses will always seek to take advantage of new channels and platforms to reach large numbers of people at relevantly low costs, especially compared to paid-for advertising such as Google Adwords.
“Also 90% of users surveyed said that they felt Google was either improving as a search engine or maintaining its high standards, so while tailored social advertising may be missing the mark, Google and other search engines are providing a better experience.”
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Hannah Hamilton, who is a former Fife College student, is a reporter and assistant content editor for Scotland B2B, specialising in B2B news and features. She can be contacted via