Branded content is forgotten by 80 per cent of consumers, study reveals

Prezi unveils new insight into consumer engagement with content and demonstrates the value of a conversational approach.

Today, new research reveals shocking insights into the effectiveness of content marketing, showing just how much branded content goes ignored and unremembered by consumers. According to the Science of Attention report from presentation platform Prezi, 80 per cent of consumers forget the majority of information from branded content after only three days, and over half can’t recall a single detail.

Findings reveal that the key to engaging a millennial audience is to have a conversation with them, whether online or in person, 70 per cent of 16-24 year olds agree that it would convince them to buy from a particular brand if they felt like they interacted and engaged in conversation with them.

While investment in content marketing is reaching record highs, much of this content is failing to achieve its ultimate goal: If consumers are failing to engage with or remember content, then it can’t influence their perceptions or purchasing behaviours.

How do you engage your audience?

Working with renowned cognitive neuroscientist Dr Carmen Simon, Prezi’s research finds the three most common reasons consumers forget content are irrelevancy (55 per cent), a lack of motivation to remember it (35.7 per cent), and the fact that there is simply too much content to retain (30 per cent).

Surprisingly, distractions (18 per cent) and stress (nine per cent) were far less significant factors, meaning the primary reasons for forgetting relate to the content itself, rather than external factors.

Prezi also uncovers specific insights around presentation content, finding that 50 per cent of people switch off within the first twelve minutes of a one-hour, slide-based presentation. However, two-way, conversational presentations are far more effective, as more than three quarters of respondents (77 per cent) felt interactive presentation software would help them remember more information.

What’s more, almost half of consumers (48 per cent) would be convinced to buy from a brand if they felt they interacted and engaged in conversation with them.

The research was unveiled to coincide with the launch of Prezi Next – an intuitive visual presentation platform, based on the best storytelling elements of Prezi’s original platform. This latest platform was designed specifically to allow individual users to more easily create conversational presentations, move freely between topics and adapt on the fly.

It adds new tools to Prezi’s existing presentation benefits, including a new editor for designing presentations, a ‘Zoom Reveal’ function for focusing on any specific part of a presentation at the drop of a hat, and presentation analytics, to help users analyse engagement with their content and adapt.

‘Marketers are wise to the fact that content can be an incredibly powerful influence on perceptions and purchasing decisions,’ says Spencer Waldron, European regional director for Prezi.

‘But in order for content to influence or actually deliver that sale, it needs to both hold the audience’s attention and be memorable. From a presentation standpoint, taking a conversational approach and using storytelling, covers both of these elements, and this is precisely what we’ve designed Prezi Next to support.’

‘This research found that 87 per cent of people feel that presenters who engage them in conversation will keep them focused and attentive,’ comments Dr Carmen Simon.

‘Conversations can impact memory because the frequent switching of stimulus between the speakers prevents the brain from habituation and offers novelty. The brain enjoys the buzz of novelty.’

What branded content is most memorable?

Content which ‘tells the audience something new’ was the most memorable, helping 27 per cent of respondents to remember a brand, followed by content which teaches, inspires, or entertains (each 25 per cent).

49 per cent of consumers say that content which mentions something good that’s happened helps them to remember it long-term.

Video is the best format, chosen by 37 per cent of respondents as memorable, followed by written articles (28 per cent), and face-to-face presentations (21 per cent).

The full Science of Attention report was developed in collaboration with renowned cognitive neuroscientist Dr Carmen Simon, and examines what these research findings mean for marketers. It includes actionable tips and advice on how marketers can create effective, memorable content, and can be found in an online Prezi presentation.