Storytelling has always been part of content marketing’s DNA. Our co-founder delved into its benefits here and here. Our director of strategy philosophized about it here. Our managing editor considered its complications here.
The reason for such emphatic coverage is simple: Great stories leave an emotional resin on readers, imprinting them in a way traditional marketing copy does not. But as our CMO likes to remind us, storytelling alone is not a strategy. Plenty of brands are interested in telling stories, but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it effectively. According to a study by the marketing intelligence company Beckon, 5 percent of all branded content accounts for 90 percent of total engagement.
Since we’re in the midst of a heated battle for consumer attention, we decided to break down our internal data to see how different industries were performing in 2017 across three key metrics: average attention time, engagement rate, and finish rate.
The data revealed some interesting trends. For instance, B2B brands got high marks for average attention time, getting users to stay with their content for more than three minutes at a clip, but the average finish rate for their content was 13 percent. That discrepancy suggests there’s an opportunity for those companies to re-evaluate the length of their content. Readers are clearly hooked, but maybe the stories are too long for a given topic. Writers and editors have the ability to produce something valuable that stems beyond an intriguing headline or lede.
In the infographic below, check out how three industries—finance, B2B, and tech—compare when it comes to performance metrics. Welcome to the Content Performance Games. How do you match up?