January 10, 2013

Whither the brand website?


Brands are spending more time - and money - engaging with consumers outside of their brand sites on the likes of YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook and many other channels. As marketing efforts move to social networks and to content sites such as BuzzFeed, what happens to the brand’s dot-com?

Brand pages, although they are not very heavily trafficked as a rule, are still a primary resource for consumers seeking information about products and the companies that make them, according to a new eMarketer report, “What's a Brand Site For? Engaging Consumers Across Multiple Channels.” An October study by nRelate found that 48% of online shoppers said they trusted content from brand websites. No other content type approached the trustworthiness of corporate sites, according to this survey—not even mainstream news sites.

In a separate survey of internet users in the US and Canada by marketing services firm Epsilon, the percentage of respondents who named company websites as a trustworthy source of information was much lower—just 20% of US internet users and only 16% of those in Canada—but those relatively low results were still higher than those for TV, radio or email.

Still, for most brands, traffic is unlikely to be very high. A joint study by Accenture, dunnhumbyUSA and comScore suggested as much. It showed that 64% of the top 25 CPG brands averaged less than 100,000 unique visitors per month to their brand websites. But ignoring this traffic could be costly. The study also found that, on average, visitors to CPG brand websites spent 37% more than non-visitors on those brands in retail stores.

Get the full story at eMarketer