That Canadians prefer looking at online ads over traditional advertising is hardly groundbreaking news, but a new study suggests that traditional online advertising doesn’t really sustain their interest either.

According to the survey, which was commissioned by Toronto-based native ads platform developer StackAdapt, not only do 68 per cent of Canadians – including 84 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 44 – prefer learning about new brands online over traditional methods such as print, direct mail, and radio, 40 per cent are more inclined to trust a business after reading branded content or a company blog – a number that rises to 51 per cent among consumers between 18 and 44.

In fact, 55 per cent of respondents said the type of content they read about a brand has influenced their decision to make a purchase online, StackAdapt staff wrote in a June 23 blog post announcing the survey’s results, though it did not specify whether this number referred to branded content.

The types of content most likely to influence online purchasing decisions, according to the survey, are:

  • Examples of the brand helping other people, cited by 22 per cent of respondents;
  • Content that helps make purchases easier, cited by 20 per cent;
  • Explanations of how a brand’s product can improve a consumer’s life, cited by 19 per cent; and
  • The brand showing that it understands the consumer’s values, cited by 11 per cent.

The survey also discovered that online purchases can be heavily influenced by word of mouth, with 63 per cent of respondents saying they often share information about brands they like with friends.

StackAdapt commissioned Montreal-based research firm Léger Marketing to conduct the survey, which polled approximately 1500 Canadians online between June 6 and June 9.

In addition to the blog post, StackAdapt released the following infographic summarizing its survey results (click on the image for a larger version).

Branded content infographic

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