Study: Brands' Content Quality, More Than Brand Size Or Budget, Determines Market Share

The jewelry store Tiffany & Co. taught women that good things come in small blue packages. The same may hold true for online content. A recent study suggests consumers are much more interested in the quality of the content rather than the size of the brand or the budget. Brands that can give consumers a personal experience win the share of voice in the market.

The findings from Conductor's study -- Organic Online Market Share by Vertical -- provide insights on markets such as Insurance, Retail, Travel, Finance, and Real Estate. The report analyzes success and failure by vertical and provides advice on key search strategies that companies can focus on in each sector to increase their market share.

During the first quarter of 2017, Conductor tracked more than 150,000 search terms that consumers used to search for products, services, and information. In aggregate, these search terms represent more than 370 million searches by consumers.



Many of the top organic performers are large, established companies, but smaller brands and publishers perform well too. The reports identifies that in each vertical, several large industry players are noticeably absent, such as large banks, retailers, hotel chains, and airlines.

Many of the top 10 insurance companies in the United States, such as Assurant and AIG, are not top performers in organic market share. Content creator NerdWallet outperformed industry giants, and Wikipedia dropped out of the top 10 results from the year-ago results, replaced by Farmers.

The largest 10 auto insurance companies do not align with the 10 sites that have the most auto online market share.  SafeAuto and Mercury Insurance notably beat out many much larger companies, according to Conductor.

The most successful companies created multiple pieces of content around the same topic with different key terms, provided online tools such as loan calculators, optimized content for Google search "answer boxes," and maintained an active presence on Twitter.

Not all the market segments analyzed in the study demonstrated a similar pattern.

In the Travel and Hospitality market, TripAdvisor and Expedia emerged as clear winners. TripAdvisor dominates the Attraction, Early Stage, Mid Stage, Hotels and Resorts categories. Expedia took the top spots for the Late Stage, Flights, Resorts, Hotels, and Motels.

Hilton, Wyndham and Holiday Inn -- along with Delta, United, Jet Blue, and Avis, Budget, and Hertz -- used content to become more visible to consumers.

Expedia far outperformed other travel aggregators for the Cruise category with 7% market share. Orbitz, with 3% share, was the only other aggregator to appear in the top 10.

The report also finds that the majority of available market share is still unclaimed, indicated by the rather large slice of market share labeled "other" in each vertical. "Other" represents market share that is not consistently held by any one brand. This indicates that the search landscape continue to change. There is a significant opportunity for late entrants to claim organic market share, per the study.

For example, in the Insurance category, "other" represents 44%; Retail, 74%; Travel and Hospitality, 65%; Finance, 66%; and Real Estate, 28%.

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