UK consumers trust content published by a familiar brand more than information shared by friends on social media, according to a new report by marketing platform Outbrain. More than three-quarters of UK consumers said that they believe that brands produce relevant and reliable content.
Outbrain’s The Unconscious Content Bias study takes a closer look at the content consumption habits and trends of consumers in the digital age. It claims that there is a now an “abundance of content and advertising,” and online readers are becoming more discerning in the news, blogs, articles and videos that they choose to consume.
The study aims to help marketers optimise their strategies, and the key takeaway is that engaging content is crucial for connecting with consumers and educating them about products and services. Nearly two-thirds of consumers aged between 35 and 44 said that content is most useful when comparing goods, but it is also important for driving positive action during the entire buying cycle.
Trust is a common theme across the study, and it appears that big brands have an edge when it comes to educational and informational content that consumers can rely on. Sixty-four per cent of those surveyed said that they trust hard news from traditional publishers compared to just nine per cent from social media, and there is a similar disparity for financial advice.
Out of the 1,042 consumers who access content daily, two-thirds said that they trust content promoted or suggested by a premium publisher, and 61 per cent feel the same way about appealing content from less familiar brands. While social media is not a go-to platform for hard facts, 60 per cent of users trust brand content promoted in their news feeds.
The study also shows that many consumers go on an unplanned content journey, with 18 to 24 year olds spending 42 per cent of their time with content that they didn’t initially set out to find. Youngsters are more likely to go off on a tangent, but all age groups are open to discovering new content organically, as those 55 years old and over spend more than a quarter of their time on unforeseen articles and videos.