When it comes to brand engagement, consumers are cynical. We want to know why we should give our money, time, and primarily our trust, to one specific brand over their competitors, all of which are promoting similar products and services.

Recent reports of ‘fake news’ have heightened this lack of trust causing audiences to question the information they receive from brands on a daily basis. In fact, according to research we recently conducted, 42% of people say they have seen or read a piece of news recently that they didn’t believe to be true. In addition, research from Rakuten Marketing suggests people increasingly see advertising as being linked to fake news and mistrusted content.

However, while we’re clearly becoming more skeptical of the information we consume from third parties, it appears that we still trust each other.

A peer-to-peer approach

To help understand the media landscape in 2017 we conducted research into who people trust as an accurate source of news and information. Surprisingly it wasn’t professional sources which came out on top. Instead, it was people like them – fellow members of the public who could provide eyewitness video of an event.

This finding isn’t just significant for news outlets. When 45% of the public view the public as the most reliable source of information, it’s clear marketers need to consider how to involve a brand’s customers in their campaigns.

A peer-to-peer approach may sound simple, but trust isn’t easily won. Many consumers still see brands as corporate, faceless entities, despite marketers devoting their efforts to building a personalised, intimate approach.

To combat this, brands should be prioritising and tapping into one of the most powerful marketing mediums there is – citizen video. Its unpolished feel and use of real-life stories provide an emotive edge that audiences not only relate to, but value, when building brand relationships.

Content over quality

When people are looking for human interest in video, they aren’t focusing on the production quality of the footage, so video at 4K resolution shot on high-tech equipment isn’t necessarily what is required. What is more important is that the video is authentic and captures a compelling moment.

Santander was the first bank to create a multichannel campaign with UGC. It focused on the idea that ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ and purposefully used video clips that showed daily life, combining this creativity with raw, uncut video footage resulted strong audience engagement.

The growth of social exposure and sharing has given marketers a opportunity to engage audiences on a completely new level. Platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook have all focused their strategies on providing users with compelling video content that they can trust. In fact, Google recently announced it is working with publishers on a news product, that will present articles in a mobile magazine-like design, similar to Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ service.

While the volume of citizen video created continues to explode, it is becoming an essential tool for brand engagement. As we see brands wake up to this reality, we will see them come up with new ways to put this kind of content to work to create meaningful connections with their customers and their audiences.



By Jon Cornwell, co-founder and CEO at Newsflare

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at http://www.gdprsummit.london/

comments powered by Disqus