Nielsen recently conducted research across the Asia Pacific region (APAC) to identify which forms of media & advertising gain the most trust from consumers.
The results are, in my opinion not surprising – with earned media coming up trumps. A whopping 94% of the 28,000 online consumers who were surveyed, claimed to trust earned media. This makes earned media the #1 form of media when it comes to trust.
Conversely, Television came in at almost half of this with only 55% saying they trusted TV ads.
What I find interesting is the continuous trend concerning online opinions. Nielsen’s research found 76% of APAC consumers claimed to trust the opinions of other consumers online.
What fascinates me about this trend is when considering the ‘scale of online influence’ the gap between the ‘humble consumer’ and the ‘expert’ is clearly shrinking.
What do I mean by this?
Traditionally, whilst in the consideration phase, consumers would jump online looking for ‘expertise’ about products that they were interested in buying. For example, if I was looking to buy a tech product I might go to CNet to check out what the experts are saying. Now, it’s often the case that consumers are more interested in finding ‘other consumer reviews’ rather than seeing what the experts have to say. And this trend is seeing ‘online reviews’ play an important part in path to purchase.
I wrote some time ago about some research that illustrated this point nicely:
It really is incredible to think that not only are consumers ‘trusting’ other consumers online that they have never met or even heard of, they’re also actively looking for consumer reviews online before they decide to make a purchase.
For brands, this is HUGE. And it’s only going to get bigger.
Trust in both Word of Mouth (WoM) and online reviews has increased exponentially over the last few years. Nielsen have recorded a 15 point increase in Word of Mouth in the second half of last year compared to the first half of 2007 with a similar increase of 14 points being recorded for online reviews.
Blogging penetration in Australia only reinforces this trend with a massive audience of 4.5m currently enjoying content via the ‘blogger’ publishing platform. WordPress closely follows reaching 2.3m users and microblog twitter coming in a close third with 1.9m. In total, blogging platforms in Australia are reaching a staggering 8.7m of the 21m Australian population. Surely it makes sense to be targeting this huge audience?
Having worked with a whole host of brands on WoM influencer campaigns over the last few years, it’s clear to me that the industry is starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Bloggers and consumers really do wield an enormous amount of power and it’s been proven that they are having a direct impact on product sales. I can only see consumer trust in earned media increasing as the social, online environment matures. What I’d like to see is more brands taking the initiative to build trust by reaching out to relevant bloggers and placing as much emphasis on generating ‘online consumer reviews’ as other more traditional KPIs such as ATL reach.
Contact Zoe at email@example.com to discuss how Contagious can help you reach out to Australia’s most influential bloggers and online consumers.