building trust with consumers and engaging where sentiment is high – Nielsen - Social Media Explorer
building trust with consumers and engaging where sentiment is high – Nielsen
building trust with consumers and engaging where sentiment is high – Nielsen

When planning their strategy and navigating the increasingly fragmented channels and platforms that consumers engage with, brands advertisers must consider many things. Yet while brands can use data to inform messaging, leverage modern martech to improve targeting and measure engagement to gauge performance, there is one facet of marketing that modern technology can’t help with: consumer trust.

Advertising is a vital aspect of the media industry, but marketers know that resonance and effectiveness don’t come easy. Marketers must not only think about the challenges of brand growth or ad avoidance but also need to build trust with their consumers. This is where brands, especially those in North America and Europe, have some work to do, according to SME’s 2021 Trust in Advertising Study.

Globally, trust in advertising is lowest in North America and Europe—up to 20% lower than in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Trust in Asia-Pacific is higher than that in North America and the Middle East, although it’s lower than LatAm and LatAm. A lack of trust can indicate a failure to take action on behalf of consumers who see ads. A brand that fails to act can easily turn against them if it attempts repeatedly to interact with consumers who are distrusting.

So, what’s a brand to do? Step 1. Put the customer first in all strategy planning, execution and strategies. Taking this step will help the most-trusted channel—word-of-mouth—lean in a brand’s favor. The trust in advertising survey found that 88% of respondents worldwide trust the recommendations of people they are more familiar with than any other channel. What’s more, 50% more people trust recommendations than lesser-ranked channels like online banner ads, mobile ads, SMS messages and SEO ads.

Step 2, for brands, should be about the channels or platforms that consumers openly and willingly accept advertising. While brands shouldn’t abandon their traditional advertising strategies, they do need to focus on where—and how—they can get the greatest returns for their efforts. Here are three examples.

Brand integrations into SVOD programs are a popular choice with consumers.

In a custom advertising survey SME fielded earlier this year, we found that among video streaming service users, 66% of people 35-49 and 62% of people 18-34 said they’ve taken note of brands being used by the characters in streaming content they’ve watched. Importantly, 52% of consumers 35-49 and 49% of people 18-34 said they are influenced to purchase the products they’ve seen being used in streaming video content.

Podcast ads have a high brand recall

Podcast advertising—particularly when read by the host—drives stronger brand recall punch than more traditional forms of advertisements. For example, SME’s Podcast Ad Effectiveness (PAE) solutions have found that hostread ads drive a brand recall rate of 71%, which subsequently creates high levels of consumer interest, purchase intent and recommendation intent.

Consumers are more likely to remember longer ads than 60 seconds. Longer ads can be 70% more successful in this area than short ones. Longer ads have 40% better lift scores in terms of recommendation intent and purchase intent than short ones. A longer advertisement generates more engagement and drives brand recall. Nearly three quarters of listeners could recall the brand’s name after listening to a longer one.

Sponsorships in esports aren’t just for energy drinks

Immersive gaming experiences are a growing opportunity for brands, including those that aren’t closely connected to video game culture. Mastercard is an example of a brand many would not associate with esports but has seen significant upside in this space. In addition to reaching an audience that differs from its traditional clientele, Mastercard’s integration in Riot Games’ League of Legends Championship (LCS) series allows players to keep their card on file and use it for in-game e-commerce use.

SME sports recent research shows that consumer attitudes towards esports sponsoring are positive. Additionally, 87% can name at least one sponsor in esports. 


These sources provided the insight for this article:

  • SME’s 2021 Trust in Advertising Study was conducted globally in September 2021 and includes online survey responses from more than 40,000 consumers across Latin America, North America, Europe, MENA and Asia-Pacific. The survey respondents included both men and women from all generations, including Gen Z, Millennials; Gen X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.
  • March 2021: SME Total Audience Survey
  • The SME Fan Insights
  • SME podcast effectiveness solutions

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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