Building brand trust with user-generated content
Updated: May 10
Steve Jobs has famously said that ‘A brand is simply trusted’. This means that brand-building is in fact trust-building, and this should be the goal of any brand communication.
That said, many studies show that consumer trust in brand advertising has decreased in recent years. For example, a study by Ipsos shows that in the U.K., 69% of consumers distrust advertising. And millennials are particularly distrusting.
Consumers do however trust recommendations from friends, family – and also from other customers. A big study by Kantar, surveying consumers in 10 countries, shows that while only 38% of consumers trust advertising, over 90% trust user-generated reviews.
In other words, companies can gain consumer trust by engaging their clients as their spokespeople. This is what user-generated content (UGC) is all about: getting customers engaged in content creation. It can be any form of content, from trustworthy reviews and testimonials to authentic-feeling photos and emotional videos.
A study by Cloudinary shows that 78% of milennials find UGC helpful when taking purchase decisions – so what consumer brand wouldn't want to use such convincing content in their marketing? Most companies have already caught on to some extent; as many as 86% of companies use UGC, according to Forbes.
Another strong marketing trend is the rise of digital video as the medium of choice for impactful messaging. Video can be more captivating, emotional – and not least memorable – than any other digital medium. And while video can be powerful at any stage of the purchasing decision process, it's emotional impact can be absolutely supreme at the brand awareness stage. More advanced content marketers therefore use a mix of brand videos and user-generated videos – or co-created videos – to employ the combined powers of video and UGC to build trust.
P.S. If you want to start collecting user-generated video content for your brand, get in touch with Reeler for a free trial.
When Trust Falls Down / Ipsos. Trinity Mirror
Dimension / Kantar
Global 2020 Cloudinary UGC Study / Cloudinary