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Building brand trust with user-generated content

A woman creating a UGC workout video at home (for a sporting goods brand)

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 millennials 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 a video can be powerful at any stage of the purchasing decision process, its 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.

More Info:

When Trust Falls Down / Ipsos. Trinity Mirror

Dimension / Kantar

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