Friends And Family Most Authentic Influence

According to the 2017 Consumer Content Report: Influence in the Digital Age, by Stakla, exploring the content being created and shared online, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is most important when deciding what brands they like and support. Nearly three times as many people said content from friends and family influences their purchase decisions compared to content from celebrities, says the report.

Key Takeaways, From the Stakla Study:

Authenticity drives brand affinity

  • 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support
  • 57% of consumers think that less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic

Consumers can spot professional vs. user-generated content (UGC)

  • On average, people are able to identify if an image was created by a professional or brand vs. generated by a consumer, 70% of the time.

User-generated content is more authentic and influential than celebs

  • Consumers are three times more likely to say that content created by a consumer is authentic compared to content created by a brand
  • On average, 60% of consumers say content from a friend or family member influences their purchases decisions, while just 23% of consumers say content from celebrities influenced their purchasing decisions

User content is available to brands

  • 85% of people share their positive travel experiences on social media, 63% will post about a positive food or beverage experience
  • Nearly 52% of people say they post on social media at least once a month about products they've purchased

More Findings From The Report Include:

Content from family and friends or someone “like” the consumer is seen as more authentic and trustworthy, things shoppers value greatly.

  • 86% of consumers said that authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support, and this sentiment will only increase over time, says the report
  • 90% of millennials say that authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands they support, compared to 85% of Gen X and 80% of Boomers.

Kind of content perceived most authentic by respondents is:

  • Created by consumers: 60%
  • Created by brands or marketers: 20%
  • Stock Imagery: 8%
  • Don’t think any content is authentic: 11%

Consumers can tell the difference between user-generated (UGC) content and marketer created content.

  • On average, 70% of people correctly identified if an image was created by a brand (or purchased through a stock photo service) vs. user-generated
  • 78% of consumers were able to correctly identify content created by a brand
  • 61% were able to correctly pick out those that were user-generated

When put to the test, consumers select UGC content as more authentic and trustworthy than brand-developed content. After looking at a series of photos without knowing the source, on average:  

  • 47% said UGC content was more authentic
  • 24% said they felt brand-developed content was more authentic
  • 29% said they were equally authentic

When consumers were asked their opinions on the content brands produce and publish across their marketing channels, 57% think that less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic. And, Millennials are more than twice as likely (53%) to say that UGC content is authentic vs. brand-developed content (25%)

Content from friends and family members have the most impact on driving purchase decisions, while celebrity influencers have the least. People want to see content from people they know or that they can relate to. Percent of people that say a social media post or review from the following groups would be impactful when it comes to their purchase decisions:

  • Family member: 61%
  • Friend: 59%
  • Brand itself: 42%
  • Acquaintance: 31%
  • Anonymous consumer with similar demographic qualities: 25%
  • Celebrity influencer: 23%

While a younger generation is more likely to say celebrities and influencers have an impact on their purchase decisions (33% of Millennials, compared to 20% of Gen X and 6% of Boomers), they are more influenced by everything they see online… and UGC dominates by a landslide. Percent of Millennials that say content from the following influences their purchase decisions:

  • Family member: 70%
  • Friend: 70%
  • Brand itself: 47%
  • Acquaintance: 39%
  • Anonymous consumer with similar demographic qualities: 35%
  • Celebrity or influencer: 33%

People are much more likely to post about their positive experiences than negative ones, says the report. That means there is a lot of content out in the world that marketers can be leveraging for their own campaigns. Having a positive experience doing something like taking a trip, dining out or buying a car, on average, 78% of people said they would post something on social media. Consumers post to these platforms 2 or more times a month

  • Facebook: 72%
  • Instagram: 33%
  • Snapchat: 29%
  • YouTube: 28%

And, people post at least twice a month says the report:

  • 48% places they visited
  • 42% events they attended
  • 39% food or drinks
  • 34% products they bought
  • 26% political opinions

An online survey was conducted to a panel of potential respondents 18 and older from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia between September 29, 2017 and October 5, 2017. The sample was provided by Market Cube, a research panel company with a margin of error of 2.2%.




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