A recent audience survey from Reuters helps to reinforce that point for publishers as they seek to rebuild ad revenue lost during the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing recession.
About two-thirds (64%) of professionals in the online study said they have a more favorable opinion of a brand that appears on trusted news site, while 57% agreed "the advertising content seen on a trusted news site can influence opinion of the news brand." That sounds like a win-win situation for publishers, advertisers and readers.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they turn to news brands first for "trusted content in a trusted environment." That finding is in stark contrast to the 84% of people who agreed that fake news has made them doubt the reliability of information shared on social media.
Reuters published the findings in a reporttitled "Tomorrow's News 2020."
Amid those concerns about the reliability of social media, news publishers can showcase their brands on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Two-thirds of readers agreed that social media provides a way for news brands to connect directly with their customers. That finding suggests publishers need to have a strategy to promote their brands on social media, perhaps with a combination of target paid social ads and organic posts.
The study also touts reader receptivity to live events hosted by publishers. The survey was taken in January and February, beforethe coronavirus outbreak was declared to be a pandemic. About three-quarters (74%) of respondents had said they would be interested in attending live events hosted by news brands.
It's easy to dismiss that finding now that people are reluctant to travel or attend large gatherings, but it does indicate an opportunity to host virtual events that feature expert speakers and newsmakers.
Readers are hungrier than ever before for reliable information, and publishers are best suited to provide it.