The Creator/Advertiser Trust Delta

When it comes to brand-promoting content, it's probably no surprise that people are not big fans of advertising, or that they prefer the kind created by "creators" (or at least, they say they do).

What I did find surprising in a new study comparing the two was the deltas, especially when it comes to which form of content consumers find most "trustworthy."

The study, "Unveiling Influence," a collaboration of online survey platform Ask Suzy and The Keller Advisory Group, asked more than 1,000 Americans about a battering of attributes ranking advertising vs. creator content. Not surprisingly, creators won on all of them, especially things like their perceptions that the creator content was more "exciting," "shareable," etc., but it also beats advertising on standard product attributes such as relevance, recall and product information.



I get that, but the margins of difference are considerable.

As I already noted, the one I don't get is why Americans consider creator content more trustworthy than advertising -- and by a margin of three-to-one.

The reason I'm surprised is that unlike creator content, advertising -- generally speaking -- is a fully disclosed promotion by an identifiable sponsor, and it's pretty clear who's paying for what upfront.

That's clearly not always the case for creator content, the terms of which are not typically fully disclosed between a creator and a brand or agency paying them to tout them.

The answer, according to the report, is that American consumers apparently perceive content creators as an extension of the "friends and family" that have long been proven to be their go-to for product and service recommendations.

"This group has long been the most trusted source of information for people -- and aligns with a previous study run by Suzy and the Keller Advisory Group," the team note, adding, "Notably, influencers specializing in specific subject areas command almost as much trust, with 62% of respondents valuing their insights. This trust in specialized creators underscores their role as credible sources of information within their domains.

"Consumers who follow creators consistently find creator content to be more exciting, unique, emotionally engaging, relevant, and shareable compared to traditional advertisements. In fact, when asked to compare creator content to traditional advertising across 10 attributes, creator content beats advertising every time across all measured attributes."

Despite the considerable delta of American consumer trust in creators vs. advertisers, it's worth noting that both are below water.

Not one of the 10 attributes queried in the study scored above 50%.

Or to paraphrase the old John Wanamaker quote: "Half the money I spend on creator content is wasted, the trouble is I don't know which half."

1 comment about "The Creator/Advertiser Trust Delta".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 24, 2024 at 11:14 a.m.

    Joe, I'm amazed that "advertising"---in general--- got as high as 14%.

    This kind of research has little bearing on ad impact for specific campaigns because all are different in subject matter--a very important determinant of interest----and credibility---many people who see advertising, followed by usage of the product are perfectly satisfied with it. Only some are disappointed. Also, consumers who use a brand gererally repond much better to its ads as they support the decision to rely of the advertised brand.

    Frankly,  I doubt that "advertising" would score well in any survey as most people object not to what individual ads are claiming or their creative approach---but more to how many ads they are hit with, whether the ads interrupt editorial cortent unduly, etc.

Next story loading loading..