Nielsen released its latest Global Trust in Advertising report back in April. The updated report again highlighted that people trust recommendations from people they know and peers more than they trust brand messages. It also showed that trust in advertising trails behind the other media types.
Nielsen wrote yesterday about the Trust in Advertising in the context of the Paid, Owned and Earned media mix. Nielsen stated, “Since trust in advertising lays along continuum that moves from earned (highest trust), to owned, then paid (lowest trust), it stands to reason that brands should want more earned and owned. But can paid be given up completely? For most brands, that strategy isn’t really feasible given both the broad reach and historical success associated with paid media. Instead, we need to start thinking of how paid, owned and earned can work together to improve trust and deliver better results.”
At Extole, we have always believed in the power of consumer word of mouth (WOM) and earned media as a critical element in effective marketing and advertising strategies. Our unique Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) approach is used by nearly 300 brands and agencies to identify and cultivate their customer advocates and foster WOM stories. Our Social Advocacy platform enables brands to capture earned media WOM anywhere consumers interact with brands to drive awareness, sales and customer insights, as well as more effective paid media.
For example, one of Extole’s customers recently ran a back to school social promotion on Facebook. To drive participation, the customer utilized brand promotion, WOM recommendations over Facebook with the Open Graph and paid amplification of the WOM recommendations via Sponsored Stories. For every person who entered the sweepstakes after seeing a promotional message from the brand, over 3 more people participated based on earned media recommendations. And paid media amplified this earned media to drive even more participation. What’s even more impactful is that the brand promotions only hit their fans and customer list (on Facebook, that was an audience of about 350k). The earned media stories and Sponsored Stories hit an audience of nearly 4.8 million friends on Facebook – 13x the audience of brand promotions.
Brands need to start thinking about how to integrate paid, earned and owned media types today. These media types must no longer be thought of as separate entities, but instead entities that work hand in hand to most effectively reach and engage with consumers. After all, consumers are the ones with all the power.