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Bridging the Trust Gap

During a time when there is such a high volume of content available to consume on platforms too numerous to count, it can be difficult to decipher what is accurate and what is not. Especially in an age of a pandemic, consumers are looking to media sources to mitigate anxiety through timely, relevant information. When it comes to your company and your brand’s message, what you say is becoming as important as the medium on which you share it.

 

We have talked in depth about how failing to advertise or communicate during a challenging period of time economically will lead to pitfalls that may make a bounce-back even more difficult. If your business isn’t appearing on a medium people are constantly tapping into, you’re missing an unbelievable opportunity to remain top-of-mind with consumers. But the question often remains for business owners – what platform should I advertise on that reaches the most people and legitimizes my company’s mission?

 

In May of this year, Kantar Media decided to tackle this question head-on with their 2020 Dimension Study. The report dug into how brands and advertisers alike can succeed in a media world that is becoming more specialized and more targeted towards ideal consumers. What they found was that newspapers possessed an overwhelmingly positive trust gap and social media possessed an overwhelmingly negative trust gap. Falling in what we’ll call the “average trust” range, came radio programs, company websites and tv programs.

For those of you who have been following the evolution of Facebook’s algorithm over the past few years, you may fondly remember when the social media giant changed their algorithm that would prioritize newsfeed posts that “spark conversations and meaningful interactions.” While this was a good thought to create the sense of community Facebook desperately tries to promote and achieve, the algorithm actually began giving more attention to fake news that would inevitably stir the metaphorical pot on the platform. Facebook is still recovering a bit from this late 2019 hiccup, and it is acknowledged that the algorithm will probably remain a work-in-progress as there is no longer a human touch behind the content curtain.

 

This leads us to the validity of news sources and newspapers. Kantar’s study revealed that across seven of the eight markets surveyed, the news organization publishing a story is a greater source of trust for consumers than either the journalist writing it or the person sharing it. For organizations considering a branding campaign, especially those who have made positive organizational transformations as a result of COVID, partnering with a trusted news source like the Times Union magnifies the impact of the message being put forth.

 

The Times Union and timesunion.com are the Capital Region’s top newspaper and top online news source, respectively. While the print newspaper is read by more people each day than any other news source in the area, digital media consumption is not surprisingly increasing at a significant rate. As timesunion.com is the digital home of the Times Union, the website is an equally trusted news source. Kantar found that in the US, 48% of consumers find media channels the most-trusted source of information, followed by government agency sites earning 44% of consumers’ trust.

As brands are continuously adapting their messages to the changing times, remaining authentic is extremely important in the eyes of a consumer. In order to achieve both authenticity and positional relevancy to trusted content, utilizing native advertising would be a win-win for your organization. We mentioned earlier that partnering with a trusted news source improves the positive reception of an ad. Native advertising on timesunion.com takes an organization’s message and content and expands its reach beyond its current audience to target readers of the publication who have an affinity towards the topic or story.

 

Native advertising on timesunion.com or another trusted news site not only establishes credibility in an organization’s message, but it drives results… quickly. eMarketer estimates that native advertising click through rates are roughly 0.8%. The organization also found that the below categories had the highest CTRs and in turn, the most success with native advertising campaigns.

Furthermore, for a successful native ad campaign, creating compelling ad copy and intriguing imagery is key.

In summation, key takeaways include:

  • Having your message near trusted content is key to having your message trusted.
  • Having the right message in the right media to the right audience is still key
  • More consumers are using more media, so now is the time to put your message in front of those consumers.

 

The moral of the story is to continue on with your multichannel marketing and advertising approach with a trusted news partner in order to reach your target consumer and communicate in a way that resonates with your consumer at this point in time. Having been in business for more than 160 years, The Times Union is confident in its ability to manage business internally, but also to provide expert level help to businesses as a trusted advertising partner.

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