Outbrain and independent research agency Lumen highlight the relationship between consumer trust in advertising and premium publisher environments
LONDON — Outbrain, the world’s leading discovery and native advertising feed for the open web, released a new European study exploring the impact of native advertising formats on consumer trust. The study, produced by Outbrain in partnership with independent research agency Lumen, draws on the responses of over 900 consumers in the UK, France, and Germany, and looks at how trust, clicks, and purchases are impacted by online environments and ad formats. The study goes on to reveal how those consumer behaviours differ by verticals (Finance, Travel, Sporting Goods, Toys and Kidswear, Home & Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty, and Electronics) and during major sales events such as Black Friday and Christmas.
“The whole industry – publishers, advertisers, and technology partners – have a shared responsibility to create a sustainable ecosystem and earn back the trust of consumers. Supporting quality journalism is an important step towards that goal.”
The halo effect of premium environments
The study found that native ads shown on premium news sites are more likely to be trusted (+44%), clicked on (+21%) and lead to future purchases (+24%) than ads that appear on social media platforms. The same was applicable across all three markets measured.
“Trust amongst consumers is not just a passing trend; it is the key to building a sustainable digital economy amongst marketers. Unfortunately, right now, trust is at an all-time low,” said Alexander Erlmeier, Managing Director, International at Outbrain. “The whole industry – publishers, advertisers, and technology partners – have a shared responsibility to create a sustainable ecosystem and earn back the trust of consumers. Supporting quality journalism is an important step towards that goal.”
Native formats are better perceived by European consumers compared to both social and display formats
The study goes on to explore consumers’ perceptions of ads based on the ad format and likelihood of the ad to drive further consideration or action. When comparing native recommendations to social and display ads, we found that native recommendations came out strongest across all metrics including:
● Being easy to understand: Scoring 62% higher than displays ads and 31% higher than social ads
● Informative: Scoring 60% higher than display ads, and 14% higher than social ads
● Trustworthy: Scoring 9% higher than display ads and 28% higher than social ads
● Furthermore, native recommendations scored as the least annoying or intrusive vs both display and social.
UK consumers trust premium site environments
Across all verticals measured (Finance, Travel, Sports, Toys, Home, Fashion, Electronics), UK consumers were the most likely to trust an ad on a premium site vs a social site during major online sales periods such as Black Friday.
“When you consider that some brands now devote over 25% of their annual budgets just to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, cutting through the noise during the busy period is increasingly more difficult and marketers must rely on formats that deliver true engagement and results,” said James Milne, Outbrain’s Managing Director for Northern Europe.
Outbrain is the world’s leading discovery and native advertising feed for the open web. A third of the world’s Internet-connected population explore and discover information through our feed technology, which is trusted by emerging to established brands and integrated into thousands of media companies’ tech stacks to manage and monetize their publishing operations. Outbrain operates in 55 countries and is headquartered in New York City with offices in 18 cities worldwide. Learn more at www.outbrain.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.