Report: Brands cut through social media noise better with consumer-created content

New study from Stackla reveals authentic consumer-created content drives stronger brand affinity

Authentic, consumer-created content drives brand affinity and cuts through social noise, a new study claims.

The 2017 Consumer Content Report: Influence in the Digital Age, released by social media influencer management platform, Stackla, surveyed 2000 adults in the US, UK. and Australia, and found that even in today’s consumerist and celebrity-centric culture, authenticity drives brand affinit.

The vast majority of consumers (86 per cent) said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. And people find consumer-created content to be the most authentic form of content. The report also showed consumers are three times more likely to say that content created by a consumer is authentic compared to content created by a brand.

Social circle influence also surfaced as powerful for brand affinity, the report finding that on average, 60 per cent of consumers said content from a friend or family member influenced their purchases decisions. In fact, 57 per cent of millennials said they have made travel plans based on an image or video they saw a friend post on social media and 56 per cent decided to eat at a restaurant because they saw a friend post about. Meanwhile just 23 per cent of consumers said content from celebrities influenced their purchasing decisions

The report also found that brands can’t fake authentic content as on average, adults can correctly identify if an image was created by a professional or generated by a consumer 70 per cent of the time. The study further revealed customers will punish brands that try to ‘fake it’, with 30 per cent of millennials saying they have unfollowed a brand on social media because they felt their content was inauthentic.

“Today, authenticity is king. Consumers are inundated with content, and the only way brands can cut through all that noise is with authentic content,” Stackla chief product officer, CMO and co-founder, Peter Cassidy, said. “Since consumers see UGC as inherently authentic and trustworthy, the best marketers among us are increasingly leveraging it to build lasting relationships with customers, deliver relevant brand experiences and ultimately drive revenue.”

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