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VibrantMedia-Consumer-Receptiveness-Brand-Content-Formats-Aug2014Recent research has found a general distrust for sponsored content, but new survey results from Vibrant Media indicate that such distrust doesn’t extend to brand-produced content in general, with US respondents (aged 13-64) as likely to trust content from a brand they know of (but whose products they don’t buy) as they are to trust content from journalists working for media titles they’re familiar with. As part of the study, survey respondents were asked to rate their receptiveness to a variety of online brand content formats, with some fairly surprising results.

Chief among those: the unpopularity of brands’ social media posts. Some 31% of respondents said they were unreceptive or very unreceptive to such content, versus 42% saying they are receptive or very receptive to the posts. By comparison, fewer (24%) said they were unreceptive to brands’ ads, with 44% receptive to them.

Less surprisingly, brands’ images emerged as the top choice among respondents, with 64% indicating that they’re receptive to this type of content against just 12% not receptive. (That might explain the high post engagement rates brands are seeing on Instagram.) Video followed, with 57% of respondents receptive and 20% taking the opposite stance. As for articles written by brands? Almost on par with sentiment about brands’ online ads: 46% receptive to the format, and 19% unreceptive.

Meanwhile, when looking for more information about a brand after seeing an ad, one-third of respondents said the most useful source of information was the advertiser’s own website, with this emerging as the top choice ahead of others such as videos (19%), images (18%), advertorials (8%) and articles written by journalists about the brand (6%). That tallies with recent research from WP Engine, in which survey respondents appeared to favor reading content directly from company blogs and websites over other content distribution methods such as social media posts and third-party articles.

About the Data: Vibrant Media surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 13 and 64 across the United States who owned a computer, mobile phone, and/or tablet, each of which must connect to the Internet. The survey was conducted online by Toluna, a leading online panel and survey technology provider.

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