Consumers in 2020 are devouring double the amount of digital content than in 2019, with nearly half trying new brands after seeing them advertised alongside digital content. But there’s a catch. Top-performing ads driving purchasing decisions are presented in trusted, contextual environments.
A new report produced by media authenticator DoubleVerify in collaboration with Sapio Research explores how digital media consumption and attitudes to advertising have changed during 2020, highlighting the instances where consumers are at their most receptive to advertising.
The report, titled Four fundamental shifts in media and advertising during 2020, analyses the impact that emerging device types and evolving news cycles have on consumers’ engagement with brand promotions.
Over 10,000 consumers across France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US were studied.
Content consumption has increased
DoubleVerify found that content consumption has “soared” during the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers doubling the amount of time that they spend each day consuming content – from 3 hours and 17 minutes to an average of 6 hours and 59 minutes.
The analysis found that the increase in content consumption occurred across every content type and channel surveyed.
The biggest increase was in social media consumption, which saw 48 per cent of consumers spending more time on social platforms. Following closely behind, 47 per cent of consumers said they are spending more time reading online news.
The report found that consumers aren’t just consuming more content, they are also being selective in the type of content and channels through which they view it – 24 per cent have newly subscribed to a free publication to access trusted information in the last few months.
“In part, this is due to the increasing importance consumers place on keeping pace with the fast-evolving news cycle, and recognition of the need to avoid fake or inflammatory news. This expressed focus on trusted news also aligns with an acceleration of subscription revenue growth — both within video streaming services and online media sectors (including newspapers and magazines),” the report states.
The most successful ad campaigns are those delivered in trusted, contextual environments
DoubleVerify found that 44 per cent of consumers are trying new brands after seeing ads relevant to the content being viewed. But it warns that this appetite isn’t uniform across brand verticals, countries, or age groups.
“This complexity, combined with expressed frugality – the vast majority (74 per cent) of consumers are trying to spend less money this year – means advertisers need to work smarter.”
For brands to drive sales successfully, the report states, careful consideration needs to be given to the brand-content alignment to secure consumer interest.
The report found that ads also perform better in trusted environments, with 67 per cent of consumers more likely to engage with an ad on the website of a publisher they know and trust.
Ads also perform better in trusted environments, with 67 per cent of consumers more likely to engage with an ad on the website of a publisher they know and trust.DoubleVerify, Four fundamental shifts in media and advertising during 2020
Over half (55 per cent) of the consumers studied said they would feel negatively toward a brand that advertised next to false or misleading content.
“The research shows that, as news cycles have become increasingly complex in 2020, consumers are highly cognizant of content’s factual accuracy, bias, sentiment and alignment with ads that appear beside it.”
Some industries drive a higher engagement
According to the report, 69 per cent of consumers said that they are more likely to look at an ad that is relevant to the content they are viewing. But this insight varies depending on type of brand.
For food and beverage, travel and healthcare brands, contextually relevant advertising is particularly effective in driving engagement.
“Through contextual targeting, advertisers can frame campaigns around consumer interest and intent, helping advertisers to reach consumers in a suitable, relevant and privacy-friendly way,” the report says.
To read the full report, visit DoubleVerify’s website.