Media Trust, Adoption Landscape Shifting 18 Months Into The Pandemic

The pandemic and the close-to-home lifestyle it encouraged has, in no great surprise, accelerated the adoption of digital media channels and with it, consumers’ comfort with marketing on these platforms. Data from Kantar’s latest Media Reactions report points to TikTok as turning in some of the most impressive growth, with 19 percent of consumers exposed to advertising on the social media network in 2020 and rising to 37 percent this year.

TikTok was lauded by consumers in Kantar’s report as providing advertising that was “fun and entertaining.” It’s also grown more popular with marketers, who see it as innovative. Although marketers’ trust in TikTok has almost doubled over the past year, it still trails YouTube, Google and Facebook, all platforms that digital marketers see as more trustworthy.

TikTok, however, is the only channel that saw its perceptions improve among consumers and brands. Online and mobile gaming advertising registered a five-percent year-over-year improvement in receptiveness among consumers, the largest increase of any of the channels Kantar surveys. Music streaming, podcast and streaming service ads all grew by three percent, and ads on social media stores were up one percent.

Marketers have also shown a growing trust in influencers as a marketing channel. In this year’s survey, influencer marketing ranked as the No. 3 most-trusted media among marketers, up from No. 10 last year and behind only TV and online video. Kantar suggests that influencers’ growing prominence reflects a growing comfort among marketers to give up some elements of control of their brand messaging.

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