For some communicators, today’s political climate and other catastrophes can make the news space seem perilous to navigate. However, new Nielsen research finds that millions of consumers see tremendous value in staying informed and actively engage with news every day—and news websites help drive sales for brands and create value for advertisers through quality journalism.
The 2018 Nielsen Media Lab study, commissioned by News Corp, highlights the power of news websites to positively impact consumer behavior and brand perception.
“Authenticity and actuality are precious qualities in an age of the artificial and the asinine. It is important that advertisers have adjacencies to reporting of the utmost integrity and verified veracity, and not have the brands tarnished by exposure in unsafe spaces and polluted places,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, in a news release. “Gilt by association is far preferable to guilt by association. This significant survey underscores the lasting power of news to engage, inform and enhance.”
News sites drive a significantly higher increase in both purchase intent and recommendation than other publishing categories such as sports, travel, food, and entertainment:
News content helps increase positive brand perception and brand affinity:
Negative or political news content is no more likely to adversely impact consumer attitude towards a brand than any other publisher category:
“There is a common misconception among marketers that news is bad for brands, but as this survey shows: that’s simply not true,” said Jesse Angelo, News Corp’s chief of advertising solutions and CEO of the New York Post, in the release. “News has always been and continues to be an effective place to advertise because of its ability to inform and engage its audience.”
The Nielsen data shows that this value to consumers drives what marketers seek most—positive connections that ultimately lead to sales.
Nielsen gathered and analyzed data from nearly 6,000 real consumers, resulting in new, evidence-based insights into how news, compared to other publisher categories, performs for brands. The survey, which was commissioned by News Corp’s advertising solution NewsIQ, found that while brands experienced an increase in purchase intent across all publisher categories, news content was a clear leader in this metric with a 44-percent increase—significantly ranking above all other content categories.
The survey also showed that respondents were 42 percent more likely to recommend a brand to a friend when viewing content on news publisher sites, nearly 10 percent higher than the combined average of the other publisher sites.
In measuring brand affinity, business (39 percent) and news sites (38 percent) were category leaders—likewise in driving positive brand perception. In fact, even negative news content was no more likely to adversely impact consumer’s brand perception than any other publisher category.
“We’re excited to work with News Corp to explore how the consumer experience is being influenced amidst this dynamic media environment and to help uncover data and insights that help brands connect and resonate with people through their news and media consumption,” said Peter Bradbury, managing director of National Client Solutions at Nielsen, in the release.
Nielsen Media Lab fielded a survey of 5,833 respondents ages 18 to 64 using a methodology designed to replicate the experience of reading a website article. The goal of the study was to test how a consumer’s brand perception and how their purchasing behavior might be affected by the publication category in which their ad runs. Respondents selected from seven publisher categories—business, news, fashion/beauty, travel, entertainment, and viewed—to view content from both category leaders and smaller websites.