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Consumers Trust User-Generated Photos Seven Times More Than Traditional Ads

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Consumers strongly favour user-generated photos featuring real people over traditional advertising, a new study has found.

The findings come from a new report by Olapic entitled “Consumer Trust: Usage & Attitudes Towards User-Generated Visual Content”.

The company surveyed 4,500 social media users aged between 16 and 49 from the US and Europe, asking them a series of questions about their online habits, actions and engagement.

The report found that respondents trust images of other “real” consumers on social media 7x more than standard advertising.

A strong majority also said they trusted user-generated content most, with 76% saying they felt content posted by other consumers was more honest.

A further 44% of respondents said they trusted UGC more than any other content.

And in terms of how this affects brands, 56% of those asked said they were more likely to buy a product after seeing it featured in a “positive or relatable” user-generated image.

In addition to this, almost half (49%) said they were more likely to buy a product that had been endorsed by a real person.

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José de Cabo, co-founder of Olapic, said: “These figures send a strong message to brands about how they should engage with consumers.”

“Social media brings streams of authentic images to consumers’ fingertips, transforming how they see products and interact with brands.

“Today’s low levels of trust in traditional advertising suggest that consumers are seeking a more honest dialogue with brands and marketers.

“In order for brands to increase engagement and sales, they’ll need to adapt to this changing landscape and communicate with consumers in the authentic visual language they crave.”

Other interesting findings of the report include that 74% of global respondents had uploaded a photo tagging a brand, with 40% doing so to share purchases, and 34% because they had enjoyed a product or service.

Check out the full report here.