We just finished the first phase of our Content + Credibility Study. What did we discover? A lot.

We surveyed 800 people in the U.S. and 800 people in the U.K. about their perceptions of web content credibility. This infographic shows a few key findings for the U.S.



My first reaction to this was disappointment. We’ve made so much progress in the interactive industry with technology, but we seem to be far behind with content. People are using the web more than ever to find content they don’t feel they can trust (65% of Americans don’t think web content is reliable). I didn’t spend my career here to have people view content as “hit or miss,” at best. (I’m sure you didn’t, either.)

But, after having time to soak this in, I’m excited about the opportunity we face. Making even small improvements for credibility is likely to set your content apart. What’s more, detailed findings from our study suggest that people are more open than we expected to non-media sources of content—that means companies, brands, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations. So, if you’re one of those organizations and boost your content’s credibility, people are likely to pay attention.

We assembled all of our findings, along with some discussion and recommendations, in a comprehensive, easy-to-understand report. We included some wonderful visualizations of the data, too. My hope is the report helps you both make the case for credible content and think of ways to make it happen. There’s some extra detail for the health, travel, and finance industries, too.

Originally published on the now-archived Content Science blog in March 2012.

The Author

Colleen Jones is the author of The Content Advantage and founder of Content Science, a content intelligence and strategy firm that has advised or trained hundreds of the world’s leading organizations since 2010. She also is the former head of content at MailChimp, the marketing platform recognized by Inc. as 2017 Company of the Year. A passionate entrepreneur, Colleen has led Content Science to develop the  content intelligence software ContentWRX, publish the online magazine Content Science Review, and offer online certifications through Content Science Academy.

Colleen has earned recognition as an instructor on LinkedIn Learning, one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Content Marketing by a TopRank study, a Content Change Agent by Society of Technical Communication’s Intercom Magazine, and one of the Top 50 Most Influential Content Strategists by multiple organizations.

Follow Colleen on Twitter at @leenjones or on LinkedIn.

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