The UK public is hungry for health content, and is expecting food, drink and retail brands to help combat serious national issues such as obesity by providing practical content, according to the latest ‘Health and the High Street’ report from content marketing platform NewsCred. The NewsCred platform allows brands to run their own newsrooms by licensing existing content from publishers, as well as allowing brands to hire freelance journalists to create original content.
Launched this week, NewsCred’s report highlights insights from a study of 2,000 UK consumers, revealing that 76% say brands now have a responsibility to provide consumers with health content, with 65% saying it’s about time brands moved in this direction.
Importantly, 48% think obesity is the number one UK health problem that brands should combat with content, ahead of other health issues such as heart disease and cancer. The most in demand topics are fat and sugar content, with 41% saying this would be the most useful health material from brands.
The demand for branded health content is in line with the fact that 47% of people say they have become more health conscious in the past 12 months. But just 27% say they feel informed regarding health issues, highlighting an opportunity for relevant brands to meet this need.
NewsCred’s data shows that UK consumers are open to brands providing health content – 46% feel brands are genuinely helping consumers by offering more health-related content, and 29% say health content has improved their opinion of brands.
But despite their general positive reception to branded health content, UK consumers are questioning the agenda behind it – 61% feel brands are only offering health content as part of a marketing strategy, while 53% feel sceptical of it. NewsCred’s survey results show that Britons still trust traditional sources of health information, such as GPs, the NHS, newspapers and magazines, more than they do brands.
The strongest influences on trust in content as voted by the UK public are using evidence and using experts – according to NewsCred’s consumer data, these factors are considered more valuable than the content being free.
NewsCred CEO, Shafqat Islam, said the ‘Health and the High Street’ report shows that the opportunity to make a difference to the state of the UK’s health gives a new meaning to content marketing.
“Like it or not, some of the biggest changes to how UK residents are managing their health – as well as being informed and educated about it – are down to brands operating in the closely-related industries of retail, food and drinks, and we at NewsCred are expecting to see more of this in 2015,” said Islam.
“However, the challenges of trust and content credibility prove that the journey from brand to publisher is not an easy or a quick one, regardless of what sector you operate in. But the challenge is far from insurmountable. Progress is achievable by understanding what consumers place their trust in and analysing how you can translate that into trust in your brand – and content. We hope that 2015 will be the year brands rise to this challenge.”