A report from Nielsen found that branded website content is more trustworthy for consumers than PPC.

As part of its State of the Media, U.S. Digital Consumer Report, Nielsen found that branded website content is more trusted than paid search advertising.

The company’s survey found that 52 percent of consumers trust companies’ official websites when they find them through organic search rankings or any other method, whereas just 36 percent of respondents said they respond this way to PPC ads

Developing brand journalism with a focus on an industry, rather than promotional content, helps organizations improve their reputation among consumers. Prospects respond to articles written to educate them more frequently than those designed solely to sell them on something.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they trust social media marketing campaigns. While this figure is lesser than the PPC trust, it demonstrates that companies using new media marketing can attract just as many prospects by investing in their web presence.

Brafton recently reported that more than 40 percent of marketing budgets has been dedicated to branding initiatives, rather than overt direct response campaigns. Businesses are spending an increasingly significant portion of their money on branded content, as it is generating better overall responses than other forms of web marketing.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.