A report from Nielsen suggests that content marketing is among the best methods for companies to improve trust among prospects.

In its recently released Global Trust in Advertising report, Nielsen found that 58 percent of consumers said they trust editorial content and brand sites more than most other forms of web marketing. The internet gives consumers access to countless information sources, and using content marketing to transform a website into a resource can help businesses contribute to industry conversations and boost their reputations.

While 42 percent of respondents said that they do not trust editorial content, it still stands out as the most trusted form of information that marketers can create. Editorial content and branded websites closely followed consumer opinions posted on the web (trusted by 70 percent) as a reliable resource.

Using news content marketing can be especially helpful for businesses. Rather than creating website content used solely to promote a business, articles that discuss industry trends and demonstrate a company’s ability to add value to its customers can help foster trust.

Other platforms for distributing brand content fared decently in Nielsen’s report. Email marketing campaigns received 50 percent approval, though the other half of respondents said they don’t trust the messages despite signing up for them.

Among the least trusted forms of online brand information were different types of direct response ads served across a number of channels.

Nielsen’s data likely affirms the content marketing plans many companies already have on their agendas. Brafton recently reported that 90 percent of B2B companies are using content marketing in some manner, and the investment is likely to continue with 60 percent planning to spend more on their content in 2012.

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.