In response to recent events surrounding user data, Facebook has taken out full-page advertisements in various newspapers across the United States and United Kingdom to apologise to users.

That Facebook is taking out ads in newspapers shouldn’t be lost on publishers and won’t be on advertisers. Ads in proven and established news publications inherently perform better than on social media platforms, and Facebook is trying to capitalise on that.

User trust in Facebook has waned recently. A new poll by MGH shows 70% of respondents don’t trust Facebook to keep their personal information secure. Privacy concerns were further illuminated when Facebook announced most of its 2 billion users may have had their personal data scraped. While apologetic in his testimony before congress, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted the company has not gone far enough to prevent the platform from doing harm.

Advertisers are increasingly seeking out safe places to promote their brands.
Advertisers are increasingly seeking out safe places to promote their brands.

And now brands are starting to take notice. Elon Musk pulled Tesla and SpaceX pages from Facebook. Mozilla and Pep Boys suspended all advertising until the platform takes action to strengthen privacy settings. Unilever also fired a warning shot across the platform’s bow in the wake of brand safety concerns.

User trust has become currency in advertising, and publishers are the new rich. Advertisers have money to spend on digital video, but brand safety concerns of platforms like Google and Facebook are leaving them gun shy.

As a publisher, this is your golden opportunity to showcase the trust you have developed with your users. Google and Facebook have no way to police 100% of the content on their platforms, but you do. So when advertisers start to look to publishers, it’s important you prioritise putting as much brand-safe content on your site as possible.

This is a major reason publishers need to look at third-party video providers with brand-safe content at their core. At SendtoNews, for example, we only deal with sports highlights direct from official content providers like MLB, NFL, and NBA. Advertisers are now looking to brand safe but engaging content like sports, where their brands are more likely to be protected.

We have consistently talked about how video is a publisher’s best option when it comes to delivering high CPMs, engaging viewers, and growing audience. The money marketers spend on digital video is growing at the fastest rate of all options. We have also illustrated that all video isn’t created equal. To ensure engaged and growing viewership and maximum revenue, publishers need to have high-quality, user-engaging video on their sites.

The concern of trust has become so top-of-mind many blue chip companies like Bank of America have hired “brand safety officers,” whose sole job is to ensure their advertisements don’t appear on any unsavoury platforms or near questionable content. If publishers pack their site with trusted, official, and safe content, advertisers who prioritise the security of their brand are sure to take notice.