Digital Advertising: exploring consumer motivation for content engagement

Consumer content moments

Before going ahead with a marketing campaign, advertisers are forever being inundated with data on their prospective consumers. Who are they? Where do they live? What sector do they belong to? How do they spend their spare time? How do they acquire their information?

Very rarely will you get the answer to one of the most important aspects of advertising, and that is: "Why". Why does the consumer become motivated to use a product or brand? Why do we do anything at all? It’s the cornerstone of being a human. If we know "why" we automatically have a much greater insight that transcends beyond the content we create into the consumer and what drives them to interact with it at all. The result will be a much stronger advantage in placing our content.

AOL study uncovers 'content moments'

AOL has released a new global study into this very question. Over 55,000 interactions between consumers and online content were explored to try and get to the bottom of consumer motivations. Interestingly, this research revealed findings which illustrated that consumers around the globe engaged with online content in eight separate ways, referred to as ‘content moments':

  1. Inspire - seeking fresh ideas, trying new things or thinking from a different perspective
  2. Be in the know - searching for relevant ideas to stay updated
  3. Find - looking for answers and advice or investigating specific topics and items
  4. Comfort - seeking support or insight
  5. Connect - wanting to learn new things and feel like part of a community
  6. Feel good - finding moments that can improve moods and help in feeling relaxed
  7. Entertain - seeking an escape or mental break
  8. Update socially - searching for information to stay updated and take a mental break

A single ‘content moment’ consists of four differing elements: what motivated the action of initiating the content experience; the emotions being triggered throughout the experience; the outcome of the experience; and the content’s topic.

Although the eight content moments are universal, the way each is executed displays many nuances. The similar experiences people share do not necessarily mean they seek out identical content. People seek out differentiating content based on the myriad of moments that constitute any given day. No matter how mundane or out-of-the-ordinary the experiences are, they can incite numerous moments and content.

Research for this study covered the UK, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United States and Spain.

In the UK, Brits spend less time on a specific ‘moment’ than the rest of the world – 11 minutes as opposed to 13 minutes. It was also found that consumers in the UK are more emotionally involved and like to be entertained. They were found to have a yearning for learning new things. Furthermore, the UK’s most popular ‘moments’ were: Social, Be in the Know and Comfort.

This varied from the other markets in the study. In Japan, for example, the consumers there registered highly in Feel Good and Inspire, while in Germany it was Entertain that led the ranks.

Applying these findings to digital advertising

So how can this study help us in digital advertising? Up to now we had ‘How’ and ‘When’ consumers would be searching for particular brands but that is just the beginning of the puzzle – the key is knowing WHY the consumer is looking – what is the push behind that first thought?

That’s where these findings come into their own. They help advertisers by adding the human element to the traditional consumer insight elements of demographics and audience data, and that human element is the motivation behind the initial search for content. For example, advertisers can carefully select which 'content moments' best suit their brand at a particular time, identify the catalyst for those moments and tailor their campaign accordingly.

Also, to maximise the effectiveness of a digital campaign, you can use insights from the eight content moments to boost creativity during decision-making processes and match the content you produce with the expectations of your target market.

We look forward to seeing how these findings are implemented in future marketing campaigns and digital strategies. You can read the full study on the AOL website.

If you'd like to discuss your digital marketing requirements or need assistance in formulating a digital strategy tailored to your brand, please get in touch to see how we can help.

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