December 30, 2010
Luxury brands need to integrate a more nuanced approach to connecting with female consumers via online video to make the most of the channel, according to Nielsen Co.
The key to starting a dialogue with women via online video is understanding which demographics are consuming the content, as well as when, where and how they are interacting with brands via branded video messaging. Entertaining and uplifting content may be the best answers, but luxury brands should also understand how to connect with female consumers at their places of work, according to Nielsen.
"Luxury brands have a significant opportunity to leverage engagement with video content," said Jessica Hogue, research director at Nielsen, New York. "Whether it be a sponsored movie short or an engaging 30-second spot that airs in stream, there are many opportunities to connect with these women.
"Uplifting and inspirational messaging perhaps out to be tested as well, given their desire to consume and share uplifting content," she said. "I'd certainly examine the opportunities to buy at different times of day."
Life stages matter
The online video channel could be a valuable one for luxury marketers looking to foster deep engage between consumers and their brands.
However, thus far luxury companies have not used the channel to its fullest potential, according to a Forrester study (see story).
Four key facts stood out about women's online video consumption, according to Nielsen.
First, life stage and occupation are the most important factors that dictate how they consume online video, rather than age.
In other words, younger women are not the only ones watching video content on the Internet, nor are they necessarily the heaviest viewers.
The most frequent consumers of online video are working women, ages 25-34, followed by working women ages 35-44, the two biggest categories by far.
Interestingly, working mothers ages 35-44 were actually the third strongest category in terms of time spent watching online video, outpacing stay-at-home mothers ages 25-34 and 35-44, respectively, while working mothers ages 25-34 were the weakest category.
Video consumption habits across various female demographics
Workplace consumption was much greater than Nielsen analysts had anticipated.
"The biggest surprise was absolutely the amount of content that is consumed at work and during work hours," Ms. Hogue said."Some women have movies or other long-form content playing in the background while they are at work, or will hop on to YouTube as a mini-break between activities.
"Online video is the new coffee break for these women," she said.
Nielsen also found that media consumption patterns change for women over the course of the day.
The morning marks a period in which female consumers are motivated to gather information, often checking the Internet for news, weather, stocks, and social network and email updates.
Later on, entertainment and functional content such as how-to videos become the target of women's consuming activities. Coupon sites, online shopping, gaming and recipe tips garner more traffic in the late afternoon.
The trend is more pronounced for stay-at-home women who spend more time looking for shopping deals.
Finally, inspirational video content takes hold towards the end of the day as exhaustion begins to set in.
The third major finding from the Nielsen study was that women are apt to share videos via social media.
More than 25 million women viewed video content from social media sites such as Facebook in August 2010, up almost 50 percent year-over-year.
Women over-indexed by 11 percent compared to men for video consumption via social media platforms.
The data indicates that the relationships women share with family and friends mark a pivotal point of access for luxury brands hoping to engage the females with video content.
Additionally, marketers hoping to connect with female consumers will have to adjust their strategies to make content available more easily on demand in the future, as technology advances to allow more consumers to plug large televisions into the Internet.
Entertainment and relevance
Finally, women tended to accept online advertising and understand that the price of free content is sponsored messaging.
Furthermore, these consumers tend to be receptive to good advertising.
However, luxury marketers will need to work harder to connect with women through online video by developing attention-grabbing creative and relevant, arresting messages.
Nielsen claims that women fulfill their need to relieve stress, boredom and loneliness in their choice of online video.
While women over-index for digital news consumption, their video viewing habits tend to favor entertainment such as time-shifted television, movies and funny videos, with an emphasis on uplifting content.
"The finding that struck me most was the sense of structure women brought to their digital lives, and the role that their online experiences played in helping them to decompress," Ms. Hogue said. "It was remarkable the number of women who said they were looking for uplifting content at the end of the day - a sign of our times, for certain."