Nine out of ten women enjoy content created by brands and prefer the articles and videos that they consume to be authentic and entertaining. These are two of the main takeaways from a recent survey by product discovery website Influenster, which polled the opinions of 13,000 women across three generations in the United States.
Sponsored content is used extensively by female-centric brands in a range of industries, including fashion, beauty and home design, so marketers will be happy to hear that women have an overwhelmingly positive view of it. Branded content is slightly more popular with Generation Z, but its appeal is widespread.
In terms of tailoring content for women, brands need to embrace mobile if they have not already done so, as more than 90 per cent of women across all age groups now say that they spend the most time viewing articles, videos and ads on smartphones, while social media and brand websites or blogs are the most popular sources.
Marketers may also want to steer clear of political themes, as they are the least popular reason for enjoying branded content by a wide margin. Instead, 56 per cent of respondents said that creatives should focus on being both authentic and entertaining, while 53 per cent said that they should tell a story.
Publishing content at the right time and in the right place is also vital for driving awareness and reach. The survey found that younger women prefer interacting with content on Instagram, while Facebook is still the go-to platform for older users. YouTube is popular with all three age groups.
Perhaps the most surprising takeaway is that influencers now hold a much greater sway for affecting purchasing intent compared to celebrities, though both are trumped by the “brand itself.” Overall, 90 per cent of Gen X respondents said that they are “somewhat likely” or “highly likely” to buy a product or service after consuming brand-produced content. This falls slightly for an influencer to 85 per cent and much further for a celebrity (48 per cent).
“[Consumers] prefer content featuring real people way more than celebrities, so align your content creation accordingly and keep it real,” Influenster’s co-founder and President, Elizabeth Scherle, said. “Facebook is clearly a Gen X favourite, while YouTube is undoubtedly the choice platform for Gen Z. It’s important to adjust your strategy accordingly to be relevant to your audience across these social channels.”