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Content consumption changes call for diversification in media relations strategies

by | May 29, 2019 | Public Relations

New research from brand elevation firm Matter Communications reveals big year-over-year shifts in how shoppers learn about consumer tech products, the skyrocketing reliance on video and the value placed on social good.

For the first time, social media has surpassed word of mouth when it comes to product awareness, the consumption of video product reviews has more than doubled and the vast majority of consumers care about brand values.

Matter’s 2019 Consumer Technology Surveyreaffirms key digital marketing trends in PR, social and digital marketing, and uncovers how marketers can better capture the attention of an evolving marketplace. Key findings include:

Social media overtakes word of mouth

From 2018 to 2019, the number of consumers depending on friends and family to find out about personal technology products has plummeted by 21 percent—dropping from 71 percent in 2018 to 56 percent this year.

At the same time, the number of consumers using social media to find out about personal technology products has increased 119 percent (26 percent to 57 percent).

Among shoppers aged 18 to 29, 75 percent rely on social content to discover consumer technology products. Other top sources for initial product awareness are:

  • Television (42 percent)
  • Online tech sites, like CNET, PCMag, The Verge, etc. (36 percent)
  • Lifestyle magazines and sites, like GQ, Buzzfeed, Men’s/Women’s Health, etc. (17 percent)

Reliance on video content continues to rise

The number of consumers using video sources, like YouTube, as a source for product recommendations and reviews has more than doubled from 2018 (38 percent vs. 18 percent). Shoppers aged 18 to 29 are almost 3 times as likely to consult YouTube compared to consumers over 30

Once purchased, 71 percent of consumers watch how-to videos for instruction, a 44 percent increase over 2018.

Other types of video content consumers watch include:

  • Product hack/tip videos (39 percent)
  • Video product reviews (39 percent)
  • Unboxing videos (21 percent)

Social good fuels purchase

Seventy percent of survey respondents consider a company’s commitment to a variety of “socially beneficial” initiatives when making a purchase decision. Specifically, consumers care that brands demonstrate the following values:

  • Sustainable and ethical sourcing (50 percent)
  • Proceeds being donated to charity (43 percent)
  • Valuing diversity and inclusion (42 percent)
  • Taking a stand on social and/or political issues (30 percent)

“This year’s survey reconfirmed trends on what dictates consumer tech purchases—83 percent of consumers check online reviews before buying, for example, and video review formats are twice as popular as they were at this time last year. Knowing this, brands need to be sure compelling video content and a targeted, multimedia review program are core program elements,” said Michael Byrnes, vice president at Matter, in a news release. “They also need to be sure they have a partner that knows how to create and amplify this content, helping customers make an informed purchase, and eventually turning them into brand advocates. With Matter, you get a team with the industry experience and expertise perfectly positioned to help elevate your brand.”

Content consumption changes call for diversification in media relations strategiesMatter collected responses from 1,000 US-based consumers in April 2019 via a third-party provider to determine the findings of its 2019 Consumer Technology Survey.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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