Advertisers Look To Emotional 'Moments' To Drive Engagement, Content Experiences

Advertisers are increasingly moving toward focusing on consumer behavior described in moments that create an emotional response and away from targeting by characteristics, according to research released Thursday.

AOL has conducted global research to examine what emotions motivate consumers to engage with content. The research focuses on the "why" -- the reasons consumers engage with content across eight global markets, rather than looking at data around the “who,” such as age, occupation and location.

AOL analyzed more than 55,000 content moments and eight motivations that influence consumers to engage with content. The research was fielded in May 2016 in the U.S., UK, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Spain, and Germany.

These moments are described as instances that inspire, entertain, make people feel good, and update them socially. Each piece of content fits into one type of content segment.

The top four "moments" that are most popular with U.S. consumers are Inspire, Feel Good, Entertain and Update Socially. These Moments are consistent with the other countries surveyed, but the U.S. exceeds other markets in Connect and Comfort moments when compared to global averages.

The U.S. lags behind other markets for “Find,” which is where Italy over-indexes the most.

The research defines "moments" as motivations for initiating the content experience, emotions felt during the experience, outcomes of the content, and topics of the content. A variety of elements are measured before, during, and after the time spent with the content vs. one thing like time or action.

Overall, the analysis shows how advertisers can move away from traditional audience-based campaigns and toward segments based on behavior.

The length of the "moment" varies by device and replicates the pattern of consumers spending more timer when screen size increases. This is exaggerated when consumers seek Entertainment and Feel Good "moments" compared with more functional, Internet-based behaviors.

For example, in the U.S., consumers are spending an average of 11 minutes per moment on a smartphone/tablet, 12 minutes on a computer and 19 minutes on game consoles.

Consumers in the U.S. spend less time on average engaged with content than other markets. U.S. consumers spend 12 minutes in an individual Content Moment compared with 13 minutes globally and 16 minutes in Brazil.

U.S. consumers also spend more time with more emotional motivations. The average time spent is 15 minutes with moments such as Entertain, and 17 minutes on average that Connect.

Interestingly, moment types vary according to the time of day. U.S. consumers spend nearly twice as much time in a moment later in the late night — 17 minutes on average between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. — than they do in the early morning at just 9 minutes on average between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.

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