Understanding Consumer Through Pandemic Video Trends
As the world is changing with an unusually fast pace, there’s never been more challenging and at the same time exciting time to be a marketer or a seller. With or without the pandemic happening, understanding consumers’ evolving needs and wants, and providing them with the relevant content is the ultimate strategy for winning in the highly saturated digital world.
So, how do we find out what people need? By studying their online behavior! It's no secret people are turning to Youtube to fulfill their needs, however, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, users have been tuning into new types of video content. Thanks to recent data from Think with Google we can take a closer look at what these video trends are and what they reveal about today’s consumer needs.
Susan Kresnicka is a cultural anthropologist specialized in foundational research to establish core human drivers for consumer behavior who along with her team, created a Human Needs Model that explains consumer behavior, through core needs like self-care, social connection, and identity.
And how does this translate to marketing? You might ask, well, it’s all part of understanding how the content you create, or the product and/or service you provide works in people’s lives. This eventually gives you some guidance on how to communicate, guide, or serve your potential and current customers by teaching you how to provide meaningful experiences to them.
Let’s see some examples of user’s behavior through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though this can be a different process for everyone, at the end of the day, according to Kresnicka, self-care “refers to the whole range of needs associated with sustaining and nurturing the individual, embodied self” be it long baths, going for walks, enjoying a day on the beach, for most people this process changed as the pandemic started, which led them to find new ways to feel better with themselves.
The results of Susan’s study revealed that people were drawn to videos that help them confront new stressors. For example, videos related to “nature sounds” increased their viewership by 25% as people looked for something to calm their anxiety or nerves.
Humans are social individuals. Since the minute we’re born, we’re drawn to communicate with each other no matter the channel we use. “We’re an ultrasocial species whose survival rests on our ability to maintain a social connection through close, interpersonal relationships, and a broader sense of belonging in society,” Susan explains.
Once again, this aspect of our lives has been affected by COVID-19, and thankfully we live in the 21st century and can communicate online. But apparently, that’s not enough. Quarantine made users search for YouTube videos that help them engage directly or indirectly with others.
Views of “#WithMe” videos (such as Cook with Me, Get Ready with Me, Decorate with Me, etc.) have grown 600% since March.
Kresnicka explains, “Identity encompasses the whole experience and understanding of the self, in all its complexity and capacity for change.” And according to her, it also impacts our other needs. “How we understand ourselves and our experiences fundamentally shape the way we care for ourselves, connect with others, and operate in the world around us.”
This way, a good portion of YouTube comes from users who find making videos a perfect way to express themselves, who they are, or even who they might become. This category can include makeover videos where they change their look by painting it, cutting it, and feeling powerful by doing so.