Black History Month is here and your business should be learning how to connect with the African-American consumer. Here are three of the most crucial things to remember when targeting this uniquely cultured audience.
Focus on being mobile and social
African-American Millennials are one of the most socially engaging audiences. According to Nielsen, 91 percent of African-Americans own smartphones and more than 55 percent of African-American Millennials spend an hour a day or more on social media. That is 11 percent higher than the total Millennial population (Nielsen, 2016). This audience uses social media as an extension of their personality and keep their profiles current. Your business should be focused on doing the same. Profiles should be up-to-date with daily posts and highly engaging content. Building a strong social media presence will help your business reach these consumers more easily.
Your brand’s website should be mobile responsive to accommodate for this audience’s browsing behaviors. With 91 percent of African-Americans owning smartphones, these consumers are accessing websites via their mobile device. They often use their smartphones to search for reviews, recommendations and general information about brands. Businesses with websites that are visually appealing and easy to navigate in mobile view will be successful with African-American consumers.
African-Americans favor endorsed products and brands
This audience has a purchasing power that is expected reach $1.3 trillion in a few years, which means businesses should understand what products African-Americans actively look to buy (Nielsen, 2014). More than 55 percent of African-Americans with household incomes of $50,000 or more favor purchasing and supporting a product that is sold by someone of color or minority-owned business (Nielsen, 2014). By incorporating African-American models or actors in your ads, or by gaining an endorsement by someone of similar background, your business can earn trust in this audience while developing a lasting relationship.
Understand African-American culture
The key to targeting any multicultural market is to understand their cultural values and background. Connecting with African-American consumers means capitalizing on their differences. In a recent survey, more than 87% said that ethnic recognition is important in advertising, compared to 59 percent of the general market (Nielsen, 2014). This audience wants to be recognized for being different and ask that brands embrace their cultural identity. A business should strive to relate content to African-American culture and background. Doing so will help build a strong following from this audience.
Remembering these three major points in targeting the African-American consumer can be crucial to the success of your brand. Make all of your websites mobile responsive to adapt to smartphone habits, embrace and celebrate differences, build a strong social media presence and find use of African-American endorsements and models for your brand. Maintaining these attributes will allow you to create a lasting bond with this influential audience.
Nielsen (2014). Connecting Through Culture: African-Americans Favor Diverse Advertising. Nielsen.com. Retrieved 13 February 2017, from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/connecting-through-culture-african-americans-favor-diverse-advertising.html
Nielsen (2016). African-American Millennials Are Tech-Savvy Leaders in Digital Advancement. Nielsen.com. Retrieved 13 February 2017, from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2016/african-american-millennials-are- tech-savvy-leaders-in-digital-advancement.html