Brands represent an integral part of a woman's daily life, and they have the ability to forge deep emotional bonds through the content that they create. As more and more brands become original content creators, it's critically important that they understand what women want when it comes to lifestyle video content. As part of the POPSUGAR Insights/ulive 2014 lifestyle video study, we explored the emotional connection that women create with video in order to help creators develop original content that resonates. We discovered that women develop four specific kinds of emotional connections with lifestyle video content and that in general they prefer high-quality content that is authentic, concise, and positive in tone.
Entertain Her — Women seek to be entertained by the content they consume. Seventy-four percent of women seek out videos that are genuinely trying to entertain and provide them with a short mental break in their otherwise busy days. Eighty-nine percent of women watch lifestyle videos while in their home, so creators should reward that "me time" by identifying topics women find enjoyable and providing a uniquely defined perspective and point of view in content that is both snackable and sharable.
Educate Her — Seventy-one percent of women choose videos that help them learn new things. Women actively seek out interesting and informative content that helps them accomplish day-to-day goals, from learning a new recipe to tips on how to stylishly decorate their home. Examples of specific content genres women want more of include how-to videos, behind-the-scenes peeks and exclusive access, Q&As with tastemakers and other influencers, and informative product reviews. Content creators can help women achieve their personal goals by focusing on user benefits, offering clear step-by-step instructions with visual cues, and asking questions that spark conversation and encourage social sharing.
Inspire Her — Sixty percent of women seek out videos that provide inspiration or motivation. From women seeking a new workout to help them break out of a routine rut to women who are seeking to connect with a larger cause, women view content that motivates them to take an action, make a change, or give a boost to their peers as highly engaging. The most avid lifestyle video consumers (women who stream 240+ minutes per month) love content that is fun to watch (59%), is authentic (48%), and features passionate hosts (38%). In general, women feel that there is too much snarkiness and negative content on the web and that they should support each other and their respective causes and celebrate life's positive moments. Creators can inspire women to take action in their lives by offering content that fuels both their head and their heart.
Inform Her — Fifty-four percent of women watch lifestyle videos because they want to learn more about brands. Women have a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between advertising and content, and they recognize the positive impact that brands, and their products, can have in their lives. However, they also have strict guidelines for how brands should act when aligned with or appearing next to lifestyle content. Forty-seven percent of women say that ads appeal to them most when they don't interrupt the viewing experience, and 43% of women don't want ads to delay the viewing experience. Ads should be from brands that women are interested in (37%) and ideally should be related to the content they are watching (34%) to heighten the emotional connection. The benefits of proper brand alignment with lifestyle video content speak for themselves, as 50% of avid lifestyle video consumers have indicated that they've visited a site or brick-and-mortar store to purchase the specific product they saw advertised in a lifestyle video.
Brands that create or align with lifestyle video content have a unique opportunity to forge a deep emotional connection with women, and like most relationships, these connections can be layered. The best, most emotionally engaging lifestyle content fuels both head and heart, and creators shouldn't shy away from trying to create content that resonates on multiple levels.