There is a nuanced way to market for every demographic and men are no different. Of course not every man is the same - each individual is unique, of course, but then there are some certain generalities that we can use in our digital marketing efforts that will help us create a balanced marketing approach for men, particularly on social media.
There is some good analysis of social media trends from a few sources that can give us some of the juicy details on what makes a man tick in the world of social media. Either that or we can just get some insight into their trending preferences compared to women in a general sense.
In our analysis of these sources in our quest for information, we identify the challenges for marketing with certain platforms, the types of media men consume, the importance of social influencers and their awareness/acceptance of trends. These basic guidelines will provide the kind of analysis we are looking for when trying to develop a clear path to digital marketing to men online, via mobile experience, etc.
Challenges - Lower Usage of Certain Platforms Than Females
There is evidence to suggest that men and women have slightly different preferences in how they interact and use social media, digital media and mobile devices. This makes for a somewhat complicated challenge to figure out how to best implement a strategy based on gender demographics.
Specifically, in the case of men, there are some clear examples that can give us some basic guidance. Investigating the platforms each gender prefers is a good first step. According to Fluent, who investigated user preferences between men and women using various social media platforms, Facebook was the most used platform by both genders. However, women seemed to prefer it a bit more (77 percent vs. 69 percent). Instagram use was about equal at 11 percent for both men and women. Surprisingly, more men had a preference for Pinterest than women (15 percent vs. 4 percent). More men seemed to prefer Twitter (11 percent) than women (6 percent). Snapchat was about equal at 1 percent each.
Fluent suggested using gender-neutral language when marketing to men and women both. Interestingly though, they suggest that men are more susceptible to marketing messages. Their survey revealed that men seem to subscribe to alerts, notifications and newsletters more often than women and are more receptive to brands.
Another thing to keep in mind is that men are less likely to check online reviews before making a purchase decision.
Types of Media Men Consume More than or as Much as Females
Davies Media made an interesting suggestion in their research of media consumption by men. They know and understand that men are doing more household chores than in previous generations, which means that any stereotypical messaging embedded (even by mistake subconsciously) within an ad, post, etc. can turn them off. They are looking for useful solutions and products/services that will help them get these chores done faster and/or better. They call this the “New Man”.
Another fantastic tidbit they provided is that men visit YouTube.com almost religiously, visiting that site the most in a month’s time. This can give you some great insight on where to budget your marketing dollars.
Think visual. Think video. Think YouTube ads. Men tend to view ads more often than women, so your dollars on video ads can be worth the investment and provide you with much-needed ROI.
What about age and income opportunities in the demographic data? Well, it turns out that the most affluent are those over the age of 35, which is what most people would expect. However, those most open to online shopping and newer experiences are those in their 20s. This provides an interesting challenge to e-commerce marketers - finding a middle ground between those motivated to purchase online and those with more money in their pockets to do so.
Importance of Influencers, Athletes, Celebrities on Opinions
There really isn’t enough research available to determine the clear differences between genders in how they each respond to social influencers like athletes, celebrities, etc. on their personal opinions or spending patterns. However, it might be wise to recognize that the best rule of thumb would be to use more goal-oriented messaging in your campaigns over focusing on lifestyle.
Trend Awareness and Acceptance
There also isn’t much information readily available on the difference between genders in how they respond to cultural and consumer trends. We can, however, infer some information from what we already know to make some educated guesses. We can use this to guide our strategy for digital marketing to men.
For example, we know that men respond more and see more digital advertising than women. This may mean that they are slightly more aware of what trends might be happening based on the market’s response to advertising messages. We also know that they are more likely to commit to repeat engagement, that is alerts, notifications, subscriptions (RSS, feeds, etc.) and newsletters than women are. That could be a cue that men are more open to influence as well.
Mobile Use and Other Behavioral Difference Between Genders
Women tend to use mobile devices more than men for sharing content such as pictures and videos, according to Marketing Profs with research gathered from Exact Target, Pew Research Center and Nielsen. This customer behavior research helps us better understand the differences between genders as it relates to the actual devices they use.
Women even use their devices more often to play games than men. Men are more likely to use mobile coupons and QR codes than women though. This lines up with their social media motivations and usage. Men are more likely to use social media for business and dating, so mobile apps that target these niches can find opportunity there.
Men tend to use their devices differently. Women like sharing photos and recording videos and like to play games more often than men. Men, on the other hand, prefer to use their phones and tablets for news, GPS and watching video content. Women tend to use their devices for more social activities overall and men tend to find utility in their devices. You can use these basic insights to drive some of your digital marketing strategies geared toward men.
Men and women differ in their preferences for both social media and the devices they use social media on. In short, females tend to be more involved in sharing visual and social interactions on the Internet while men tend to try to solve problems and consume video or news/business content. Women tend to be more interested in lifestyle choices in their activities online.
These basic general differences can help you in your efforts to create an effective digital marketing campaign targeting men. But remember, nuance makes all the difference!