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When Targeting Black Consumers, Understand Their Digital Behavior

June 20th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Is your small business marketing to black consumers? If so, a new Nielsen study offers some valuable information about how black Americans use the Internet, mobile devices, and video both online and on TV. Here’s some of what they found:

Black Americans are the second-highest consumers of mobile data services (based on ethnic demographic). They are especially active in text messaging and mobile browsing.

Black Internet users are extremely active on social media, spending 22 percent of their time online on social networks and/or blogs.

Black Americans were far ahead of other ethnic groups in some key online activities:

  • Black American men are 19 percent more likely than average to monitor their stocks and investments online.
  • Black American men are 16 percent more likely than average to read technology news online.
  • Black adults are 16 percent more likely than average to buy children’s clothes, shoes and accessories online.

When it comes to video:

  • Black Americans lead all other consumers in the amount of video they watch on television. They average 209 hours per month; the second-highest demographic, white viewers, watches an average of 150 hours per month.
  • Black Americans are the second-highest consumers of online video, averaging 6.19 hours per month.

What do these figures mean to you? Clearly, if you sell children’s products, technology products or services, or financial products and services, you’ll want to reach out to the black consumer online. And no matter what type of business you own, if you want to target black customers, you should make online video part of your marketing mix. Create videos and post them to your own website and YouTube.

Also consider traditional TV advertising on local cable networks. This can be surprisingly affordable for small businesses, and if you’re targeting black consumers, it’s still a worthwhile marketing channel. Cable stations should be able to provide information allowing you to target black viewers.

Get more details about the report at the Nielsen site.

Image by Flickr user viZZZual.com (Creative Commons)

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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