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By Natalie Maas on 21 Feb 2017

The consumer culture theory is a family of theoretical perspectives based on the study of consumption choices and behaviours, not from the traditional economic or psychological point of view, but on the social and cultural side of things which address the dynamic relationships between consumer actions, the marketplace, and cultural meanings. (Arnould, E. J.; Thompson, C. J. (2005). "Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research". Journal of Consumer Research. 31 (4): 868–882. doi:10.1086/426626.) It examines how emotions, attitudes and preferences affect buying behaviour. Some of the social factors include reference groups, immediate family members and relatives' role and status in the society, whereas the cultural influence plays on nothing but values of an individual. The values he/she learns from their parents and relatives as a child becomes his/her culture.

Using Consumer Culture Theory with Social Video

So why does a table of nerds in the social department of Wolfgang care about the emphasis of the psychological effects and processes of buying? Well, mostly because it is our job. When you understand the underlying factors of consumer behaviour, above the pretty pictures and cute emojis, you understand human methodology and thought processes, which allow your clients or your own brand to work with the current of consumers and not against it.  The key is to work smarter, not harder!

Let’s tie in the fundamentals of the CCT and apply it to social. Social advertising is undoubtedly going guns a blazing into the vivid world of social video, so let’s talk about how we can apply our basic knowledge of the theory and integrate it into our everyday social video marketing campaigns. Moving forward, we will discuss 3 factors marketers and businesses must follow to take advantage of the CCT-  by offering the opportunity for consumers to bond with a brand throughout the purchase funnel from adhering to the principles and applying it during the content creation stage of social video. 

Shareable for your target market

Social Videos have a 135% greater organic reach compared to photos. The great thing about social video marketing is it pulls on the consumer-culture theory and the psychology of sharing which umbrellas over emotional motivations and how valuable the content is to the individual be the first to share. When a consumer has a positive experience with your ad, 42% are likely to share it.  From there, 76% of users are likely to then watch a video their friends or family have shared. In the engagement rate equation designed by Wolfgang, we attribute social shares the highest ranking factor. You can see the domino effect in play with sharing on social and why shares are so important. Your brand wants those shares. Shares generate brand advocacy and massive organic reach, crucial elements to any brand.  So how do you create this shareable video content? You make it relatable and authentic, optimized for mobile! 

Let’s explore that notion.

Relatable to the viewer in the present time

A good UX starts with targeting and the reason behind WHY you are targeting a group of potential customers. Targeting for social video needs to be extremely precise and when you reflect on the Consumer-Culture Theory, creating a relationship with the consumer is essential.

Relatable content for viewers

Did you know 48% of social users expressed they want to see more relevant content? This means there is a lot of room for brands to excel in this area of marketing.  On Facebook alone, brands can target people by their interests, demographic, age, location, gender as well as their interactions within Facebook pages and websites with the Facebook pixel. With this information, brands can crack down and segregate their users into stages of the purchase funnel and determine what their purchasing intentions are. The role of this information is very valuable for marketers to have access to data that may predict the consumer’s online behaviour. Utilising this feature and understanding how this methodology works can ensure the message is not only relatable to the users, but authentic.

Authentic conversation
between brand and consumer

Your video needs to make the viewer feel like they are having a real conversation with your brand. Feeling engaged by a brand is one of the highest driving forces behind brand loyalty and a large factor in the consumption choices of purchasers. Gather a focus group, release a survey or just simply ASK your audience what they are craving to know and produce a video answering some of those questions. Don’t be afraid to give your video a human touch. In addition, understanding the culture of people your brand is targeting is key. Goodrich & De Mooij (2013) conducted a valuable study on cross-cultural influences on purchase decisions and have concluded that the purchases made by consumers are reflected in their cultural background. Every individual has different sets of habits, beliefs and principles which he/she develops from his family status and background which effect his/her purchase behaviour and their reaction to your brand. Knowing this information about your target audience will avoid cultural blunders and embarrassing PR costs. When Puffs tissues tried to introduce its product in Germany, they were quick to learn that “Puff” in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse. Oops.

Additional Tip:
Optimised for each of the social platforms

When 80% of social media usage time is spent on mobile, we need to throw traditional optimization methods out the window. Starting now, your brand should be optimizing all ad formats for mobile only views. This means formatting your video to look best on a mobile opposed to desktop. When a paid ad or an organic post is formatted for mobile, we see massive uplifts in reach, impressions and CTR, just by simply taking an extra moment to adjust size and resolution. Keep in mind, social videos are also very quick and to the point. Ensure videos are no longer than 20 seconds to keep view rates as high as Chong. 

Social content optimised for mobile

There you have it! The questions of the universe answered! At least the universe around Consumer Culture Theory and applying it to video! We hope your brand sees the guaranteed benefits of applying such a theory to your marketing strategy. And do not be afraid to apply this method to all forms of content your brand creates. The fundamentals of CCT can be applied throughout a marketing strategy. Keeping your content shareable, relatable and authentic will never fail.

If you are in need of some quick advice, team social (AKA best looking bunch) we would be happy to blow your mind with more of our social insights. 

Natalie Maas
Social Media Specialist @ Wolfgang Digital 

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