Top Consumer Motivations for Engaging with Online Content

consumer motivations for engaging

Want to understand what makes consumers interact with your online content? Look no further! Here are the top consumer motivations for engaging with online content.

About The Data

In a recent global research study by AOL, they have identified what they call “content moments,” which are:

“the motivations for initiating the content experience, the emotions felt during the experience, the outcomes of the content, and the topic of the content.”

AOL looked at 55,000 consumer interactions with online content. This global study included Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Across these markets, they found 8 content moments that were universal.

These content moments reveal what topics consumers are looking to engage with and why.

SEE ALSO: How to Use Content Marketing to Build Your Digital Brand

Top Engaging Motivators

1. Inspire

The top motivator in 6 out of the 8 countries (including the U.S.) was “Inspire”. This motivation manifests in the consumer’s desire to look for new ideas or try something new.

The best topics that lend themselves to this motivation are food and fashion, and the top formats used for engagement were product pages and photo galleries.

2. Feel Good

The second most popular consumer motivation for engagement in the U.S. was the “Feel Good” moment. The motivation behind this moment was the consumer need to improve mood and relax.

Topics that worked best in this “feel good” category based on their study was wedding and family and the top formats for interaction were social media and photo galleries.

3. Update Socially

“Update Socially” and “Entertain” come in close at 3rd and 4th place.

Related to the “Feel Good” moment, “Update Socially” was not just about staying up-to-date with your social circle, but about taking a mental break as well.

For this moment, celebrity and sports were the top themes and social media and online articles were the most engaging formats.

“Entertain” has a similar motivation with taking a break, but there was the added aspect of escape. The best way was through short or long videos, especially when they concerned comedy or animals.

Lower Engaging Motivators

The “Find” moment came in at 9%, which refers to the need of consumers to seek answers or advice. Their leading topics included auto and health and were best reached via product page or listicle.

“Be in the know” differs from “Find,” in that it is more about finding relevant ideas and also staying up-to-date, such as with current events and politics. The best engagement comes from online information articles and blogs.

“Connect” came in second to last place, with its need to learn something new or be a part of a community. Surprisingly, science and comedy were the leading topics, and the top formats included a photo gallery and short videos.

The “Comfort” moment came in last place for top consumer motivations for engaging with online content. This moment involves the motivation to need support or insight. Medical and relationships were the top performers in this category and the top formats include blogs and product pages.

 DBI Tip: Most of the leading topics for each of the content moments, naturally lend themselves to certain online formats. Understand which format your product or service lends itself best to and try to format the content to fit with one of these 8 content moments that work best within that space.


Have any content moments that worked or didn’t work for you? Please share below!

Written by
Gina Wanless

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