"Heavy" entertainment and pop culture fans — based on the large amount of online content they consume — are a crucial audience segment due to their "tastemaker" influencing power through word-of-mouth and digital content creation, and also a tendency to discover and buy products early, according to a joint study by Fandom and comScore.
The biggest fans of gaming, TV and movies spend 230%, 50% and 40% more money on their preferred media, respectively, compared to light fans, the study said.
Certain content categories based on the Interactive Advertising Bureau's taxonomy are more popular than others among entertainment fans. Content related to automotive and personal finance are popular with big movie buffs, for example. TV users are more likely to shop online and TV and movie fans index high in dining out and travel.
While fans' behaviors and purchasing habits differ from the mainstream, marketers might not be capitalizing to the fullest on these engaged segments. Big pop culture buffs seem especially receptive to personalized ads online, suggesting new opportunities for stronger targeted efforts as companies plan around key push times like the summer or back-to-school seasons.
Perhaps more important to marketers is the tastemaker aspect noted by Fandom and comScore, as major fans can act as influencers over the attitudes and purchasing behaviors of others.
Between 34% and 49% of these users are the people friends turn to for advice on the latest shows, movies and games, the study said. Movie aficionados, for example, create about 4x as much original content — from memes to fan fiction — so their influencing power can stretch far beyond personal networks in terms of raising brand awareness.
Some industry research suggests that user-generated content (UGC) can be more successful than traditional advertisements, depending on the platform. Mavrck recently found that UGC drove a 6.9x higher engagement level than brand-generated content on Facebook.
Targeting is also far more effective with relevant content, and this data can guide strategy to ensure ads are seen by high-value consumers to boost marketers' return on investment.