Do you plan to market or sell products and services to African-American consumers? If so, to successfully market to this community, you’ll want to understand certain digital marketing trends: how today’s African Americans shop, where they hang out, where they’re most likely to be receptive to advertising, and most importantly , how they feel about marketing and the media.

It has been said that “2014 will be a banner year for social media and small business.” It has also been said that properly implemented digital marketing strategies can help small businesses grow. So what does this mean for small businesses that plan to target primarily African-American consumers? It means you need a realistic understanding of where Black consumers fit into this new media and cybercultural landscape. You’ll need to consider the following findings and/or trends when customizing your small business marketing campaign for this consumer:

1. Many, if not most, African-American youth are early adopters and influencers of pop culture, so you’ll want to promote new technology and lifestyle products to this consumer demographic.

2. African-Americans are heavy users of social media and heavy consumers of video content.

3. Black digital consumers are highly receptive to advertising on mobile devices.

4. Black consumer smartphone ownership rate grew from 33% to over 54% and continues to grow.

5. African-Americans use their phones to send text messages, access the Internet, receive and send emails, download images, download mobile music and videos, access Twitter and Facebook more than other demographics.

6. Black women are heavy users of e-commerce that involves shopping for beauty products, clothing, health care products, and groceries.

7. Black men and women are very socially connected to others. 72% of black adults online have more than one social media profile.

8. Black women ages 18-35 are 72% more likely to highlight products and web content preferences by liking, following, or linking to an article, brand, or website.

9. Black Americans trust black media more than mainstream sources of information. Ads that reflect the benefits of products or services and convey a positive message to the African-American community are well received.

10. African American women ages 18-35 are 72% more likely to blog.

African Americans have incredible purchasing power. Even in the face of the harsh effects of the recession, spending by the black community still energized the US consumer market. The Nielsen Company, the global information and research firm, projected that the purchasing power of African Americans will reach $1.1 trillion by 2015.

As stated by Marketingvox: “Those consumers are hungry for authentic content; they are connecting with brands that represent them instead of just nodding their heads; and they are highly engaged with digital content and the mobile platform.” So what does this mean for small businesses targeting this community? To harness the buying power of this community, you need to step up your game and stay in tune with consumer behavior and digital marketing trends. Finally, be creative in the methods you implement to tap into the African-American market.

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