Using video to market to millennials is your opportunity to set your product or service apart.
As the largest generation in the U.S., millennials are the target audience for many products and services. But this group can be tricky to market to, as their tendencies and rapid consumption of online content frequently shifts.
Recent studies show a preference among millennials for high-quality, funny, and informative content. Marketing videos shared on social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, are likely to get many hits with this demographic, as are videos endorsed by trusted sites and influencers.
Marketing to the Millennial Generation
Millennials are a notoriously tricky generation to market to, as they are avid consumers of online platforms, but their interests are constantly shifting. Millennials — anyone born between 1981 and 1996 or so — grew up during the rapid expansion of the internet. They are primed for online marketing but producing marketing that holds millennials’ attention can be tricky.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) explains that millennials appear to be one of the hardest generations to understand, but there are ways to engage them online. They are searching for attention-grabbing content that connects them with products they are interested in.
Although millennials exhibit shifting preferences, they are 25 percent more likely to engage with online advertisements than older generations. The key is to know what types of online content millennials respond to and which platforms they most frequently utilize.
A recent eMarketer study found that over 89 percent of millennials watch digital video, such as YouTube, at least once per month. Experts predict that this number will continue to rise each year. In 2017, almost half of millennials watched their favorite shows on social media.
The increase in social media platforms that offer digital videos has added to this trend. Particularly with younger millennials who demonstrate high rates of social media use, a lot of video viewing takes place on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.
Posting your marketing videos on the right platforms is key to the success of your advertising campaigns.
Using Video to Market to Millennials
If your goal is to market to millennials, video advertising is the way to go. A recent study conducted by Clever Real Estate found that millennials are most likely to engage with online video ads than with any other type of online advertisement.
Roughly 35 percent of millennials who engage with online ads are mostly likely to engage with online video ads or social media ads that include videos.
While it is clear that video advertising appeals to millennials, content also matters. The Clever Real Estate study investigated what type of ads this generation responds to best. The survey found the following response rate to online ads:
- Funny ads: 44 percent
- Informative ads: 30 percent
- Inspiring ads: 16 percent
- Emotional ads: 6 percent
- Shocking ads: 4 percent
While you can focus your marketing efforts on funny and informative advertisements, know that millennials showed the highest response rate to ads that supported a cause they believe in. Cause-based marketing, explains Clever Real Estate, appealed to 74 percent of millennials in their study.
Producing marketing videos that are funny, informative, and appeal to a cause millennials can get behind is a solid strategy for increasing engagement in this generation.
Where to Market Your Video Once It’s Done
Once you have created an engaging video that appeals to the points millennials care about, you need to know where to market it. In addition to finding what types of videos this generation likes, Clever Real Estate also determined where they are most likely to engage with video marketing content.
Digital ad platforms and company websites are great places to promote your video. In comparison to older generations, millennials are 25 percent more likely to purchase a product because they saw an ad on social media.
Likewise, millennials are likely to engage with websites and apps that appear trustworthy. In fact, 92 percent of millennials report a website or app’s appearance as being an important factor for determining whether they submit their personal information or not.
Best Channels to Market to Millennials
With so many social media platforms available, knowing where to concentrate your social media marketing efforts will help save you time and money, and achieve the best returns. AMA explains that while Facebook continues to reach the widest audience, it is not necessarily the go-to platform for all millennials.
In a survey of young adults, ages 18 to 34, the following responses were given when asked if they have ever bought a product or service based on a social media ad on various social media platforms (multiple responses were allowed):
- Facebook: 58 percent
- Instagram: 55 percent
- YouTube: 51 percent
- Pinterest: 29 percent
- Twitter: 17 percent
- Snapchat: 15 percent
- Tumblr: 9 percent
- Reddit: 2 percent
- LinkedIn: 0 percent
Younger millennials, ages 18 to 24, expressed concerned about Facebook’s use of their personal information. While Facebook is still widely used, young adults were 34 percent less likely than older generations to purchase products or services based on a Facebook ad. This trend illustrates the importance of expanding your video marketing to other platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, that are growing in popularity among this generation.
Points to Consider About Millennials
This demographic may be more challenging to market to, but they should not be overlooked. As of July 2019, millennials overtook baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The millennial population is estimated to peak at nearly 75 million in 2033.
Additional findings to consider when developing marketing videos for millennials include:
- Mobile phone purchases. Millennials largely prefer using their phones for online purchases rather than their computers or tablets. Making a mobile-friendly video is likely to pay off.
- Influencer marketing. Millennials are 54 percent more likely to purchase a product based on the recommendation of a social media influencer that they follow than older generations. Partnering with social media influencers is a great new way to reach your millennial audience.
- Personal recommendations. About 65 percent of millennials say they are more likely to buy a product on social media that has been recommended by their friends.
Why Millennials Are a Tough Marketing Audience
Millennials can be harder to market to than other generations because they have frequently shifting mindsets. What appealed to them at one point may no longer create the same impact it once did.
Marketing via Facebook is the best example of this. Once the prime social media marketing platform, it has fallen out of favor with millennials, particularly the younger ones.
Although it can be tricky, you can effectively market to millennials as long as you can keep up with them. As eMarketer explains, marketers need to adapt their strategies, particularly now.
Michael Hoffman is the CEO of Gather Voices and an expert in the use of video in marketing and digital engagement. He teaches marketing at the University of Chicago and is a long-time consultant to business leaders on constituent engagement strategies. In 2017, Hoffman founded Gather Voices to revolutionize how organizations create and use video. Gather Voices’ Video Relationship Management (VRM) software solution enables associations to leverage the power of video to achieve revenue-based outcomes, like new member acquisition, membership renewal, and event attendance.