Millennial Video Habits and the Future of Buying (actionable tips)

Social Media, Smartphones, Selfies, Entitlement and… Spending power? Yes, Millennials (generally accepted as being born between 1980 and 1995) have overtaken Boomers as the most influential generation in terms of employment AND purchasing. According to Adweek, Millennials represent an estimated $2.45 TRILLION in spending power.

Millennials have overtaken Boomers as THE influential generation in terms of employment and purchasing.

This fact should perk the ears of EVERY company and brand. Why? Because this means Millennials are fueling the market with their pocketbooks and the market is fueling the Millennials’ pocketbooks with a paycheck. They’ve come in to adulthood and, as the most educated generation yet, they have disposable income. So, if you haven’t taken notice of them yet, you need to do so now. Based on multiple reports, one of the best ways to do so is with video marketing.

According to a Hubspot report, video is the number one content type in regards to lead generation and user engagement. Still not convinced, here are a bunch of numbers!

  • 76% of Millennials follow a company or brand on Youtube
  • 60% prefer watching a company video over reading a newsletter
  • 80% watch video in the buying consideration stage
  • Millennials spend 48% more time watching video online than the average internet user

So we can understand why this would be important to B2C brands, but what about B2B? Does the trend present itself there as well?

Think about it this way, Millennials have already overcome Boomers in employment influence. That means that more and more Millennials are actually making the call when it comes to how their company or brand is positioning itself in the marketplace. You can bet that their own browsing and buying behaviors are influencing how they spend company money, especially when it comes to marketing.

Actionable Tips

1. First, get in the game.

Hopefully you’ve already begun video marketing in some way or another, but if not, a quick and easy way is to create explainer, demo and tutorial videos. According to an Animoto study, 85% of Millennials find product demos helpful.

bonus tip: There are plenty of tools out there to help manage and track your videos. We choseVidyard because it rolls platform management and analytics all into one tool. It also provides deeper insight into your viewing audience than any other tool we’ve seen.

 2. Viral is not necessarily Critical

The vast majority of Millennials find video engaging because it puts a face to a brand. Don’t worry too much about creating the next big viral movement. Create videos that are helpful, engaging and authentic. Remember who your target market is and simply start the conversation. While these videos may not get millions of views, they can and will create loyal customers.

3. Don’t confuse “promotional” with “facts”

In the same study, Animoto found that 2 in 3 Millennials lose interest in a video if it is “too promotional.” However, this is different than sharing facts, even if they are about your brand. For instance, highlighting a social cause that your company is undertaking would likely get a strong engagement from Millennials. Rather than, “Buy! Buy! Buy!” it’s “Give! Give! Give!” This can be as simple as supporting a local charity, or using a Fair Labor printing company to supply your corporate apparel. If you have to buy it anyway, why not support such an organization?

bonus tip: Be sure your social causes are authentic, and carefully align them with your brand. Allow the public to engage in these efforts with you, helping and serving the common good while garnering goodwill for your brand.

4. Make it Multi-device-friendly

45% of Millennials prefer to watch videos on their mobile devices (as opposed to laptops or desktops), but that means the majority still choose the latter. Make sure whatever content you are creating is device adaptable and mobile friendly, especially videos!

5. Make it visually compelling

No, this does not mean you have to be Martin Scorsese. However, 84% of Millennials regularly mute ads. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t watching. Making the video visually compelling and engaging from the beginning helps grab the users attention, and including text or closed captions means they can follow along with or without sound.

6. Make it shareable

If Millennials are anything, it’s socially plugged in, with over 90% of them keeping a social media profile. Millennials are far more likely to leave online reviews than any other generation and are far more likely to share an ad experience that they enjoyed. Make it easy for them to share your content, easy for them to engage with your company or brand, and actively encourage genuine conversation.

In the end, however, it is incredibly important not to view all Millennials as equal. Just like any other generation, Millennials can currently be in extremely different life stages. To lump them all together in a single video campaign might produce very confusing results. Take the demographic and micro-tize it as you would any other large market. Test, analyze, target, adapt, analyze…

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