Millennials Hungry for Video

If you’re not including video in your marketing strategy, you’re missing a big opportunity to make a huge impression.

It’s no surprise that video content is on the rise. From pet videos, television shows, movie trailers and branded content, videos today are reaching consumers, particularly Millennials, more than any other marketing content. Wired reports that YouTube reaches more Millennials than any single U.S. cable network, and they aren’t just viewing the first few seconds. According to former Google Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani, “on mobile, the average YouTube session is now over 40 minutes.”

Marketers want to reach Millennials (birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s), and for a good reason. This demographic is anticipated to spend more than $200 billion annually beginning in 2017, which comes out to $10 trillion over the course of their lifetimes.

Video: Here to Stay...and Grow

In looking at the reach of video for marketing, first, consider consumer behavior in general:

  • 51.9 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, according to eMarketer.
  • Shoppers who view video are 174 percent more likely to purchase than non-viewers, reports Invodo.
  • Using the word “Video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent, click-through rates by 65 percent and reduces unsubscribes by 26 percent, according to Syndacast.
  • Facebook users watched an 100 million hours of video daily in 2015, according to Facebook's Q4 earnings report.
  • In its marketing trends and statistics, Syndacast predicts 74 percent of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.

Second, research from Animoto, a video and slideshow company, illustrates that video marketing is a game changer when it comes to influencing what Millennials buy.

  • 80 percent of Millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision.
  • 70 percent of Millennials are likely to watch a company video when shopping online.
  • 60 percent of Millennials prefer to watch a company video than read a newsletter.
  • 48 percent of Millennials only watch videos on their mobile device.
How to Amplify Your Marketing

How can businesses connect with this purchasing powerhouse? Unlike older generations, Millennials aren’t as responsive to television commercials and print advertisements. Rather, they want true engagement. Here are three ways incorporating video into your marketing strategy could help you reach into the Millennial wallet.

Move Millennials through the buying process. Today, Millennials consume video for more than just entertainment. They use video to learn about companies and navigate through the purchase cycle. Businesses can do so in many ways, like including customer testimonials on “About Us” pages and adding demo videos on product pages. Liveclicker’s Video Commerce Report shows that companies that include video on product pages see a higher conversion rate and higher average order value.

Create buzz in social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are embracing the social video trend started by YouTube. It's apparent when you scroll through your Facebook News Feed, video has taken over. According to the Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study, 84 percent of Millennials follow brands or companies on Facebook, 75 percent follow them on YouTube and 47 percent follow on Twitter.

Drive results while keeping Millennials engaged. Video doesn’t just improve brand perception; it also drives results. Nearly half of Millennials consider companies that produce video content as experts on their product or service. As branded video content becomes more commonplace, businesses that capitalize on this opportunity will be seen as early adopters and as the ones to follow. 

Millennials want to be your “friend,” as evidenced by the hugely success Coca Cola “Share a Coke” campaign. The saying, “spend money on experiences, not things” is more appropriate for Millennials than for any other generation. They’re sharing photos and videos, commenting on social media posts, tweeting at brands and shopping online. As a business selling a product or service, spend less time trying to figure out Millennials and more time listening, caring, befriending and, of course, marketing. A simple video marketing strategy can help you meet the standards that Millennials today are creating. If you're not yet using video to market, now’s the time to start.

Randy E. Pruett is an Accredited Business Communicator and serves as Programs and Events Manager with Pierpont Communications. Connect with Randy on LinkedIn