It’s hardly a revolutionary statement to say that the advent of the internet has changed our world. Or that digital technologies have transformed the way we live our daily lives. What you might not realize, though, is how much of a profound impact these technologies have had on the world of marketing.
Indeed, marketing today is increasingly defined by the immense power of video, not only for younger consumers — those belonging to the millennial and Gen Z demographics — but for all consumer groups. In this article, I’d like to shed some light on the key things you need to know about generational video marketing.
It’s Not Just for Young Folks
To be sure, teens and young adults are avid consumers of video. In fact, studies show that 1 in 2 millennials and Gen Z-ers claim that they “don’t know how they would get through life” without video.
However, the young folks are by no means the only ones habitually watching videos. In an article from Media Post, for example, it was noted that audiences across all age groups are estimated to watch an average of 100 minutes of video today. That means that advertising budgets are soaring to accommodate the market’s rapacious hunger for video, the vast majority of which is now consumed online.
What Consumers Are Watching
It’s not just how much video content consumers are watching that matters. It’s also what they’re watching that makes a difference. While online video boasts massive and increasing appeal across all age demographics, millennials and Gen Z have their own unique and well-defined viewing habits.
Specifically, video-oriented social media platforms, such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram tend to be the preferred channels for these younger viewers. Additionally, it’s rarely the highly scripted and highly produced content that speaks to these consumers.
Rather, traditional online ads are quickly being usurped by the power of influencer videos. Millennials and Gen Z-ers often turn to influencer videos for product reviews and demonstrations. In fact, a recent study by Deloitte found that YouTube is cited by teens and young adults as the most important channel in shaping their buying decisions.
Empathy is Key
To be sure, consumers’ habits have significantly changed in the age of technology, shifting from traditional media to online content and from standard text to video. However, these are not the only ways that audiences’ interests and expectations have shifted.
For instance, no longer is it sufficient for marketers to merely promote a great product or service at an affordable price. Now more than ever, consumers are making their buying decisions with their heart rather than their mind.
What that means for marketers is that the game has necessarily changed and that attracting your audience’s interest means making a human connection. Successful video marketers, then, are those who can best unleash the power of empathy not only to understand their audience but to speak to them, connect with them, and move them to action.
When it comes to video marketing, this requires you to create content that underscores your understanding of your target audience. Using the feedback you receive from your customers via online reviews or interactions through social media can be an ideal way to create empathic content that truly reflects your target audience’s needs, perspectives, and values.
Today’s audiences don’t just want to feel seen, heard, and cared for by the companies they support. They also want to know that the businesses they give their hard-earned money to share their moral values, such as the commitment to environmental sustainability.
This means that a strong generational video marketing strategy will highlight a company’s socially responsible brand. This could, for example, involve the creation of real-time video content to attract the socially-conscious consumer. Live-streaming a philanthropic event, such as a community blood drive or a park clean-up initiative can raise your target audience’s awareness of your brand while amplifying the sense of empathy and social responsibility so vital to today’s video marketing consumers.
In the age of technology and the dominance of social media, the field of marketing has radically changed. Consumers today aren’t looking to be introduced to products or enterprises in the standard old ways.
Now more than ever, they’re seeking video content and their preferred medium is usually the internet. However, today’s consumers, and younger consumers in particular, have unique expectations for online video content. Rather than highly produced and tightly scripted material, they want pithy and engaging product reviews and tutorials, ideally by their favored influencers.
Above all, they want content that not only informs them but that also moves them. They seek empathy and social responsibility from the companies whose marketing videos they view and whose products and services they elect to buy.
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