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Lessons From Millennials and Gen Zers on Video Marketing

Jared Atchison
Jared Atchison

The new generation of consumers is making an impact through their buying choices and their participation on social media. Here's how to get your videos to resonate with millennials and Gen Zers.

In the digital marketing landscape today, videos have become the reigning content format, especially on social media. It reflects the changes taking place in how people consume content. Here are the top influencing factors that have led to the growth and popularity of video content:

  • There are 5.11 billion unique mobile users in the world today, with a significant number of them having affordable internet connection. 

  • The difficulty of using a small screen for reading means that video content is preferable and user-friendly, not to mention engaging.

  • Many new social media apps have emerged to compete with Facebook, Twitter and other major platforms.

  • Millennials and Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) are now more active and have clear preferences for videos and newer social media apps.

In this article, I'll try to explain how the digital landscape is shifting and the role that the growing younger generations play, which is significant. In addition, I'll touch on ways to manage video marketing that is inspired by how millennials and Gen Zers interact with content. It is essential to get clued into not just current trends but also possible trends of the future.

Let's look at some lessons we can get from the growing younger demographics on video marketing. 

Video content reigns

You're probably familiar with the phrase "Content is king," but it's worth asking if video reigns as the preferred type of all the content formats available. 

Here are some critical video marketing facts to consider:

  • Facebook gets 8 billion video views daily.

  • TikTok got 1 million views per day in its first year.

  • 1 billion hours of YouTube videos are watched daily.

  • 40% of millennials say that they trust videos.

Videos are the most engaging type of content there is, which means that it needs to be a  prominent part of your social media strategy, especially, if you're looking to win over a younger audience or build your brand for the long term. 

Creating videos can be challenging, but it isn't always necessary to have high production value in creating them. As I cover platforms and formats in the following sections, you'll find convenient and effective ways to build video content. 

Stay on top of new platforms and features

Social media platforms come and go, and content platforms evolve over time. It's interesting to look at Vine as an example of a platform that shot to fame quickly and disappeared just as fast. It did, however, leave a strong impression of the direction content creation could take and how people would consume it.

Today, it's platforms like Snapchat and TikTok that are major game changers in digital media. But this doesn't mean that you can or even should drive all your attention to young and exciting platforms. We still need to see how data security concerns and other issues play out, and whether rising new platforms last. 

It's important to stay updated on new features and platforms. Even companies like Facebook and Instagram are taking notes from new arrivals. A relatively new feature that these brands added was "Stories," which last 24 hours before disappearing. Recently, Instagram has launched "Reels," which features short video content. It's still in a growth phase, but video content and video platforms are the future. 

It's important to be aware of where younger audiences are active and to start building your strategies for long-term impact. However, don't rely on any single platform to build your audience. As apps evolve, get banned or simply lose their influence, you could lose any audience you've built. Adopt an omnichannel strategy, and keep building leads to nurture your own audience. 

Adopt new content formats

Now that we've considered the importance of exploring different platforms, here are some helpful lessons we can learn about creating content from millennials and Gen Zers:

Keep it short.

People balk at the idea of spending a large amount of time-consuming content. Make sure that you create videos that are short. Your subject will determine how long your content will be, but keep in mind that people have short attention spans.

In cases where you're using new social media features and platforms, you won't have a choice but to make short videos. Instagram Reels last 15 seconds. A single Snapchat or TikTok video is no longer than 60 seconds. You'll have to focus on providing a core message right at the beginning of your video.

Create practical content.

Marketing messages don't always make an impact on millennials and Gen Zers. These groups respond to people who focus on good quality content that shares entertaining or highly informative messages. 

Avoid aggressive sales or branding content; instead, come up with material that improves your audience's lives or problems in some ways. 

Explore platforms where younger demographics connect – you'll see hacks, makeup tips, life advice, and many similar posts making their way to the top. 

Create how-tos and content that can be covered in a few steps. Your goal should be to win people over first rather than driving conversions from the get-go. 

Focus on being authentic.

Along with creating practical content, it's essential to showcase a real personality for yourself and your brand. Today’' young influencers often create content without high-quality production. They come from a place of authenticity that resonates with audiences. 

How do you showcase authenticity? 

  • Celebrate the values that matter in your business. Today's young demographic is passionate and vocal about issues in the world, including the environment and human rights. They demand ethical behavior and strong values. While you don't need to take a stand on major issues, talk about the values that matter in your business

  • Build emotions through your content. The not-so-secret ingredient to content and social media marketing success is deliberately creating emotions in your audience. Use power words, tell stories and try to make people laugh.

When you create authentic content, your brand can resonate with audiences who feel like you. Being relatable and focusing on helpful content helps make your work more impactful online. 

The new generation of consumers is already making an impact through their buying choices and their participation on social media. Marketers need to understand how millennials and Gen Zers create and interact with content. 

Today, virtually anyone with a phone and internet content can create posts, videos or pictures and potentially influence the actions of millions. Typical branding and marketing messages need to compete against such content and will do their best when they reflect on how the current market works. 

However, it's important to create content in a way that suits your particular industry and needs. Video content is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. Social media platforms are great ways to share your message, but you can also work with live videos or create an online course

Media networks and platforms will rise and fall or evolve, but your brand can maintain its influence by understanding how people think. Use the concepts shown in this post to boost your video marketing for the best effect. 

Image Credit: GaudiLab / Shutterstock
Jared Atchison
Jared Atchison,
business.com Writer
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Co-Founder of WPForms, one of the largest WordPress contact form plugins in the market. I have been programming for over a decade and enjoy creating plugins that help people create powerful web designs without touching code.