From Pinterest to Instagram to YouTube, visual platforms continue their deepening influence with consumers.
And in our work with influencer marketing campaigns, as well as our consumer research studies, we’ve particularly seen how visual channels resonate with Millennial women.
In our 2015 study of more than 1,000 Millennial women and moms, as well as Boomers and Gen-X women, we observed that Millennials are intrepid explorers and live their lives at an increasingly fast pace.
For them, life is a sprint. They have so many pieces of information constantly coming at them that they find themselves endlessly evaluating, canvassing, and synthesizing the world around them.
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This study also illuminated that the visual piece has really surged for Millennials. We saw the beginnings of it in our 2014 research on Millennial consumers, and now with our 2015 research study, we’ve seen how this generation truly embraces visual and video. Moreover, the channels that really resonate with Millennials and their quest for imagery prove to be Instagram, Pinterest, and increasingly, Snapchat.
We’ve outlined below five trends that illuminate why Millennial women continue to embrace visual platforms:
1. Digitally Fluent Millennials Zoom in on Visuals
As Millennials represent the first generation to grow up immersed in social media and online technology, they exhibit true fluency in a host of digital platforms. These Millennial women gravitate toward visual platforms – including Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram – that allow them to share photos and videos.
In fact, 85 percent of Millennial women post pictures of past experiences to social media, while 80 percent post pictures in real time. In addition, 72 percent of Millennial women post videos they find on the Internet or on others’ sites.
2. Visual Images Bring Millennial Experiences to Life
Social sharing proves key for Millennial women, and 63 percent strongly agree/agree that they love sharing significant moments in their life on social media channels. Moreover, visually oriented platforms allow them to fully share their ongoing adventures and experiences with their communities.
Our study revealed that 93 percent of Millennial women use YouTube, 77 percent visit Pinterest while 61 percent own an Instagram account. Moreover, the time Millennials now spend on Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube has all increased.
3. Visual Platforms Aid in the Consumer Discovery Process
For Millennial women, visual channels continue to be very discovery oriented, and in many ways Instagram has become this generation’s new blogging platform. Along the path to purchase, Millennials search for short snippets and seek out highly visual elements as they gather information to help them evaluate potential purchases. More than a quarter of Millennial Women check Instagram each day, and 30 percent check YouTube multiple times per day.
Along the path to purchase, Millennials search for short snippets and seek out highly visual elements as they gather information to help them evaluate potential purchases. More than a quarter of Millennial Women check Instagram each day, and 30 percent check YouTube multiple times per day.
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4. Collection & Creation of Beautiful Content
Millennial women live their lives surrounded by online content – both content they create and content they collect. Yet their goal with online content rarely includes being considered an authority figure or to generate a considerable following – in fact, just 5 percent of Millennial women use social media to establish themselves as an expert. Instead, they post everything from food images from their favorite new restaurant to videos of themselves experiencing their latest consumer find. Moreover, this content helps them to share their experiences with their communities, as well as to make decisions along their path to purchase.
5. Millennials Move Toward Lifestyle Sites
As visuals continue to resonate with Millennial women, they’ve become more drawn to lifestyle bloggers and sites. These sites include pictures, quirky and trendy content and really focus on the aspirational – how Millennial women can envision the life they want to lead. In fact, Millennial Woman continue to be drawn to brands that are established (32 percent) yet stylish (31 percent).
So what can entrepreneurs and marketing team members do to reach these influential, visually oriented consumers?
- Take stock of your brand or company website presence, as well as your presence on visually oriented social media properties, and ensure these channels remain engaging, artfully designed, and up to date.
- Millennial women love to gather information, facts, and opinions along their purchasing journey and increasingly, images offer them deeper insights into product offerings. Make sure your website and social media channels allow these Millennial consumers ample opportunity to discover your product or services on their terms – vibrantly and visually.
- As Millennial women continue to embrace lifestyle-oriented sites, consider portraying your products or services in a more experiential manner that fully demonstrates how they can fit into the Millennial lifestyle. From compelling video to beautiful content to image-oriented “news-you-can-use,” your site or social properties can become a real resource to time-pressed, fact-gathering Millennial women.
All in all, visual engagement continues to characterize Millennial interactions online. From the content they create to the platforms they embrace, visual images have rapidly become this generation’s approach to storytelling.