Using Video to Market to Millennials (From a Millennial’s Perspective)
Good or bad, we’ve all heard the word millennial being discussed in the past year; but whether you wanted it to happen or not, millennials are rising fast in the tech industry. According to Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, IT and Finance companies trump the list. The number one spot on the list with the highest percentage of millennials (97%) is a tech company. This really shouldn’t surprise you.
I am a millennial and surprise-surprise, I’m working at a technology media company. My whole career (all 4 years of interning) has been working in the tech industry. So here I am, a 21 year old, telling you, an experienced marketer at a tech company, how to run your marketing department. Sounds backwards, but how can you turn away when the word millennial is being thrown in your face all the time? I can promise you this, I know how millennials think and what they are interested in. To prove I am a true millennial, I took a test which told me that my millennial score is 96/100. The only thing that stopped me from getting to 100 is the fact that I haven’t played video games in the past 24 hours, so I hope you can trust me now.
So now that we’ve clarified that I’m a millennial, let’s get back to the point: how to market to millennials through video. I’m sure you’ve all seen the absurd amount of videos being posted every day to Twitter and Facebook. I scroll through my Facebook feed and no longer see hundreds of written posts on friend’s walls, but rather hundreds of videos and pictures being shared. Sharing videos is how we communicate now. There’s that sad video about the girl and her dog, the funny video about the man falling off his chair, the scary trailer for the new horror movie. No matter what the genre is, if it’s interesting, people will share it.
Now how can you use this to your advantage?
1) Creating the best video for your company and your audience
Most millennials don’t have the time or don’t feel like reading the news, or in this case, reading about your company. That is why most people choose to watch the news on their TV or computer over reading it in the paper. The people who are reading the news in the paper are not millennials (for the most part). This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you; we all know that sooner or later newspapers will likely be obsolete. So if millennials would rather watch videos instead of reading text, why isn’t every company using video to market themselves? Well, the fact is that many companies are using video. But whether or not it is successful comes down to understanding how to create the best video for your company and your audience.
Creativity is the most important aspect of a video. Remember, not all videos you create have to directly sell your product. Companies like Intel have created videos that tell a story or inspire people. At the end, they include their logo or a message relating to their company, but they aren’t selling you something directly. Millennials aren’t attracted to ads or videos that make us feel like we’re supposed to buy a product. We want a story. When the video ends, we want to feel as if we have to share it, because it’s that impactful on us. So don’t just sell your product; show your audience what your company is all about. Show them your beliefs and your community. Let them into your world so they can better understand what your company has to offer. If you choose to create a Vine, the same concept applies. It may not be as inspiring (because it’s only 6 seconds) but you can absolutely get your message across. You can sell your product without actually saying “buy this.” Money may be a factor, but you can find a way to create a video without having the high cost.
2) Battling the cost of production
If you work at a small company, cost is always an issue. Big companies like Google and Apple obviously spend millions of dollars creating videos that are viewed over a million times. But then there are small companies that use the funds they have, to make a great video. Vine is the best platform for low cost videos, but YouTube doesn’t fall far behind. SolarWinds, a medium sized company, created a video that’s actually funny without the high costs. Your company can also create series like snagajob.com did including several videos with advice for their audience. These include tips and tricks for people who are looking for jobs. These are low budget videos that are useful and interesting, especially to a millennial looking for a job.
Vine can also be used to create funny or informational videos. Seeing that average millennial attention spans are shorter than goldfish, Vine is a sure way to get information across to younger people. Dunkin Donuts created a video that was humorous and easily could have been done by a small company. When I was at VCE I created a video that was easy and we spent next to nothing on it. No matter the size of your company, Vines are a great way to express your brand or make people laugh. Here at TechTarget we use Vine as a way to get our message out there and explain our products without nagging you to buy them. Check out our Vine page to see some of our videos.
3) Sharing your video on the right platform
So there’s Vine and YouTube; the best places to create a video, but not the best places to share one. Vine and YouTube are different in the sense that YouTube lets you upload long videos, while Vine only lets you upload 6 second videos. Either one can be used to market your company successfully. Don’t just stop at uploading to one of these platforms though. The next step is to share your video. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (the three I believe will have the biggest impact on millennials). Pinterest and Google+ are also popular social media platforms amongst millennials, but not so much for sharing video. Snapchat may be high on the list, but it has yet to become useful for companies, unless you want to create your own Snapchat geofilter.
Hopefully your company has a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page and if you don’t, you should think about making one or all three. People may not be writing on your company’s Facebook wall or mentioning you in their tweets, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t watching your videos. Millennials don’t use Facebook as much as they used to when it comes to posting statuses or writing on friends walls. We mainly use Facebook to share pictures, videos and Buzzfeed articles (you can’t count on less than two hands the amount of Buzzfeed articles that pop up in my feed). Use this trend to your advantage; create videos.
If you have any comments or questions about videos or even millennials, please feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn.