By Shaq Abboud

As a marketing tactic, video is becoming more and more relevant, especially amongst millennials or generation Y. Marketing has evolved in such a way that it profoundly exceeds the expectations of even the savviest executives of fifty years ago. No longer are marketers simply forcing products on consumers through a wide range of media channels. Today, they have the opportunity of engaging with their audiences more than ever before.

Marketers want to reach millennials, and rightly so. Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials will spend two out of the three dollars earned in Australia by 2030. Considered ‘more educated, connected, digitally empowered and demanding than their parents,’ millennials will be the most powerful consumer cohort in history, according to Macquarie’s strategists.

So, why is it important for businesses to connect with this purchasing powerhouse? For many reasons. Here, we zone in on the purchasing behaviours of millennials and why marketers are intent on targeting this generation.

Millennials Watch a Lot of Video

Opting for services like Netflix, Stan and other digital streaming platforms, millennials are watching less television than older generations. Therefore, they are not as responsive to the commercials and print advertisements that worked for baby boomers and generation X. Millennials crave engagement, and this they acquire from watching video. Video marketing is considered one of the best alternatives to television and print advertisements when wanting to capture the younger generation.

Food for thought: millennials were born during the birth of the digital age and grew up surrounded by technological advancements. They probably don’t know a world without mobile phones and tablets. The average millennial spends at least one hour a day watching video online. And by 2020 mobile internet traffic will increase eight times more, with 75 percent being video content.

That said, it is important for marketers to continually satisfy the ever-evolving millennial media appetite with video.

Millennials Are Not to Be Fooled

We must remember that millennials have grown up with advertising thrown at them from every angle. So, they will not be fooled easily by marketing ploys. They realise how important their demographic is to sales and will not play into schemes unless the plans are authentic.

It is important for marketers to truly understand this diverse generation. Young people are attached to their smartphones and obsessed with social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. Millennials are less likely to follow societal norms and instead adopt a decentralised mindset, whereas big corporate structures embrace a more centralised view and take on a less personalised, mass-market approach.

On the whole, millennials want to receive knowledge and information with marketing clutter and manipulation cut out. Product promotion is viewed as old-fashioned and will fall on deaf ears with the younger generation. That is why social media and video efforts are now playing a huge role in marketing campaigns.

Millennials Love Social Media

Millennials consume video not only for entertainment but also to learn about companies and make purchasing decisions. In fact, 85 percent of millennials are more likely than baby boomers to watch a video before purchasing a product or service.

Since YouTube was introduced in 2005, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have joined the social video movement. You have only to scroll through your Facebook Newsfeed to see that video is starting to run the show when it comes to content marketing. The content on Facebook in five years will mostly be video, according to Mark Zuckerberg. Millennials not only keep up with friends on social media but also companies and brands. As it happens, 84 percent of millennials follow brands and companies on Facebook, 75 percent follow them on YouTube and 47 percent on Twitter.

As a rule, millennials thrive on being connected to others via social media – sharing and tweeting photos and videos – so now is the time to start with a video marketing strategy.

The Kind Of Videos That Attract Millennials

So, we know that millennials love video, but how do they like it? Firstly, they want to know about the people and values behind a brand and are less focused on a hard sell. So, it is important to put the spotlight on the people as well as the product and show your audience just how you can help them.

Secondly, with the millennial generation having such short attention spans, be sure to make your huge impact in the first ten seconds of the video, or your viewers will get bored and move onto the next one. Keep your videos concise and to the point. Remember, millennials value immediate gratification.

Finally, young people love vlogs. And no, that isn’t a misprint. If you have a blog, consider replacing it with video blog or vlog. A how-to or review video of your product is something your millennial audience may take great interest in.

And there you have it, a close insight into why millennials are so hell-bent on watching videos. They spend a lot of their time watching, sharing, commenting and buying online. Why not get in on the video marketing trend and start running with the millennials if you want to reach out to this specific audience?

Shaq Abboud is the Creative Director of Scope Productions.

Millennial stock photo by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock