Targeting Millennials and Gen Z: Videos can give you the edge

Millennials and Gen Z together represent a majority of customers that companies are targeting, as they a powerful driving force across economies. Also, both of them are heavily dependent on technology, that is an integral part of all facets of their daily lives. They depend on their smartphones and the internet for their daily chores, shopping, planning their day out or their next vacation, keeping abreast with the latest news and trends across businesses, as well as for keeping track of their health and fitness. 

We can safely say that both Millennials and Gen Z are digital natives. Interestingly, there are noticeable differences in the way Millennials and Gen Z interact with and consume the popular forms of technology. While an Instagram story might work well for one set, it could be Snapchat for the other set. The unique, generation-specific interactions with media are very different and if analysed can help brands to gain valuable insights into what will work best for these two categories of audience.

Videos are an impactful tool for brands

Today, brands are trying new and innovative ways to connect and communicate with these target audience. Whether it is a robust content strategy, engaging content on the portal, contests on social media channels, or videos- there has been a sea of change in how the brands communicate with their audience.  

While a lot of new brand communication strategies and mediums have taken centre stage, videos have emerged as one of the most important tools to connect and engage with the younger audience, including Millennials and Gen Z. 

Videos can be of many types- videos that talk about a product, videos that talk about a brand’s strategy, videos that share a customer story, videos that communicate a larger message, or just a funny video that can bring a smile on someone’s face on a bad day.

TikTok writes a new chapter

The rise of platforms like TikTok has given a new dimension to marketing. Brands across businesses are leveraging TikTok to reach out to millions of users. According to a study by Berkeley, Gen Z represent close to 42% of the TikTok users. Brands, including beauty, luxury and consumer brands are running interesting challenges successfully on TikTok. 

TikTok, a video-led platform is being used by brands who are not only posting their own content on the brand’s channel, but also engaging with TikTok influencers to reach to a broader set of audience. Brands also use the live streaming option to connect with the customers, in case of an important event.

Videos need to be short and original

Millennials and Gen Z are both the impatient lot and hence, short videos work best with them. As per studies, the average attention span for Millennials is 12 seconds and for Gen Z is 8 seconds. What this implies is that brands have the initial 4-6 seconds to make that impact and connect with the young customer base. If not, they will miss the bus.

Originality is very important. If a brand tries to create a video copying the idea of another one, there is a high probability that this can be singled out by someone on the social media. Hence, a copied idea can cause negative brand visibility. 

So, brands need to create compelling videos that are short, crisp and connect well with their audience.

Videos power brands 

There are numerous reasons how videos can help brands be a notch above their competitors, when it comes to connecting with the Millennials and the Gen Z. Some of these include:

  • Multiply reach using social media

Millennials are 4 times more likely to use Instagram and twice as likely to use Twitter weekly than non-millennials. Key social media channels for them are YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. This is a huge opportunity for brands who can use these social channels to share impactful videos aimed at creating brand recall. Since, Millennials and Gen Z spend a number of hours across social media every day, it makes social media the best medium for brands to reach out to millions of target audience with one single post. Also, brands are actively engaging with influencers to multiply impact and reach out to new customers.

  • More engaged audience

Videos in general can be instrumental in ensuring higher engagement with the audience. Brands are running interesting video contests on channels like Twitter and TikTok (like challenges) to engage their target audience. Challenges  that encourage individuals to share a short video are very popular with Millennials and Gen Z. Some recent ones that did well include the #BalaChallenge, #IceBucketChallenge, and #The1Challenge by BMW. 

  • Informing and educating customers

In today’s era of information overload, the Millennials and Gen Z do not want brands to try and hard sell their offerings. Instead, the customers tend to do a thorough research online and find the best product in line with their requirements. 

Keeping this in mind, marketers have rehashed their strategy and are highlighting the value of the products that they bring on the table. Videos work best for brand wanting to communicate the value proposition as the customer can get a close view of the product and its benefits.

Videos are a great bet for a brand to put across all its key messages. A short, unique explainer video can do a lot more when it comes to creating brand awareness, in comparison to the traditional text/creative content. 

  • Shareability

If you have a compelling story to tell in a video, it has the power to go viral. While there are text communication channels that are being used by a number of brands to push information to their customers, a well-planned video series can pull the customers and also has the power to reach million.

  • Building personal connect

The live videos formats on social channels have emerged as a great tool to build personal connect with the customers. Instagram Stories and Snapchat are both a big success as they offer intimate glimpses or short, personal glances of what you’re up to and also are great creative tools. Twitter and LinkedIn are also offering live streaming options now. The fact that these videos are only available for 24 hours creates a more real-time feel. The advantages of live video formats include higher brand trust and connect, an opportunity for the customers to connect face-to-face with a brand/ brand’s spokesperson and also give access to interesting behind the scenes updates to customers (making them feel a part of the entire brand activity). 

Live videos are set to become more popular in the times to come. Cisco predicts that live videos will account for 13% of the traffic by 2021.

  • Influence decision making

Videos influence decision making and also help customers decide faster. This is because videos can give a close to real view of the product to the customers. According to a study, 80% Millennials use videos to help them decide which product to purchase. It is up to a brand to leverage the power of videos to influence decision making.

  • Connect and Communicate 

With social media channels like YouTube and Twitter, the customers feel more connected with the brand. As per business reports, nearly 50% of Millennials watch videos on mobile. Gen Z spends close to 4 hours every day watching videos/ shows and other content on their mobile. Videos help build a better brand connect. In case a customer wants to share his/her feedback on a video, he can leave a comment on YouTube. Also, Gen Z believe that watching videos with others help them feel more connected with the brand.

To conclude, videos are much richer form of content, and more versatile as well. In an impersonal digital world, they bring connection and personality. They help brands to get up and close with their customers and give a glimpse of the brand’s real self. Also, live videos can help connect across geographies. Companies across the board are realising the importance of video content and investing in creating high-quality and impactful videos. 

Brands targeting Millennials and Gen Z cannot afford to ignore videos as they are expected to account for 82% of internet traffic globally by 2022, according to Cisco. It will be interesting to see how brands will think differently to break the clutter and launch engaging video campaigns that can engage the customers and also create brand recall.


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Akanksha Jain
Akanksha is a seasoned brand communications professional with over 15 years of experience in working across global/digital public relations, corporate and brand communications, crisis communications, brand and market communications domains.

In the past, Akanksha has successfully planned and executed public relations/brands campaigns across India and over 30 other countries. She is a start-up specialist and has extensive experience of working with emerging brands. She has been associated with brands like Pine Labs, MobiKwik, VLCC and Power2SME and spearheaded their PR/brand/communication campaigns.

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