eMarketer estimates that by the end of this year, the number of millennials viewing digital videos will reach 77 million – 92% of all millennial internet users combined – and only continue to rise. Sure, the age group may be watching more videos than any other, and the numbers are certainly compelling – but, unfortunately, not the ones that matter.
There may be 77 million sets of eyes seeing your content, but are they actually looking? Are your marketing messages actually get through to their intended audiences? Studies show, not all that much. Last year, Defy Media found that 60% of 18-24 year-olds believed video ads were easy to ignore, while another 2014 survey (taken by Strata) discovered that over 25% of 18-29 year-olds said “it was unlikely that they would watch a video ad for any reason.”
Unless, of course, it’s worth watching, which is to say, entertaining, educational, informative, and/or inspiring. This generation accepts digital video advertising as a reality that’s not going away anytime soon, but if you want them to pay attention, it’s not going to be easy. What marketers need to figure out is how and why young people choose specific content, where they watch it, and what it is that gets them to share it.
Why Do Millennials Prefer Digital – And How Do They Consume It?
Earlier this year, research from Defy Media found that viewers age 13-24 watching on average 11.3 hours of online video per week, reported digital content as being “more relatable and influential…delivering the experience and content more suited to their lifestyle.” 62% also claimed that the things they view online, “just makes them feel good about themselves.”
What’s that mean? Teens and millennials are drawn to online content because it’s all on their terms, and the sheer magnitude of choice makes finding niche material a piece of cake. What’s more, 39% say they watch video content that’s been recommended to them, while 37% subscribe to content they know they want. But ads still fall to the wayside.
Think Beyond Ads
When authentic and relevant, partnerships can have far more potential than a 15- or 30-second spot. Defy’s survey showed that an influential YouTuber has the power to motivate up to “43% of 13-17 year-olds to open and view digital content,” and – get this – 63% would try a product or brand recommended by a YouTube personality.
Now compare that to the 60% who say there’s nothing stopping them from ignoring your ads.
Go Big or Go Home
Never forget how savvy young people are these days. They’ve grown up surrounded by digital; many don’t know a world without it. That means their filter is more refined than ever, and that your content game has to be, as kids these days are saying, on fleek. Defy found that among “13-17 year-olds, 46 percent stated they are more likely to open content that looks professional and polished; the figure jumps to 57 percent for the 18-24 set.”
If you’re intent on creating your own content, it’s got to look great and it has to be original. Invest in creative and be ready to give it your all – and if you’re not, don’t bother; no one’s going to watch it, anyway.