As millennials approach and participate in their peak spending years, brands have needed to rethink their marketing strategy to fit the consumer behaviors of this digitally driven generation. The daily and arguably, excessive use of technology and screen time by millennials has driven companies to use this to their advantage or at least, they should be…

Millennials are the generation of 18-34 years olds that have been exposed to digital content for a large portion of their lives. They expect this enhanced digital content when making purchases much more so than generations before them. Watching TV commercials, flipping through print advertisements in magazines and sifting through consumer reports does not sway the behavior of millennials like those methods did so for the previous generations (think Gen-Xer’s, Baby Boomer’s). These advertising methods are fizzling out as these former targeted generations spending habits decline.  The key to marketing to this new group of consumers is to skip the advertising and focus on enhanced marketing content.

“Millennials are profoundly different from those who came before them. Their attention is fragmented across screens. Inveterate cord-cutters, they don’t understand the utility of paying for a cable TV bundle. They’re far more likely than their elders to say they dislike advertising. This combination of factors is frightening to marketers.” (Penry Price, Recode 2015)

Our solution? Influencer video content.  Millennials want tailored content by people they view as informed peers. They need to feel that the content delivered before them adds personal value as well as a comprehensive and genuine understanding of the brand or product the influencer is discussing. The trust built between these YouTube creators and the millennials who subscribe to their channels plays a major role in driving influence over millennials purchase behavior.

With social media channels growing in marketing impact and commerce influence, 76% of millennials are now more likely to “follow” their favorite brands on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive updates and view content directly on their news feeds (Animoto, 2015). By publishing influencer video content on a regular basis, brands can drive consumers to their site or individual product pages and even monitor their engagement to measure impact to overall purchase conversion rates.

Influencer video can also be impactful when integrated on brand websites and ecommerce product pages. According to a study by Animoto, consumers are four times more likely to watch a video review than read a text review. When searching on any major retailer’s site, this generation isn’t impressed with a few dimensional images of the product and 100 text reviews. They want to see the product, how it works, what people think of it, all the bells and whistles of the product and this is where influencer video wins.

80% of millennials consider the provided video content in their decision to click the “Proceed to Checkout” button and 4 out of 5 consider a video explaining or demonstrating how the product works essential to that decision (Animoto, 2015). From influencer videos, they can see the product through the lens of the influencer, which adds a personal and curated context that is needed for millennials.

How to Choose the Right Influencer – Marketing Match Making

Amazon has capitalized on the impact of these consumer videos and continues to place them throughout their site.  Amazon Video Shorts, a sub-site of Amazon, is devoted to short form videos. This section of the site is aimed to drive commerce of goods purchasable from Amazon. These shorts can be found on related product pages and can house many videos for potential consumers to check out. This is a great way to get a concise, detailed view and understanding of the product. Amazon also uses video in search results and the top of product pages to further the content impact.

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Safe to say that video marketing is here to stay and will be the go-to marketing strategy to millennials and possibly the next crop of consumers, Generation Z. Amazon has continued to realize the importance of video marketing and other retailers are catching on, too (Walmart, Sears, etc.) If your company is looking for a new or improved marketing initiative to kick off 2016, influencer video could prove to be quite effective.

Claire Preble