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How Millennial Video Habits Will Change the Future of Buying

By Jessy SmulskiMay 18, 2017

Millennial-Video-Buying.jpgAs perplexing as millennials might be to other generations, the fact remains that the world should criticize less and observe more. Millennials don’t just hold the key to the future. We are the future.

Fact: Millennials represent $2.45 trillion in spending power. By 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the global workforce. By 2030, millennials will outnumber non-millennials by a whopping 22 million people.

In other words, my generation is the generation to watch. We represent the majority of the workforce and consumerism. We command how products are bought and sold. What can marketers learn from our current behavior? A promising place to start is with our consumption of digital video content.

Millennials spend 48 percent more time watching video online than the average internet user, according to HubSpot.

Seventy-six percent of us follow a company or brand on YouTube. And 60 percent of us watch company videos over reading a newsletter. The State of Inbound 2017 agrees — video is shaking things up for sales and marketing. Here’s what your organization can glean about the future of buying based on current millennial video habits.

1. The Millennial Buyer’s Journey is Largely Online

eMarketer predicts that digital video advertising will grow at an annual double-digit pace that exceeds TV advertising growth through 2020. And Business Insider predicts that social video ad spend will double in 2017. Marketers are putting their budgets where the business is, and all stats point to online buying.

According to a study by UPS and comScore, millennials now make 54 percent of their purchases online. As a result of this move to online buying, we’re seeing a frenzy of storefront closings by major brands like JCPenney, Macy’s, The Limited, Gander Mountain and Sears.

2. Video Content Is Challenging Sales Reps

The State of Inbound 2017 acknowledges the seismic shift happening in the sales profession. As you might have guessed, this shift is a direct reaction to significant changes in buyer behavior. Consumers (namely millennials) are more independent and less apt to rely on a salesperson to reach a purchasing decision. Instead, they seek guidance and validation through content like case studies, customer reviews and online videos. According to Animoto, 85 percent of millennials find video product demos helpful. Video is highly informative, self-serve and engaging. What’s not for a millennial to love?

If salespeople want to reclaim their place in the millennial buyer’s journey, they must reinvent how they assist customers. The State of Inbound 2017 recommends adopting a concierge or adviser-like mentality (in other words, inbound selling). This article offers more details: The Death of a Salesman: Outbound vs. Inbound Sales.

3. Brands Should Use Multiple Screens to Reach Buyers

Forty-eight percent of millennials view video solely on their mobile device and, according to a report by Ooyala, more than half of all video viewing is done on smartphones. However, 67 percent of online buying is conducted via desktop. What can we surmise from this information? Buyers (especially gadget-loving millennials) are using multiple devices to complete a purchasing decision.

Forbes reported that 87 percent of millennials use between two and three tech devices on a daily basis. Another source says that universally, 90 percent of people use multiple devices for purchase-related activities.

Need some inspiration? Twitter offers advice for reaching your audience on a second screen.

4. Omnichannel Video Marketing Is a Must

The State of Inbound 2017 also noted that most marketers believe having a website and blog no longer is enough to attract buyer attention. Bravo, marketers! This is spot-on. Sixty-two percent of millennials expect a brand to engage them on social media networks. And when video is a part of that engagement, it generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined. Landing page videos increase conversions by 80 percent, and email videos increase click-through rates by 96 percent.

However, the most seasoned marketers understand that merely existing on all channels isn’t enough. One of the greatest challenges our profession will face this year is creating an integrated experience across all channels so each touchpoint supports a unified message and desired outcome.

The bottom line is this: You may not agree with my generation, but make no mistake—we have everything to do with the future of your brand. Most marketers are placing content distribution and amplification among their top priorities for 2017. Pay special attention to your millennial demographic as you strategize for these areas. If they aren’t already the key to your success, they will be in the next five to 10 years.

Need a little help closing the generational gap? A professional marketing agency knows just how to align your brand with the millennial mentality. Learn in this free eBook what it’s like to work with an agency.

soi2017report
Additional Topics: Inbound Marketing
Jessy Smulski
The Author

Jessy Smulski

Jessy is a professional creative writer with over 8 years of experience working with businesses, marketing agencies, news papers, and magazines. Intrinsically empathetic, her talent is transforming the experiences of others into meaningful recounts that connect brands with customers, readers with stories and words with purpose. She also specializes in brand development and content marketing. When she’s not creating content, you can find her snowboarding out west, backpacking or capturing life through the lens of her camera. She takes her coffee black, her wine red and her books non-digital. Catch Jess on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter @Jsmuls.
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