Millenials, often referred to as Generation Y, are a veritable goldmine of a target demographic when it comes to content marketing–but only if you hit the right notes. This tech-obsessed new generation of youth are arguably some of today’s most in-demand consumers. But with them comes the era of six-second videos and ten-second photographs (or ‘Snaps’) that disappear upon viewing. While their college debts are high, their attention spans are generally lower than generations before them. Plain format text promotions are becoming increasingly ineffective.
So how does anyone make Generation Y buy? According to an essay published on Social Media Week, distracted minds find comfort in visual media. In other words, busy millenials want to be reached in a unique, succinct, and aesthetically pleasing manner. Consider it instant gratification for the digitally savvy.
The data backs it up: in a study conducted by Animoto, 60% of millenials preferred watching a company video over reading newsletters. 70% said they are likely to watch a company video when shopping online, and 80% consider video content when researching a purchase. With all due credit, this says less about how distracted they are as a generation and more about how involved and connected they want to be when making purchases–in the right format, of course.
So where does streaming fit into the picture? In a content preferences survey published by Demand Gen Report, webinars are one of the most popular forms of visual content preferred by millenial consumers. Consider the popularity of TED, a nonprofit that dedicates itself to spreading ideas in the format of short, powerful talks by various speakers. These ‘TEDTalks’ are usually streamed live and then archived for viewing. Its most popular talk has over 40 million views, with total views numbering over 1 billion. And, get this: millenials love it! TED’s popularity with younger groups (between their teens and mid 20s) has skyrocketed over the past few years.
For a generation that is chastised for being addicted to tiny screens, it may come off as unsurprising that in the same study by Animoto, 50% of millenials said that they only watched videos on their phones. Ease of access across devices is a selling point to Gen Y-ers, and a must-have with live streaming. If a stream cannot be accessed by a phone in the same way it can be accessed on a desktop, consider that 50% of the millenial audience lost to a basement show in Brooklyn.
There is also a broader appeal here for live streams among millenials. Any marketing expert can tell you that fear is one of the best selling points. With Gen Y, it’s not spiders or the dark, but ‘FOMO’, or the fear of missing out. Jim Toben, President of Ignite Social Media, says that live streaming “allows us to tap into that FOMO that people have….if people are watching a live event [online], it makes them want to attend more because people love the value of a physical event.” In fact, according to Digitell, 30% of people who watch a live stream of an event will attend that same event the following year.