Millennial Consumer Behavior Comms Tower

New-age video marketing: Adjusting for millennial consumer behavior

Industry NewsCategory
5 min read
Reid Genauer

For decades, video marketing has remained relatively stagnant. Traditionally centered around television, a typical marketing strategy involves a short commercial showcasing a product or service that is then broadcast during a time when the intended demographic will likely be watching. Although these commercials have undoubtedly become sleeker and more refined as the years have gone by, video marketers have had little incentive to alter this basic formula. Thanks to emerging millennial consumer behavior, though, that’s finally changing.

Millennial consumer behavior

Roughly defined as anyone born between 1980 and 2000, millennials have close to 100 million members, making them the largest generation to ever exist. What’s more, they’re entering their prime spending years. Forbes predicts  that their annual spending power will top $200 billion in the U.S. by 2017. These numbers alone make it incredibly important for marketers to start focusing on millennial consumer behavior.

Millennial Consumer Behavior Women

So how does that play into video marketing? As the first generation to grow up alongside the internet, millennials not only watch much less television, but divide their attention among a variety of mediums, including mobile devices and social media . Reaching them means strategically placing ads based off their behavior. Do they use Facebook or Twitter? Will customers watch ads on their phones or opt for the laptop?

Internet and digital media is central to millennial consumer behavior.

In order to take advantage of this perspective, marketers and small businesses need to consider how they can use online video to start a two-way conversation with their audience, rather than just broadcast a one-way message.

The new rules of video marketing

The ways in which millennials communicate and consume media is causing a revolution in video marketing. While many traditional marketers may be dismayed at television’s decreasing relevance, there are still plenty of ways to reach millennials with a relevant and timely message. The following are the three new rules for successfully developing a modern video campaign.

1. Use targeted messaging.

Unlike television, digital video gives marketers and small businesses the flexibility to create messages that target highly specific segments of their audience. Now, they have a chance to create videos that appeal to millennial consumer behavior or niche customers, as well as address individual issues or concerns.

With targeted messaging, you can say goodbye to one-size-fits-all advertisements.

The possibilities of this are endless. Both Facebook and YouTube offer tools for targeting advertisements and videos. When creating online video, you can factor in location, demographics, interests, behaviors and more.

Think of the possibilities. A national brand could create geo-specific ads for each state they’re located in. Or, they could display different product videos based off the age of a certain demographic.

2. Optimize for mobile and social.

According to Nielsen, a staggering 85 percent of millennials  own a smartphone. Even more dramatically, Pew Research found that 90 percent  regularly use social media. As such, the importance of creating video content that will seamlessly display on a variety of platforms cannot be overstated.

There are a variety of ways to do this. You can appeal to on-the-go mobile users with short, well-branded videos and easy-to-read subtitles. Depending on what platform you’re using, you can even ensure your content is in vertical format in order to accommodate how most people hold their phones (something Snapchat recently recommended its advertisers do).

You could also create how-to, product or DIY videos  to promote sharing on social media. Remember, millennial consumer behavior leans favors social networks  and engagement, so make sure you’re actively engaging with your followings to keep your brand top of mind.

3. Tell a personal story.

Millennial Consumer Behavior Story

Technology and social media have broken down traditional barriers between businesses and consumers. And as such, millennial audiences expect advertising to not only be relevant, but also personal.

Targeted messaging, well-crafted newsletters and optimized ads won’t matter unless the message feels authentic.

While this might sound like a particularly challenging obstacle, it can actually help make campaigns more adaptive and cost-effective. You can use services like Magisto to quickly create ads that showcase your brand without investing a large, complex campaign. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to tell stories that would otherwise be impossible to share.

A great example is this video by Dirk Kinley , a San Francisco realtor. This online video quickly and effectively showcases one of his homes while also putting a face to his business. Campaigns that can do this, or even use their videos to respond to specific customer needs, will be successful in the new marketing landscape.


With their embrace of technology and their wildly different expectations for what a video can do, millennials have upended the way video marketers create campaigns. Fortunately, services like Magisto are tailor-made for the tastes of this new generation. Elaborate, multi-million dollar campaigns might finally be on their way out thanks to millennial consumer behavior.