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VidMob Wants to Set Gen Z and Millennial Marketing in Motion

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Millennials and Gen Z are less about ad avoidance than you might think; VidMob’s Joline McGoldrick revealed insights for how to get their eyes on your video content.

Of an hour spent on social apps, millennials will spend 20 minutes of it looking at video content; Gen Z will spend 25 minutes doing the same. Can your brand match that sort of demand for video? VidMob’s Joline McGoldrick wants you to think about that question—not just in terms of quantity, but also in quality. She provided best practices and tips on how to do so Thursday with “How to Make Social Video Ads Gen Z and Millennials Actually Want to Watch.”

Informed by data from 1000 16-24-year-olds, and 1000 25-34-year-olds this past summer, VidMob’s research revealed a series of massive shifts in how these coveted demographics use social media and the internet at large. Understanding how these shifts impact behavior, will be key to reaching these consumers effectively.

Social Video Dwarfs Linear TV…AND Streaming

To the surprise of no one, the time that Millennials and Generation Z is spending with eyes on social video exceeds what they’re spending on linear TV. 57% of video time per day for Gen Z is spent on social video, 3.8 times what they’d spend on linear video. But it’s also 2.5 times as much as they’d spend on streaming services. These numbers look a little different for millennials (45% of video time is on social, 1.9 times that of linear video and 1.8 times that of streaming video), but affirm the idea that social video is king.

The key to this shift: stories. Stories, living in limited snippets on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook has led to a rise in time on social for 52% of respondents. The inherent imperfection, dynamic content, and humor found in stories has captivated users in a way that feed-based platforms haven’t done. Brands that can effectively utilize stories, will have a far greater share of attention than their competitors.

A New Window to the Web

A staggering finding from McGoldrick’s session: less than 5% of Generation Z and millennial respondents opened a browser on their phone when they first woke up in the morning. Put another way, social apps are the default entry point to the wider internet in a way that browsers once were. This should encourage brands to look at social content as not just useful and captivating in its own right, but also as a viable conduit to content hosted elsewhere.

This also means that your first impression makes a difference. When it comes time to craft video content, McGoldrick warns, don’t get too focused on full video views. Instead, concentrate on making the opening seconds attention-grabbing. When you do earn that attention, it endears you to the viewer and makes them more likely to stay with you- through the end of the video, and ideally beyond. More tips to be endearing, according to McGoldrick: keep it simple, show don’t tell, and design for audio off (and delight with audio on).

Fight Ad Avoidance with Agility

Above all else, McGoldrick advocated for a mindset of agility when approaching the development of content for millennials and Generation Z. Just as stories are attractive to these generations because of their imperfections, consumers will likely be patient with your imperfections so long as you’re trying new things. “Agility is about taking risks, paying attention, and if it doesn’t work, dialing it back,” she said. This mindset ties back into the earlier espoused value of humor. 53% of surveyed consumers watch Snapchat Stories in search of laughs. Moreover, humor is twice as important in content for women, as it is to see a celebrity they recognize in it. An agile mindset is essential for finding and relaying humor- and if humor is that essential to your bottom line, you should consider it!

For all the insights we’re fed about Generation Z and millennials, reaching them will ultimately come down to embracing and employing creativity. “What we’re seeing is that creativity rules the day,” McGoldrick revealed early in the session. Brands aiming to capture the attention of these crucial generations would do well to remember that need for creativity—and to set that creativity in motion.

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