Millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. It’s also quite likely they make up a large portion of your target audience. So, how do you get these 18-34-year-olds to engage with your brand? Answer: you need authentic, unobtrusive marketing that appeals to the tech-savvy, adventurous, socially conscious, ambitious and uber-collaborative nature of this generation.

Here are 3 reasons video is essential for marketing to millennials:

1. Quite Simply, They Love Video

We could go on about how much millennials love video, but we’ll just highlight some quick stats instead:

  • 8 out of 10 millennials find video helpful when researching products
  • Millennials are 150% more likely than baby boomers to comparison shop using video (even in-store)
  • 76% of millennials report following brands or companies on YouTube
  • 85% of millennials find video product demonstrations helpful
  • 69% of millennials find video customer testimonials helpful

What Kinds of Videos Do Millennials Engage With?

Overall, research shows that millennials don’t mind video advertising, as long as it’s not overly promotional and has emotional impact. According to Clear Voice, the most important factor for millennial video content is narrative – and videos that use humour, or embody themes like family or inspiration, engage more millennial viewers. Below are two examples of narrative-driven marketing videos, from Nike and Skype respectively:



Why is this video so effective? Because rather than focusing on selling products, it centres on real people telling real stories. This doesn’t mean Nike products aren’t featured (they’re worn by the athletes), but they aren’t the focus of the story. This video also includes a tagline utilised across other advertising platforms (including billboards and social media posts), which drives recognition and consistency. With inspiring narration and footage of people achieving incredible feats, this video inspires viewers to achieve their dreams.



Like the Nike example, this Skype video features an inspiring real-world story about two people overcoming obstacles and coming together. The ad plays out like a mini-documentary, and is part of a wider series referred to as the ‘Stay together’ campaign, which features stories of friends and families brought together through Skype. This campaign was highly effective because it was emotional, inspiring and narrative-driven while also reinforcing the benefits of Skype’s service.

2. They Reject Traditional Marketing Methods

According to a recent study conducted by the McCarthy Group, 84% of millennials distrust or outright reject traditional marketing methods (like commercials, print ads, billboards etc.). Also, millennials’ perceptions of business motivation and ethics are at the lowest in four years, and only 45% of millennials believe that businesses have a positive impact on society (down from 72% in 2017). This doesn’t mean millennials don’t make purchases – in fact, they spend around $600 billion and growing per year – but they’re incredibly selective when it comes to the brands they support.

Millennials are also very selective about the content they consume. In this digital age, where information is shared instantaneously, millennials are highly skilled at filtering anything they don’t want to see. This means your marketing efforts really need to make a strong first impression. Millennials purchase based on feelings – not overt sales pitches. If you can find an inspiring, entertaining and interactive way to showcase your brand within the context of developing relationships and trust, your marketing efforts will be impactful.

3. They Live on Social Media, Where Video Rules

marketing to millennials

Videos on social media get more engagement than other content – according to Leighton Interactive / Webdam, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined. So which social media platforms are millennials using? According to recent research from Pew Research Centre, the most popular social media platforms among millennials are Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (you can see the stats and find out more here).

When you consider the fact that mobile video viewing has increased by 2,084% since 2011 – and that 88% of 18-to-29-year-olds use social media – there’s really no argument against video if you’re marketing to millennials. What you need to do, is figure out which social media platforms your customers are using, and then create engaging content that showcases your products or services. Don’t forget that adding value is essential for connecting with millennials – and if you want engagement, your videos need to connect with viewers on an emotional level.

Want to read more about creating compelling video content? Check out these tips for executing a killer video marketing strategy and this blog post about which stories you should share on social.


Marketing to Millennials? You Need a Great Strategy

87% of online marketers use video content – and if you want to start marketing to millennials, your business should too. The first step is to create an awesome video marketing strategy – download our free (yes, free!) video strategy template below to get started:

Get Your FREE Video Strategy Template

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