How to Reach, Engage and Convert Millennials
Consumers, and specifically millennials, are used to limitless access to information and data. Millennials like to control not only what they consume, but also how they consume it, whether via mobile, tablet, or desktop. So how can marketers get their message through?
"Customers are increasingly controlling the relationship with brands when it comes to information and information sources," Forrester Research Senior Analyst Ryan Skinner said in a recent webinar with Rapt Media. In fact, potential buyers check out an average of 10.4 sources in a typical purchase path, according to Google's recent Shopper Science study.
Pull, don't push
"Essentially, pull channels are providing more and more information for them as opposed to push channels," Skinner said, noting that organizations are consistently budgeting more for online promotions than traditional advertising.
Specifically, online video budgets are increasing. Video is the fastest-growing online ad format, according to Forrester's Online Display Advertising Forecast, 2014 to 2019. For example, consider Fanta's recent seven-figure spend on a Vine campaign aimed at teens. Yes, you read that right: Fanta spent seven figures to create videos that are just six seconds long each.
Be mobile and interactive
Not surprisingly, digital natives are increasingly watching and sharing video on mobile. They want to do more than simply watch, however. Demand for interactive video continues to grow. According to Forrester's research, interactive video ads outperform traditional video by up to 1,000 percent in clickthrough rates. Add mobile to this mix, and you have what Skinner calls the "appification" of video — i.e., custom online video experiences in the palm of your hand.
Learn from your actions and adjust
Millennials don't want to interact with static brands, and with the amount of data marketers can gather from interactions with millennials, their brands shouldn't be static. Every time millennials interact with your brand, you should look for valuable insights into users' choices and preferences. It's about inhaling the data exhaust left behind brand interactions.
In Philips' "Designed to Play" interactive video campaign, for example, viewers leave behind valuable information about which character they like best and what content most resonates with them. By tracking this "data exhaust" and creating profiles based on how users navigate through the video, Philips can easily customize ad content and calls to action.
Interact with intelligence
Millennials are many things. They're digital natives, video gamers, equal parts skeptic and idealist, and they can smell inauthenticity from a mile away. If you can find a way for millennials to engage with your content on their terms, you've got the key … then you just have to get smart about how you implement your strategy.
For example, with an interactive video content strategy, you have to build interactivity in from the beginning. Here's how:
- Write your script from the target audience's context and point of view.
- Ask yourself, "Where does choice add value for viewers?"
- If interactions aren't adding an element of fun or making access to information more efficient, nix them.
- Ensure business, creative and technical teams work together in the development stage for optimal results.
- If at first you don't succeed, tap into your user data to iterate and relaunch.
Millennials are one of the most challenging audiences for brands to connect with, but if you give them what they want — control, flexibility and fun — and implement an interactive approach, you'll reach, convert and learn from them at every turn.
Erika Trautman is the CEO and co-founder of Rapt Media, a developer of interactive digital video technologies and services.