Advertisers know that Millennials are an important target audience. Making up nearly one-quarter of the United States population and accounting for more than $1 trillion in annual spending, they play an increasingly significant role as consumers.
We’ve talked in the past about how Millennials expect advertising to be authentic (not pushy), omnichannel (whether online or in-store) and efficient (easy check-out, please). Let’s explore further how they view advertising today with a report from Nielsen, and how to better reach this important generation.
Video is Prime Millennial-Targeted Real Estate
Not surprisingly, video is the ideal channel for connecting with Millennials. Television is the device they use most for watching video, though other screens (phones and PCs) are more valuable to them than to other generations (according to Nielsen).
TV-connected devices, like game consoles and digital streaming devices, come in second to TVs themselves, making Millennials’ consumption of traditional television 27 percent less than that of older generations.
Smartphones, tablets and PCs together only make up 11 percent of video consumption.
Remember that, for advertisers, video is a huge market on social media right now. Updates to Facebook’s video delivery will undoubtedly increase video consumption on the social network, making this content a greater advertising opportunity. Additionally, increased revenue sharing with publishers could revolutionize the kind of money advertisers make with social media video content.
Millennials are Relatively Tolerant of Digital Ads
Millennials have expectations around advertising, as we mentioned in the introduction. Interestingly, they are relatively accepting of advertisements, and understand brands’ need to let the public know what’s available (according to Nielsen).
Of course, accepting ads doesn’t mean Millennials pay much attention to them. Despite being less likely to change TV channels during commercials than older watchers, Millennials have lower ad memorability scores, presumably due to their simultaneous engagement with other devices.
On mobile devices, Millennials are quite open to viewing ads as long as the content they’re viewing is free. Fifty-one percent of younger Millennials, and 46 percent of older Millennials, feel this way, compared with 33 percent of people over 55.
In fact, 79 percent of Millennials say ads are necessary, and 46 percent say ads don’t bother them. This makes them slightly more tolerant than other generations.
As an advertiser, especially if you’re on mobile, this tolerance means you have an opportunity to present your brand if you’re advertising within free content.
Social Media Celebrities, Your Ads and the Customer Journey
The Nielsen report includes a specific example of something that might capture the attention of Millennials who see your advertising. Rather than movie stars and top athletes, social media stars are the favored celebrities.
According to Nielsen’s data, social media celebrities outrank pop music and sports stars by a few percentage points for male Millennials.
How might you use this in your advertising? Influencer advertising could be huge. Can you get a social media celebrity to appear in one of your ads, or tell a personal story about using the product or service you sell?
Remember, Millennials expect advertising to be authentic and not pushy, and are likely to be able to detect an overly scripted advertisement, even if it does include a celebrity they like.
Recently, we discussed the customer journey of your social media audience and how different generations behaved when shopping in that environment.
Social media is a place where Millennials might pay attention to ads, and then follow and interact with your brand. If you can leverage the influence of a social media star in the process, even better.
Here are a few of the highlights we covered in the customer journey post for the Millennial generation:
- Just under 59 percent of Millennials are likely to follow a brand before purchasing from it. Sixty percent are likely to buy from a brand they follow.
- Upon following, 38 percent of Millennials expect entertainment and 42 percent expect information.
- Thirty percent of Millennials engage with brands on social media by liking, sharing and commenting on a monthly basis.
- Millennials prefer social media over email or a phone call for communication, and are twice as likely to choose that channel for brands as are Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
- Annoying marketing efforts will cause 22 percent of Millennials to unfollow a brand, while bad experiences will cause 21 percent to unfollow. They are less deterred by spam and things perceived as “offensive” than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
- Millennials expect interactions with brands to be pleasant, and are 71 percent more likely to buy after a positive experience.
It’s understandable to be a bit intimidated by the large, economically powerful and sometimes-misunderstood Millennial generation. However, once you get to know them, you realize that they’re actually quite open-minded when it comes to honest and helpful advertising. Pay attention to what they like, and you might just earn their following – and their dollars.