I interviewed ExpoTV.com’s Founder and President, Bill Hildebolt, about their research findings on the opportunities brand retailers, e-commerce sites, and other marketers have to target Millennials with user-generated online video. I also shared my own tips for effective strategies that retail brands and e-commerce sites can use to persuade Millennial consumers to buy from them.
Who are the Millennials?
- comScore: Born 1981 – 1999 (13-29 years old) / Bazaarvoice: mid-teens to mid-30’s
- Embraces ethnic, cultural, and family diversity
- Known for multitasking, short attention spans, and the need for stimulation
- Has the highest comfort level with technology, and was the first generation to grow up with (Internet) technology
- Surpasses GenX in terms of size
- More engaged in digital media than all previous generations
Why are Millennials considered important to retailers?
The Millennial generation is becoming increasingly viewed by marketers as one of the most valuable segments of the population, mainly due to the powerful combination of the group’s massive size and strong purchasing power. The group’s purchasing power is estimated to be $170 billion per year by comScore.
A separate study put out by Bazaarvoice, “Talking to Strangers: Millennials Trust People over Brands,” stated that Millennials will have more spending power than any generation, and that their reliance on social media disrupts all areas of business.
Why Millennials are more attracted to video
Bill Hildebolt, President and Founder of ExpoTV.com, says that Millennials were the first group whose experience with online video was not tainted by excessive buffering; so the group now expects its availability, including when shopping.
Millennials are more interested in user-generated product reviews
The Bazaarvoice research also reported:
“’Strangers have the most influence with Millennials when it comes to making a purchase, over every previous generation. About 51% of Millennials are more likely influenced by UGC (User Generated Content) produced and posted by strangers, compared with recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.”
See full Bazaarvoice infographic here.
Bill also mentioned that his company’s own preliminary research into Millennial behavior confirms that they are more interested in product videos than any other age group; and are more trusting of video reviews coming from “strangers” (people they perceive to be like them) than videos coming the brands themselves.
“The intersection of UGC with video is especially powerful because it removes the anonymity of text reviews and gives a much more robust view into other users’ product experiences. We’re seeing this impact in our own research, such as in a study we did with comScore that showed Millennial purchase intent shot up 26% with the presence of UGC video, 3x the impact compared to other groups.”
“These results were well within our expectations as UGC plays into [Millennials’] trust of each other, and video is the preferred medium for anyone whose access to it is relatively frictionless,” says Bill.
7 tips for retailers who want to engage Millennials with user-generated videos
Here are my tips for retail brands and e-commerce sites who want to engage and persuade Millennial shoppers with user-generated video:
- Tap social influencers. Social influencers are still considered by Millennials as “strangers”, but are more highly regarded because of their influence and high engagement. Check out social monitoring tools (or even a simple YouTube search with targeted keywords around your products, product areas, and audience profile) for finding key influencers who are already doing product video reviews.
- Incentivize Millennials to submit video reviews of your products. Put on a contest, or just a straightforward incentive program. (Just be sure to disclose any compensation with the FTC guidelines.) You can even include the option to give a video review as a part of your normal review process on your product pages. Kiddicare utilizes the webcam video commenting capability from their video commerce solutions provider, Liveclicker, to do this on their product pages.
- Hire a Millennial. You can hire a Millenial to work for your video channel, or to be your online community manager who is regularly engaging with your consumers and fellow Millennials via video and social media.
- Consider investing in a UGC platform. A couple of vendors who can supply this are ExpoTV and VideoGenie.
- Promote Millennials’ video reviews on your own video sharing sites, social media sites, your website, and even in your own professionally produced product videos.
- Consider sponsoring a live video chat show featuring and/or hosted by Millennials with other Millennials reviewing your products, or just talking about their experiences with your products in their everyday lives.
- Encourage Millennials to submit videos to customer review sites such as Amazon.com that accept video reviews (with an active account on the site.)