VM Weekly Roundup #thisweekineverything
Welcome to our industry news roundup, where the rubber meets the roadmap.
Target Demo: Millennials
Millennials! Can’t live with ’em, can’t…stop being one, for many in our staff (and we’re very, very sorry for all the generational thinkpieces). As tired as we all may be of dissecting the “disrupting” preferences of this cohort, brands still struggle to keep the interest of this notoriously brand-agnostic demographic. A 5-year study of 15,000 millennials suggests the common wisdom that “millennials prefer to spend on experiences over things” is only part of the picture: millennials seem to prioritize experiences that play well to their personal social networks. Social media has created a generation of self-promoters and personal-brand marketing hustlers, making this demographic ever-watchful of the next opportunity to snap a pic, share a take, or buy the product that can drive more clicks, likes, and attention their way.
10 Second Tip: This quote from Norty Cohen, CEO of the research group, is worth reading in full: “Pretty much everything here is: ‘Make me look good. Make me feel good, or keep me entertained’…All these [top] brands are doing something for Millennials’ own personal marketing. When you look at these brands, they’re helping them market themselves.”
Test Drive: As selfish as this makes millennials sound, keeping focus on the consumer is a sales tactic that’s far from new. If you’re having trouble reaching or retaining millennials with your brand, asking “what have you done [for my social media] lately” while putting yourself in that target demo’s shoes may go a long way. Rather than just asking how we can drive consumer social media engagement with our brands, we need to also be asking what opportunities we’re providing them to engage with each other.
Rise of Video
Reddit, the massive forum-like online community, has seen a lot of internal dustup over the past couple of years as social media networks have eclipsed the old-school behemoth’s bare-bones interface. The company’s latest announcement to unveil its own video platform seems perfectly in line with its new direction to follow the lead of more successful social networks like Facebook, who announced their intentions to unveil a “Watch” tab in-app for video content this year. Though Reddit has long supported third-party posted videos (and will not be changing their policy on these for now), a native video platform means clicks, plays, and potential ad time stays in-network, rather than going to YouTube or Vimeo.
10 Second Tip: The rise of ubiquitous online video is coming, and as we move into 2018 we’ll all have a front seat to the battle between YouTube and all the social networks coming to take its market share.
Test Drive: Reddit is home to hundreds of thousands of niche interest groups, but its ad platform is still in its primitive stages. For brands looking for broader messaging, Reddit marketing isn’t likely to be a priority. Even so, this announcement is yet another harbinger of the coming rise of ubiquitous online video. Brands that haven’t yet joined the fray with video content may want to begin considering how to incorporate video into outreach efforts to keep ahead of the curve.
If ad spend is any indicator to go by, digital content marketing seems here to stay. Content marketing is, in short, a strategy for boosting brand awareness by providing targeted audiences with content that appeals to their specific interests instead of stuffy, self-referential business talking points. In an industry where most strategies and accepted wisdom change almost yearly with constant changes in tech, the content marketing trend hasn’t slowed in growth since it hit the scene in the post-oughties.
10 Second Tip: Though branded print and digital magazine content are currently the largest content marketing channels, digital-only content marketing is poised to exceed those channels by 2021, reaching $24 billion per year. Video–especially live video–and in-app content are likely to surge in this period as well. Email and newsletters are also on the rise in B2B content marketing.
Test Drive: Whether your business is already savvy to content marketing or just starting out, it’s never a bad time to think about your prospect personas (i.e., who are your customers as people?) and ask yourself if the content they see from your business is truly likely to catch their interest, answer a question, or solve a problem for them. If you don’t find a clear answer, it may be time to rethink the message.