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Move the Meter: What YouTube Tells Us About Millennials

Both short and long form video formats have a place with young consumers
August 28, 2017

The marketing world has a mix of viewpoints about the content-consuming habits of Millennials and Gen Z consumers.
On the one hand, super-short video formats are becoming mainstream in advertising, designed to cater to younger consumers with “shorter attention spans.”
But on the other hand, new research shared by Google suggests that Millennials may not be as quick to click through video content as is often assumed. In the past year, 70% of millennial YouTube users watched videos to learn a skill (roasting their own coffee, for example) or research something they’re interested in (like #Eclipse2017). Thus, they are spending more time on video content. 
So how do brands and organizations plan their content to reach these consumers? When do you use the short-and-sweet video format, and when do you go for the long-form instructional video?
Here are some more questions to ponder from the industry this week:
Director of Account Services Kate Julian:
Will 2018 be the year of the short-form video ad? “Snackable content,” or short, 6-second videos, are predicted to play a huge role in awareness advertising, leaving longer formats for retargeting your audience once they’ve been introduced to your brand or subject matter.
Director of Outreach and Engagement Eric Anderson:
Will podcast listenership continue to grow at the same explosive rate? This infographic effectively illustrates the growth in the popularity of podcasts in the past 10 years. Like streaming time-shifted video, consumers are no longer restrained by the number or schedules of local broadcast stations.  
Senior Account Manager Lisa Alcorn:
What does it take to create waves – on public lands? Patagonia, a brand known for its activism around natural resources and public lands, is launching its first-ever tv commercial that is aimed squarely at the new Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, as the new administration is looking to roll back protections of public land.  
Editorial Strategist Katharine Brenton:
Why hasn’t native advertising been an antidote to declining digital ad rates? For clients that feel that native ads are relatively costly to create and distribute, brands are increasingly producing their own content. To address the challenges, The Washington Post developed an artificial intelligence product that optimizes brands’ own content for greater visibility among readers.
Project Manager Kathleen Ryan:
Speaking of artificial intelligence, could bots and AI assistants open up new avenues for brands to deliver content? While this article focuses primarily on the impact of bots on retail spending, bots could also be a way for consumers to engage with causes or receive support from cause-oriented groups. One could say, “Google, I am craving a cigarette. Help!” And quit support content would be on its way.
More questions – and maybe some answers – to come in future posts.

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