It's now indisputable that video is playing an increasingly fundamental role in shaping consumer purchasing behaviour, especially among under 35s.
Let's be clear – the last decade has radically revolutionised purchasing decisions. For generations, those decisions had relied on word-of-mouth recommendations, point-of-sale information, or reviews from trusted publications. But the smartphone revolution, and free online publishing platforms like Youtube, have drastically changed the game.
According to a recent study from Google, 50% of all internet users look for video related to a product or service before visiting a store. Before consumers see a product in the flesh, they want to see it used on a screen.
Broadly, the videos being watched fall into three categories:
1. Branded content and ads: Whether you're a clothing brand or a high-street bank, it doesn't matter. You need beautiful, creative, informative advertising and branded content shared across all video platforms – pushed out across Facebook, Youtube or TV campaigns. And if your key audience doesn't see an ad, then they'll probably see your product featured by...
2. Influencers: If you've frequented the trending tab on Youtube recently, you'll notice that a staggering amount of Youtube's most watched video content is produced by influencers. It's not a co-incidence that Samsung has been carefully creating a relationship with the most-watched vlogger on the net, Casey Neistat. And finally, once your audience has seen their favourite influencer waxing lyrical about your brand, they'll then turn to...
3. Product-specific reviews from media outlets or individuals. Here's where traditional PR strategy falls in the video world. The best reviewers around need to have your product, and any additional resources they need, to produce a compelling piece of content.
The lines are a little blurred, but it's imperative that a marketing strategy takes into account these three avenues. It's no longer enough to pay a PR to sell-in your product to journalists. Consumers want to be wowed by ads and marketing, and endeared to a product by their favourite influencers.
Consumers want to be wowed by ads and marketing, and endeared to a product by their favourite influencers.
Another recent google study claims that in an average day 98% of 18 to 34 year-olds use their smartphone to watch video. You read that right. All young people are watching video content on their smartphone. And surprisingly (for some) – a smartphone is the under 35's viewing platform of choice. They are far less distracted when watching on their phone, compared to any other screen, including TV.
So here's the takeaway – if you're trying to appeal to an audience under 35, diverse video marketing is absolutely key.