It’s no secret that Gen Z (youth 13-24) is spending less time watching TV and more time focusing on digital video. DEFY Media came out with a fascinating study with Acumen where they took a deep dive into the road map of what video sources are important to youth today, how social media affects their everyday lives and the non-surprising revelation that YouTubers influence youth more than TV/movie stars. Here are five main takeaways that marketers can use when speaking to young people today.
The Video Menu: Digital Dominates
The utensils are smartphones and laptops but what’s on the video menu? Social videos! 38% of teens said there was no cable/satellite box in their households. Furthermore, 91% of teens say they are watching video content on social platforms, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr. This doesn’t include YouTube (85%) and Netflix (66%). The majority say that they’re not drawn to traditional media or TV since they could easily find the content they want on YouTube, Netflix or Hulu.
They Have Standards
Just because teens are watching snackable content, doesn’t mean they don’t have standards. Their content is on the go, it’s easily digestible and they have complete control over what they watch. They’re not just using video content as entertainment, they’re leveraging it to learn (YouTube tutorials) and connect with peers and family. In fact, some research says that tutorials/product reviews are the most popular video content on YouTube!
Ads They Can’t Block
While Gen Z doesn’t hate ads, they are not fans of pre-rolls before their favorite YouTuber’s weekly vlog, so they use ad blockers. However, they see commercials as different from pre-roll ads and might seek them out and even share powerful content. But you have to be careful–teens catch on quickly when a product is pushed to them. Instead, teens expect ads to be a part of something bigger, perhaps integrated into influencer content. It’s also important to remember that when talking to teens, the most desirable product placement is no longer than 5 seconds.
Gen Zers trust and follow digital celebrities more than traditional celebrities. 50% said they didn’t mind watching ads to support their favorite digital celebrity.
What About Snapchat?
Snapchat offers teens the DISCOVER feature and lets them interact with original video content created by their favorite brands. When using DISCOVER, teens even come across new brands (Mashable). Additionally, 68% of Gen Z said they’d be more likely to try a new product if it were integrated into a DISCOVER story, as opposed to served as an ad before it.
Ultimately if you’re looking to reach the Gen Z audience with ads and video content, you can find them watching videos throughout the day on all digital and social platforms. But remember to keep those ads creative and try to integrate then into other interesting content that they already watch. Keep it quick, keep it real and keep it digital.
Click here for more information about the DEFYI Acumen study.