Discussion about how best to market to millennials is one of the most popular talking points on the Internet today, especially among business professionals who want to tap into this potentially lucrative demographic. Should we all be jumping on Snapchat and sharing silly pictures of ourselves with goofy filters?
What many of these marketers are neglecting are the generation of users who came just before the millennials: generation X. Roughly categorized as those who wore born between 1965 and 1980, this cohort represents a very significant of the current online population. They’re generally well established in their careers at this point and many of them have families of their own.
How can you reach them in the most impactful and most effective way? Consider that video is bigger than ever, with 79% of people saying they’d rather watch a video about a product than read text on a page. Video marketing continues to be on the rise and a great report was published by Think with Google that taps into some key YouTube analytics. What kinds of videos do these people watch?
Personally, I’m caught between the two cohorts. I’m a little too young to be a true Gen Xer, but I’m a little too old to be a true millennial. Even so, I still catch myself in “back in my day” moments, reminiscing about the entertainment I enjoyed in my youth. I’m not alone.
According to the report, three-quarters of Gen Xers “watch YouTube videos that relate to past events or people.” The appeal of a “Throwback Thursday” or “Flashback Friday” can bode well if you’re trying to tap into this market, just like what Jimmy Fallon did with his “Saved by the Bell” bit. That video has over 35 million views as of this writing.
With 68% of respondents saying they watch YouTube to keep up with the news and pop culture, it’s important that your video content is also timely and relevant. Part of this has to do with knowing what’s happening in the world, but it also has to do with what is happenings in the world of their children.
From a marketing perspective, this means you need to stay on trend. Casey Neistat was already really popular as a daily vlogger, but even after he ended that, he managed to stay on point. His video defending the free speech of PewDiePie, following the controversy of PewDiePie using Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic remarks, garnered nearly 3 million views in just two days.
Doing things for ourselves has gotten a lot easier thanks to the advent of the Internet. Remember at the top when I said that people much prefer to watch a video than read text? This is especially the case with DIY tutorials. A video is so much easier to follow than a block of text, even if it’s accompanied by still pictures.
Something Fishy offers a great example of this with just enough of a twist to get people’s attention. It’s a woman’s guide to changing a tire. It’s useful as a tutorial for changing a spare tire, but at nearly 3 million views (as of this writing), there’s just a little more there to entice a click (and a view).
The risque humor probably helped her a fair bit here, as the topic of changing a spare tire isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world. But this demonstrates that you can take even the most mundane product or the most boring idea and turn it into a hugely successful YouTube video. Other popular tutorial topics include home improvement, cooking, technology use/repair, arts and crafts, and beauty.
Dare to be creative and you’ll hit the X-factor on those Gen Xers.