Yep. It’s true. They are about to kill your business.
You’ve been a successful business for the past 50 years because you’ve held your customer’s attention. That’s it.
The person who spends money with you has been entertained, educated, or simply heard about you through a channel or source which they trusted or were interested in. Cue the financial times, TV ads, radio ads, tube ads, magazine ads, and email marketing which you’ve typically invested your marketing budget in.
It’s a pretty simple formula: Where attention is spent, money is spent. So when Forbes reports that as of this year millennials have the largest spending power of any generation, we need to be asking, “Where is their attention and do I have it?”
And according to Google’s latest report, this isn’t only confined to B2C. They found that 70% of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase. In many cases, marketing directors or CMO’s just like yourself, defer to their 25 year old Marketing executives when in the initial stages of research about a solution. Those millennial juniors on your team, grew up with the internet and therefore go directly to YouTube when learning how to use a solution or to social media when weighing up whether a new service provider can be trusted. The consumer at every level is changing.
In 10 years you’ll be selling to a customer who doesn’t know who Woody Allen is but follows every thing Logan Paul does.
In 20 years you’ll be selling to a customer who spent their childhood on their iPad.
In 50 years you’ll be selling to a customer who regularly goes to the moon for a quick break.
Ok, I’m being a bit dramatic. For impact of course. But the reality is pretty clear; the consumer is changing and so is the focus of their attention. So when we hear that these same people are now the big spenders, we need to look at how our marketing strategies appeal to them because ultimately that’s what will fill our sales pipelines. Continuing to force feed ads on newspapers and TV isn’t going to get it done.
We know the focus is on social, and likely will be on this for the foreseeable future. But what exactly should we be doing on social, just sharing status updates? Probably not. We should be looking at where Facebook, Instagram & Linkedin are investing money and use it as a leading indicator. Visual. Facebook live, Instagram stories, Linkedin video: New visual products brought to life as they hold the attention of the customer much longer than text.
So if you aren’t actively using visual content on these channels to capture the customers attention, how do you fair in 2 years time? Or even next year when video content will make up 80% of web traffic?
“Lose the Attention = Lose the Customer”
If visual media, meaning video content, pictures, and to a large degree audio content isn’t part of your marketing, you’re going to lose the attention battle and this will affect your bottom line. No similes, no fancy wordplay. It’s simple. Lose the attention = Lose the customer.
So for traditional businesses which don’t care about social or see video content as a superfluous expense, the future is here (to be extremely cliche). Video or visual media isn’t just something fancy, it’s where the attention is, and hence you should be investing in it appropriately.
Some quick takeaways or solutions because I like solutions not just information:
- Start by looking at where the big platforms are investing money. When they first came out with Facebook/Instagram live, if you were an early adopter, they were pushing notifications to users to get them to tune in and helping you get traction. Free support from these platforms doesn’t often come, so when you utilise a new feature they’ve launched, you are accessing attention you may not have otherwise have gotten.
- Connect with the lower age bands of your customer demographic so you can really start to build an audience segment of what they are watching and where. You need this demographic information before you can start creating visual content which they will engage with.
- If you’re creating video content already, you need to think about using video not just at the point of sale, but using it to create an emotional attachment to your brand online. Panerai recently have done this, splitting their video budget into creating a series content called “Traits”. They’ve recognised that consumers will spend time watching content online when eating dinner or on the train, so it’s better for them to spend money in this ecosystem rather than just pushing 30 second pre roll ads which everyone will skip. They don’t focus on the watch, but showcase the lives of the people who wear their watches. Read our “6 Steps To Great Video Content” here for more advice about building your content so it is compelling.
- If you aren’t doing video content… Start! Think about laying out a video strategy before you begin- read our “Video Marketing Strategy For Beginners” to get started
- Even if you’re a B2B brand, educational videos are an easy way to implement effective video content into your brand immediately to start building an audience.
Don’t let a millennial kill your business.