By Jason Thibeault, Limelight Networks
Millennials are causing a clear shift in video consumption trends, and it’s time for marketers to adjust their online plans. Eighty-three million strong and growing, millennials represent more than one-quarter of the nation’s population, one-third of the workforce and a majority of the shift in video consumption trends, according to Pew Research Center. The fact is, millennials are using online video more often and with their stronghold in the workplace, B2B marketers can’t afford to disregard how they are engaged.
B2B marketers know the importance of video — 70% of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium, according to CodeFuel. However, to effectively reach their target audience, marketers need to understand how they, especially millennials, prefer to watch content.
How can marketers adapt to this changing landscape? By taking a pulse of the current perceptions and behaviors surrounding online video, which is the reason behind Limelight Networks’ State Of Online Video report.
Based on responses from more than 1,200 consumers around the world ranging in demographics, gender and education, this report offers an inside look into how the millennial generation (and beyond) prefer to engage with online video, helping marketers to more effectively adjust their plans. Here are the five key takeaways from the State of Online Video report and what they mean for marketers:
Analytics Are More Important Than Ever: When it comes to video, millennials want variety, choice and control over the channels they pay for. One-fifth (20%) of respondents indicated that they subscribe to two or more online video sources and as that demographic skewed younger (ages 18-25), the number of respondents subscribing to two or more services increased to 25%. It’s possible that as more video and television services become available online — especially direct from the content provider —this younger generation will continue to move towards more simultaneous subscriptions. This will cause challenges for marketers trying to target their audiences, but with more accurate data analysis of where these millennials are spending their time online, marketers can win.
Short Clips Are Out: Viewers are spending most of their time watching long-form online videos such as TV and movies, even with their low patience for buffering and other performance issues. Movies, TV shows, and original content/YouTube are the top three types of video content that viewers are watching so if paid advertising is in the budget, marketers should keep these types of video content in mind.
The Need For Personalization: For advertising in online video to be successful, the State of Online Video report found that it must be personalized and the view must be able to easily move between segments. The market is exploding as U.S. digital-video advertising revenue from PC- and mobile-based video ads will top nearly $5 billion this year, according to BI Intelligence, and grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9%. One way to maintain interest is providing the ability to skip and personalize content – although 60% of respondents find advertising in online videos disruptive, 71% were okay with it as long as they could skip it. Even more interesting was that 42% indicated that advertising didn’t bother them, as long as it was personalized.
Delivery To A Variety Of Devices Is As Important As Ever: Millennials want access to their favorite content wherever they are and on whatever device they have – they don’t want to be tethered to a TV or desktop to watch it. A majority of respondents aged 18-25 indicated that they watch 4-7 hours of online video per week, whereas the group average indicated 1-2 hours. Marketers can only reach this audience if they make their content available wherever the viewer is and on whatever device they’re using.Sharing Is On The Rise: Online video consumption has moved beyond consumption only – it now involves sharing. Half of respondents regularly share online video or would consider sharing it on social media.B2B marketers must make it easy to share content to achieve success in their marketing plans.
The online video landscape is changing but with regular analysis of viewer trends and behaviors, marketers can improve engagement, adapt to the changing online video landscape and create a rich experience for their target audiences. As more of the millennial generation enters the workforce, keeping their expectations in mind will be crucial to the success of marketing plans as B2B marketers work to engage this growing demographic.
Jason Thibeault is the Senior Director of Marketing Strategy for Limelight Networks. In this role, he frequently authors articles for various publications, as well as develops white papers, E-books, blogs and also speaks at conferences around the world on topics, including streaming video and content delivery strategies. Thibeault is the co-author of the marketing thought-leadership book Recommend This! Delivering Digital Experiences People Want To Share (Wiley) and an inventor on a number of technical patents with Limelight Networks. Follow him on twitter @_jasonthibeault.