In May 2015, Toronto hosted North America’s first ever YouTube Fanfest. Thousands of screaming fans packed Yonge-Dundas Square to glimpse their favourite YouTube stars, many of which have millions of subscribers. So, who are these fans? Google and YouTube have dubbed this group Generation C – the Connected Generation. Most are millennials, but Gen C reflects a broader group of engaged people who create, curate and connect online.
YouTube is a great platform that can reach millions, but how does a corporation reach out to Generation C, let alone their stars? Drawing upon Think with Google’s research study here are five ways to create content and market to Gen C to help win their attention.
Make your content viewable across screens
67% of Gen C will watch YouTube on at least two different devices. The smart phone is king because it comprises 80% of their viewing usage. They use mobile devices for practically everything: research, shopping, playing games, using apps, listening to music, and the list goes on. To capture Gen C viewers, content must look great across screens. An adaptive/responsive site with a Mobile first approach can ensure that the user experience is consistent regardless of the device.
Make space so they can join the conversation and co-create
As knowledgeable content creators, Gen C are keen to endorse products they love. They actively seek ways to participate in the brand conversation with online reviews and feedback. Ensure there are multiple social media connection points where they can contribute via tweets, shares, photos and video too. Ask them to participate and stir up their excitement with sneak previews for members. Remember, they are passionate about the brands they love, and they’ll want to show it.
Allow for self-serve options
Gen C wants access to goods and services from all their devices in the fewest possible clicks. They want a consistent, quick response whether in store or online. They are used to customizable and ‘self-curated’ content so they have come to expect product selectors, and tools that compare features, so they can navigate a website quickly and easily. Product selector tools, custom print reports, and recommendations from ‘others like them’ are other great ways to create a self-serve, custom experiences allowing them to make an informed purchase.
Increase visibility of online communities
Typically, Generation C seeks solutions within their online communities. When surveyed, 39% aren’t opposed to ads that are relevant to them – but that’s not enough.
This connected generation trusts that others’ experiences will inform their purchasing decisions. When they buy goods or services, they read the reviews and recommendations first. In fact, 85% of Gen C relies on peer approval for their buying decisions. How do you make this work? Provide a friendly community environment on your site where customers, and potential customers can go to share and discover what others are saying. Social media links that connect to sites and content work well too. As long as the brand monitors the conversation and is ready to respond, Gen C will respect the conversation and provide valuable insights into their preferences.
Make your content easily shareable by Influencers
Take a look at some popular YouTube gurus – perhaps there are those who might align with your brand. Whether or not the content appeals to you personally, there’s no question these influencers reach millions of fans. Influencers also help to connect in a variety of channels including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest. Keep the content fresh and vibrant to keep both influencers and Gen C viewers engaged. A content marketing site which includes articles, infographics and videos can morph into a platform which encourages these Gen C early adopters. Remember savvy Gen C content creators are the best candidates to be magnets for lots of followers, and potentially, the next YouTube Star.
In conclusion, times are changing and it’s important to engage with this highly connected group. Tens of millions make up the Connected Generation, and it’s important to cater to their needs and expectations. Just think, as more consumers consider themselves part of Generation C, your brand’s content will be there ready to engage them.