In 2020, video is more important to consumers than ever.

Every day we stream our favorite shows, watch explanatory videos on YouTube to learn something new, or follow events, questions and answers and interviews via live video.

Not surprisingly, the current popularity of video content is due in part to Millennial and Gen Z consumers. These age groups are more connected to the Internet than older age groups and prefer to be entertained or learn new things from online videos.

At this point, marketers know that video should be used in their marketing strategy. According to the HubSpot 2020 Marketing Status Report, the video has beaten heavyweight competitors like email, blogging, and infographics as the most common type of marketing content.

Interest in videos is not surprising or new. Over the past century, we've seen videos switch from black and white TVs to smartphones and tablets. When consumers saw this content becoming more available, brands discovered a number of new ways to implement video in their marketing.

Instead of relying on a commercial to find out more about a product during our favorite sitcoms, we're now swamped with marketing videos on all social media, streaming apps and search results pages.

Video doesn't go anywhere, but it's constantly expanding, changing, and evolving to meet new customer needs and new platforms.

As this content evolves with each new generation, marketers should continue to explore the interests, hobbies, and behaviors of video consumers.

In this blog post, I will highlight six research-based ways that video viewing habits change and how marketers can strategically respond.

How video consumption will change in 2020

1. Consumers are beginning to rely on branded marketing videos.

In the past, consumers visited websites, watched online reviews, watched commercials, and may have searched for information about a product in some YouTube videos. Now that videos are available on all major social networks, they are learning to rely more on this type of content in their research phase.

As brands see more engagement than ever through video marketing, consumers are increasingly expecting this type of content to be seen by brands. As early as 2018, a whopping 87% of consumers said they wanted to see more videos from brands next year.

In 2020, brands' expectations of providing marketing videos should have increased even further. Every day, consumers use product demos, video reviews and unboxings to find out about products before buying.

What do increasing expectations of video content mean for you as a marketer? If a prospect is interested in a product or service in your industry, is looking for video reviews or tutorials, and cannot find information about what your brand is offering, they may be buying a product from another brand.

Why? Videos give consumers the opportunity to see how a product or service works in real life, to spot errors before buying the item and to identify benefits that they may not know about in the text-based description. This content also appears to be more authentic than a heavily edited product shot that can increase a consumer’s confidence in a brand or offer.

2. Half of Gen Z and Millennials "don't know how they would get through life without a video."

For some, that's not a big shock. Every new generation has seen more online videos than the last one. However, when it comes to people under the age of 34, videos impact everyday life more than ever. In the YouTube survey, 50% of people in both generations stated that they could "not live" in their daily lives without video.

Aside from using videos for entertainment, both Millennials and Gen Z prefer to watch videos to collect information. Even when it comes to learning about a new brand or product, these age groups prefer video explanations, product demos, or other marketing videos, rather than simply reading about a company online.

With millennials near 40 and Gen Z gradually gaining full purchasing power, there is a good chance that these two age groups will soon take up a large chunk of your audience if they are not already.

At this point, marketers who want to target these two generations should consider testing video strategies on social media or on their own websites. While these age groups regularly use videos for entertainment purposes, they are likely to use them to learn more about products or brands that are worth investing in. If there is a great video recommendation or tutorial for a product you’re interested in, you might find it, watch it, and use this content to confirm that this purchase is right for you.

3. Video consumers want to relax or escape everyday life.

In the past, older generations may have turned on their favorite TV sitcom or gone to the cinema to get away from everyday stress. While the platforms have changed as younger consumers take over the video market, the instinctive need for relaxing or entertaining content has not changed.

When asked about the reasons why consumers watch video content, YouTube respondents said they watch videos primarily to relax and unwind. In addition, the fourth most common reason people watch videos is that the content makes them laugh. In addition, people cited "Let me forget the world around me" as the seventh most common reason for watching videos.

Why consumers watch YouTube videos

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As a marketer, you shouldn't spend all your time and money creating meaningless content that relaxes or makes your viewers laugh. However, you can keep in mind that many viewers are still looking for entertainment or fascination with your content.

Even if you create an informative marketing video, you can experiment with funny anecdotes or add other fun features. Do you want to add fun elements to your next marketing video? Get inspiration from big brands that have used humor effectively in their marketing.

4. Consumers want to learn more about their niche and passions.

In addition to seeking escape, YouTube viewers are motivated to watch content that teaches them new things, especially if they are related to their passions, interests, hobbies or social concerns. While the second most common reason for watching a video was "teach me something new," people said they prioritized content that allows them to dig deeper into their interests or relate to their passions.

Your product is likely related to a person's interests, hobbies, passions, or career. This is the type of person you want to watch and enjoy your videos.

By creating a buyer personality and audience for this type of person, you can identify video themes that will appreciate, benefit from, and remember your brand for publication.

5. Consumers don't care if your video is on a budget.

There is a common misconception that marketing videos show the greatest Hollywood stars and have to be shot in a high-priced studio. In 2020, as marketers began to produce video remotely, this myth was definitely exposed.

However, if the evolving video marketing workforce hasn't convinced you that low-budget videos can still be effective, YouTube found the following in its poll:

When asked to state the main reasons for watching videos, "high production quality" and "famous actors" surprisingly neared the bottom of the list.

Main reasons why consumers choose a video

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Aside from the fact that high-budget video features are ranked as the least likely reasons for watching video, Millennials and Gen Z differ from older age groups in that they are more likely to accept user-generated content than professionally created video. This could indicate that brands can use content created by their own customers or fans when creating marketing videos:

Consumers' views on user-generated content

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At this point, there are many ways to produce affordable, solid quality video from any home or work space. Even if it takes time and money to publish this content, effective marketing videos created everywhere can increase your brand awareness.

6. Younger generations watch longer content.

The average Gen Z member has an online attention span of eight seconds. That's four seconds less than millennials. While Gen Z's attention span for general online surfing can be quite short, long-form videos that interest them can get their attention – and keep it.

Demographics of video consumption

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The adoption of long-form content with every new generation is not new. According to the YouTube study, millennials also watched videos longer than their Gen X predecessors more frequently.

As a marketer, you need to consider the attention span of each new generation when setting the pace for your video content.

Your video has just a few seconds to grab the attention of a millennial or Gen Z member as it scrolls aimlessly through a social media feed. However, if your video catches viewers immediately and continues to provide entertaining, valuable, or interesting information, these age groups may be watching the whole thing – even if it's a little longer.

Before posting a marketing video online, take a look at it from a busy consumer’s perspective. Then ask yourself: "Does this video quickly pull viewers into the action and keep their attention?" If you are concerned that parts of your video may appear boring, you should shorten it. However, if your team thinks it's entertaining or informative all the time, you can experiment with the lengthy release of your video and learn from the results.

Navigate the video in 2020

The video world will evolve with each new generation.

At this point, however, the video landscape is changing in favor of marketers. Consumers not only want to get to know brands through video content, but also use them as a necessary tool in the information acquisition phase of their buyer's journey.

In addition, the vast majority of video consumers are now eager to learn something new about an interest or hobby, rather than just using video to entertain themselves. This means that marketers can incorporate educational videos into their strategy and offer consumers content related to their niche while marketing a brand or product.

In 2020, you don't need a high-priced video budget to be successful as a marketer. You just need to create content that engages, educates, and fascinates your audience.

You can find more information on creating a successful marketing video – even on a small budget – in this guide. Tactical advertising tips can be found in the Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing.

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