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Why Traditional Media Doesn't Reach Millennials

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There are several reasons for that. Millennials believe in instant gratification, voicing their opinions, communicating digitally since that’s a faster and more convenient mode of conversation. Millennials with buying power spend at least 7 hours online They have no time or need for traditional advertising methods; in their world everything is done digitally. 

84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.

— Hubspot

And you need to target millennials because they're the ones with money. These stats say it all.

  • By 2018 they will have more annual earning power than baby boomers
  • By the year 2020, Millennials will spend a whopping $1.4 trillion annually - or 30% of all retail sales in the United States alone.
  • By 2030, millennials will outnumber non-millennials by a whopping 22 million people.

So, let’s discuss some popular traditional advertising methods that our fathers and grandfathers grew up with, and why they no longer work for the millennial audience.




From 2001 to 2013, millennials who relied on the newspaper as their primary source of news plummeted from 36% to 22%.

And with each passing year, we see that number decreasing. Why? Because,

  • Newspaper isn’t portable. Yes, you can fold it up and take it with you wherever you go, but it’s bulky and takes up more space than it’s worth.
  • With just a tap on our mobile phones, we can access social media, Google News, BBC, CNN, etc. Not only are they available on the go, but the news is updated 24\7, unlike newspapers.  
  • Millennials want to voice their opinions. Newspaper can just be read and consumed, but online news sources allow you to express what you feel about that news and discuss it with other like-minded individuals in the comments section. You can also share these news sources with your friends and family on social media and conduct discussions there.
  • Millennials need more visual elements. Plain text isn’t engaging anymore.

Yellow page ads


“What a waste! I used to have a full page…then half….then they tried to sell me color. At one point I spent approximately $24,000 in one year in YP advertising and got $3,000 in revenue. How’s that for ROI??? It’s all on the net now.” - The Wealthy Dentist

For years and years, yellow pages gobbled up marketing budgets and were one of the main sources of converting would-be buyers into confident customers. Now with social media on the rise, millennials don’t even look towards Yellow Pages to get information.

There a plethora of online alternatives are available that serve the purpose of Yellow pages and millennials are responding well to them.


Traditional TV ads


“There’s no question that millennials love great TV content, but what we’ve seen is that people don’t want to watch it in traditional settings. They don’t want to wait for their favorite show to come on. Young people want to consume content online, live or on demand, so they can watch when they want, on any screen so they can watch where they want, on their terms, so they can watch how they want." — YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki

According to Google, ‘Millennials watch nearly 50% less TV than adults 35+’. They’re more interested in consuming TV content digitally through YouTube and similar websites. A Nielson report stated, ‘YouTube reaches more US adults (18 – 34 years old) than ANY of the existing cable networks’.



They’re all at YouTube, folks.

Add to the fact that YouTube advertising is cheaper and has better ROI, and you’ve got yourself a clear winner.


How to hook them in with video instead?


"We are at an inflection point in the adoption of video marketing driven by an understanding of the power of video, especially among the younger generation, who are leveraging different marketing tools and strategies than their older counterparts." — Magisto, Chief Marketing Officer, Reid Genauer

Instead of wasting your hard-earned advertising dollars on outdated traditional marketing methods, shift your focus to digital media, especially videos. 80% of millennials find video helpful during initial purchase research, and that’s what you need to cash on.


Social media + videos = A winning combination


According to a recent survey, 41% of millennials still use Facebook every single day.  Other social networks like Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest saw an even bigger percentage of millennials using it.

You need to reach them where they are with video. Millennials no longer want to read about things and brands, they want to see it and experience it.

As FaceBook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, says,
We're particularly pleased with our progress in video as we move towards a world where video is at the heart of all of our service

Video marketing on social media isn't just limited to posting a simple clip on Facebook and waiting for your audience to see it. Social media and the video industry has evolved a lot in the recent years and you need to be on top of your game to stand out from other brands in your niche. There are a multitude of ways you can use video as a potent marketing weapon on social media.

Paid social media video ads

Over 70% percent of marketers plan to increase their use of video ads this year.

Instead of creating simple FaceBook and Instagram ads with text and a couple of pictures, experiment with video ads.

Live sessions

Facebook users spend 3X more time watching live videos than traditional videos. 

SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram offer you a chance to converse, engage and connect in real time with your millennial audience. No fancy equipment needed, no elaborate scripts required, all you need to do is hop onto Facebook\Instagram, inform your followers beforehand, and conduct your live session.

“We’ve focused on making the Facebook Live experience more engaging, more fun, and more social. And now, one in every five Facebook videos is a live broadcast – and over the past year, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than 4x. Every day, we get to enjoy new use cases for Live that we would never have thought about.” — Facebook’s head of video, Fidji Simo

360 videos

360 degree videos have taken the digital world by storm. They allow you to view the video in any direction you want; up, down, left, right and all around. All you need to do is click on a little arrow and move the video around with your fingers in any direction.

As a marketer, it helps you connect with your customer on another level. It’s not the same old content they’re tired of seeing everywhere; it’s different and exhilarating. From RedBull to Honda, all big and small brands in the digital sphere are experimenting with it.

Magnifyre found that 29% more people viewed a 360-degree video than the same video in traditional format. 


Ditch direct mail; contact them via email


According to a survey from Adobe, 58 percent of of millennials say that email is their preferred way to be contacted by a brand. And 72% of them send or receive emails through their smartphone.

They might be able to live without food, but can’t go two hours without checking their email.



So instead of wasting time and money on direct mail, reach out to your millennial audience through email marketing. Not only is it a cheaper, faster and a more convenient way of conversing with potential customers but it also allows you to get uber-creative.

And what’s even better than emailing your prospective customers? Adding persuasive videos to them and boosting your conversion rates!

You can easily use videos in an email to pique your audience's interest and increase your conversion rates, as 60% of Millennials prefer to watch a company video than reading a company newsletter.

Here are some of the ways you can successfully incorporate videos in your email campaigns.

Add customer testimonials or case studies in video form to provide social proof in your emails.

  • Animated gifs are a favourite amongst millennials. In a recent survey, 36% of millennials claimed that GIFs and stickers better communicate their thoughts and feelings than words do. So add those GIFs liberally in your emails.
  • Welcome videos introduce your brand in an engaging way and make your potential customers feel like a part of your family. Add them in when you send your first email to a new subscriber.
  • Teaser to drive people to your social media profiles or youtube channel.
  • Special message videos sent occasionally can be a great engagement booster. It could be a special message from the CEO, video greetings on festivals, etc.
  • Use videos to demonstrate new features in your product, new products, or even new services and send them to your subscribers.  
  • Product videos are great especially for subscribers who are not your customers yet. Send them product tutorials to explain them how your product works and to push them towards becoming your customers.

Infographic via Animoto




One traditional media company successfully reaches millennials through their social media video content strategy. Want to find out how?

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