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7 Tips on How to Persuade Millennials with Video (Including Examples)

Aileen Barz
Mar 15, 2019

Millennials, Digital Natives, Generation Y – the digital target group of the turn of the millennium. They don’t just love videos, but above, they love good content, high quality, and added value. In this article, you will find tips that are crucial for video marketing to Millennials.

The future is now.

Millennials are considered the first generation of digital natives, a generation shaped by digitization and technological progress. Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1995, which means they lie directly between Generations X and Z.

generations overviewMillennials are the generation of the turn of the millennium, also called Generation Y.

In marketing, target groups are often divided into “generations” that include characteristics, values, and user behavior in order to communicate in a more targeted and user-oriented way. However, the boundaries between the individual generations are sometimes blurred.

Even within a single generation, there are specific target groups with their very own needs – as is the case with millennials. This is not far-fetched either: a 23-year-old adult has different values than a 32-year-old father.


So, if you want to create a video for Generation Y, you should always take a close look at your target group

In addition to historical, political, and economic events, there is one fact that all millennials have in common: Due to rapid technological advancements, younger generations differ greatly from older generations in their approach to using media.

Digital lifestyle among millennials.

 Millennials differ fundamentally from previous generations in their user and purchasing behavior. What distinguishes them is their strong affinity for media. They are characterized by their use of technology and have grown up with the Internet. The younger among them do not even know a world without the World Wide Web.

Whether smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and whether websites, social media, or apps – use of these platforms is an integral part of their DNA. They love digital media – and especially videos. They consume them every day—for up to 3 hours.

In combination with their inclination towards self-discovery, self-realization, and finding meaning in work and life, Generation Y is a versatile target group that has very special requirements for digital products such as videos.

Generation Y focuses on good videos.

Millennials have developed high demand for video content. They no longer watch movies and series on TV, but via digital streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime – whenever and wherever they want. 

The focus is clearly on entertainment and relaxation with video, regardless of the platform on which the video is viewed. For example, 73% of users prefer entertaining videos on social media.

But entertainment doesn't necessarily have to mean humor. A video is entertaining if it provokes emotions or provides added value.


Generation Y is used to good video content and expects videos that entertain this also applies to advertising videos from brands and companies.

This presents companies with the challenge of conducting sophisticated video marketing geared to the needs of millennials

Because one thing is clear: Generation Y is an important target group for companies. Advertisers invest 500% more in Generation Y than in other target groups. Why? Millennials are not only one of the world's largest target groups, but also the future purchasing decision-makers – after all, the oldest millennials are now 38 years old!

So it's high time that you inspire the young, digital generation Y with target group-oriented videos. We have 7 tips for you on how to optimally align your video with Millennials.

Make Millennials love your video.

#1 Make relevant video content.

"Content is King" is not a novelty among marketers, but it has to be mentioned again, especially with regard to the target group of millennials. The content of a video is decisive for its success with Generation Y and influences how a company is perceived.

A study shows: If a video is made poorly and offers no added value or entertainment, millennials stop watching or quickly jump to the next video. Maybe even worse: A company gains a negative association in people's minds.

What does that mean for your video? It must be relevant for Generation Y. But what exactly does relevant mean? This can best be described by the actual name of this target group. Generation Y is pronounced Generation Why. And that's exactly what it is: Millennials look for meaning in what they do.

Growing up in a world afflicted by climate change, globalization, and terrorism, they know about rapid change. They want to enjoy life, have a say in it, and shape it. Self-realization, living in the moment, and a work-life balance: these are a few of the characteristics of Generation Y.

Align your video content to the values and goals of Generation Y. Your best tool: Storytelling. How you can use it successfully for your company and in the development of your video is explained in our XXL Storytelling Guide.

It has been shown that videos that are designed with emotions in mind, i.e. that elicit an emotional response from a viewer, work particularly well.

Lacoste's image film tells the timeless elegance of their fashion with a dynamic journey of two lovers through the decades.

#2 Take a different approach with your video.

If you focus exclusively on the benefits of your product or service in a video, it's only partially hitting the nerve of millennials. Their search for self-realization and meaning in life manifests itself in taste, preferences, and consumer behavior.

Create content that Generation Y can identify with. 

One example: What if you try to take a different position on your company, your product, or its use case? For example, tell your company story from an employee's perspective. Or a child’s. Or an animal’s. 

Get creative. But always remain personal, approachable, and human. Not only does this make for good content, it is also highly valued by Millennials.

The recruiting video of the bakery trade shows young employees in a bakery, musically and impressively framed.

#3 Avoid bold advertising.

Of course, the goal of your company is to sell your product or service. That's exactly what video can do for you. However, advertising is a sensitive issue for Generation Y in particular.

A study by Unruly shows how controversial Generation Y is about advertising. On the one hand, they are increasingly using browser extensions such as ad blockers to hide unwanted ad videos. On the other hand, they are one of the demographics that are most likely to share such advertising videos – provided that the advertising meets the needs, language, and feelings of this target group.

In principle, advertising videos are not a problem for millennials. But what they want is more than just advertising. Aesthetics, entertainment, relevance.

And here we are again at tip #1: It is important that you align your video content to the needs of Generation Y.

Microsoft draws attention to Internet Explorer by using memories from the Millennials' childhood.

#4 Demonstrate a real benefit.

Create real added value for the viewer, for example by solving a specific problem with an explainer video. Short and crisp. Explainer films are used by 95% of consumers to get more information about a product or service. They can make a complex topic understandable in just a few minutes. Your product can be the focus, but also your brand or an independent topic, which requires more explanation.

For example, use a screen capture video to show how your software, website, or app works. Like a user manual. Only as a video. Your customers will love it!

#5 Use video for sales.

As already mentioned in tip #4: Video has become elementary for Millennials in their purchase decisions. They usually get inspiration for their purchases online. Generation Y uses videos of products and brands on the Internet before making a purchase decision.

Videos of your product embedded in your website’s shop help users get a better impression of your product. Use product videos to effectively support the user and their purchase decision. 

The scope ranges from classic product demonstrations to extraordinary product videos. But in order to permeate the memory of a prospective customer or inspire a purchase, you should always aim to impress with your product video.


Blendtec has turned the idea of simply crushing everything in a mixer into an entire product test series. 

#6 Make your video mobile-friendly and short.

Video consumption is undoubtedly on the rise. According to WordStream, 85% of mobile online users in the US watch videos from their devices every day.

Millennials spend, on average, 3.2 hours online every day, mainly via mobile devices. Videos should therefore be available in the places Generation Y spends most of its time – on your website, in social media, and on video-hosting platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. 

At the same time, the flood of information on these online channels is huge. Your video is surrounded by possible competitors. But if you take the previous tips on video content to heart, you've already done a lot to make yourself visible to Generation Y.

If you have a budget, you can also invest in mobile video ads, such as mobile ads on Facebook or bumper ads on YouTube. The advantage: You can precisely determine your target group, to which your video will be played, and thus target it precisely toward millennials.

Another characteristic of Generation Y: The average attention span has been greatly reduced. So make your video short, concise, and to the point. It is worth considering on which online channels your video should appear. Every online channel is different and has its own optimal video lengths and suitable formats

Instagram videos are extremely short. FedEx has managed to fill its featured video with comprehensive content in just 15 seconds.

#7 Caring is Sharing.

The most used social network among the millennials is Facebook, closely followed by YouTube. According to statistics from 2016, 64% of Generation Y worldwide use Facebook several times a day, while 51% use YouTube.

Millennials use social media to educate themselves on current events and to network. They link, comment, and share – provided the content is appealing.

Therefore, take advice from points #1-#6 to heart. Create high-quality and appealing video content in order to benefit from the huge potential of social sharing.

The #1-Viral-Hit in Facebook history: The most shared video on Facebook is a Lifehack video.

This is just the beginning.

The rapid progress in communication media to date clearly shows that what was still trendy yesterday will be old news tomorrow. The young target groups with an affinity for technology are versatile, flexible, and anything but static.

As a company, it is therefore important to keep up with this pace in order to win new customers again and again. So keep up to date with the latest technical inventions, social networks, and apps.

Know your target audience before you produce a video. Use the opportunity to question your target groups. Or work together with a professional video production company to precisely determine your target group.

Even millennials are versatile. And the youngest, generation Z, is already forming opinions in terms of advertising. The under-23s should be a key generation for marketing and combine the values of millennials and baby boomers. 

An entertaining comparison of user behavior between Generation Y and Z.

We will be happy to support you in creating your video concept for optimal orientation toward millennials.

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