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Gen Zers Are Changing How We Watch Videos... And Should Change How We Create Them, Too

Gen Z is transforming how we all consume videos. See how videos are changing and what it means for athletic departments trying to engage their Gen Z athletes.

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📝This Week's Goal: Apply one of these changes to your video strategy to engage Gen Zers their way.

Dwight Schrute, the OG middle-parter
Dwight Schrute - the OG Middle Part

While we've all been wrapped up in the culture war between Millennials (#skinnyjeans) and Generation Z (#middlepart)... researchers at Snapchat have been doing some serious work.

Last month, they released a new report: 2020: The Year That Changed Video Consumption.

Here's the TL;DR version:

  • 2020 saw a huge boost in video consumption among Millennials and Gen Zers—they watch over an hour of video each day on social media apps alone.
  • These users are highly engaged and immersed while they're watching videos on apps (as measured by heart rate and emotional interest). The highest immersion rates? Snackable, short videos from people they have a connection to.
  • Shorter videos are more likely to be watched in multiples throughout the day. Not to mention that 77% of users say that short-form video content makes them feel like they're part of a community.
Average length of video vs likelihood to watch more than one video
Shorter video lengths garner more engagement

And as much as you might be tempted to scroll past this data, let me remind you: ~100% of the undergrad students you serve are Gen Zers.

Regardless of your age, title, or how close you are to "making videos," recognize the next generation (Zers) are here— and they are cut from a different cloth.

👉So here is this week's Grafted Goodie:

Apply just one of these simple tweaks to your messaging strategy and see how it improves engagement with your message.
  • Focus on the first 8 seconds. Average Gen Z online attention span = 8 seconds. If you win their attention, they're likely to be immersed for the long-haul. Think snackable, 60-second messages.
  • Flip that phone vertically when you record. 81% of Snapchatters say that vertical video feels more personal, and 77% say it feels more immersive.
  • Strive for authenticity, not signaling. Gen Zers are drawn to real stories and are often repelled by the "subtle" tactics we use to market ourselves (like highly-produced and scripted videos)

👀 Three more of our favorite resources on inspiring Gen Zers:

• Excellent example of impromptu video story from the University of Wisconsin and their Forward360 app (shameless plug)

• Great article on Gen Z's pursuit of authenticity in video, and how it's borne out of being desensitized to marketing baloney

• Like it or not, video chat is the new normal

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