Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Millennial Market Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

Millennials are not who you think they are. They are individuals. They are a collective group within a group. They are real people.

The one thing you need to know about this demographic is that they will not fit inside the box you have made for them. And guess what? This is now the largest generation, surpassing the baby boomers in numbers just this year.

The term millennial represents people who are aged between 16 and 36. That right there tells you that what a 16 year old likes is not going to be the same as a 36 year old. You're going to need a bigger transmedia marketing boat. You're also going to need to be in different platforms to reach each end of the millennial scale.

Especially for those who were born after the baby boomer generation, how you reach people will determine the success of your marketing campaign. You'll find a ton of statistics, like this Goldman Sachs infographic, that fall within the Bell Curve, which groups all millennials into an average age.

There are some things that cross the age groups for likes, passions, and must-haves. Take Marvel movies, for one, Pok√©mon Go for two. Music tastes might even be similar across the board, but not always. 

Platforms may differ. While we know that 78 percent of U.S. social media users are on Facebook (Statista), you can bet that Tumblr and Snapchat might be more popular for some, and by the time this post gets published, the younger ones will have found another app that none of the adults have yet tried to make their own.

When it comes to traditional media and where people get their news, the millennials cannot be fit into a Bell Curve. This is where you will have at least two different camps. The cord cutters -- the ones who never look at a television, get their news in their phone, and their shows on streaming platforms; and the ones who still watch shows on TV and get their news in their phone and in other sources (but may or may not be watching network news).

To reach millennials (and other demographics) your marketing plan could use a couple of must-haves in order to increase its likelihood for success: turn them into disciples and get them excited about sharing your content; make it easy to share, connect, and do what you want them to do; be genuine because their bullshit detectors are way better than yours; let them have a say in the direction you want to take; and for goodness sakes, be mobile-friendly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Video Platforms, the Essential Storytelling Tool, Are Ever Evolving

Spreecast sent a notice to all of its users that it is closing its doors this month of July, and Blab's most avid users are leaving the platform. These are two interactive live-stream video platforms set up for talk TV. Both similar in that you could have four people on the broadcast in one screen. Both shareable through Facebook and Twitter before, during, and after from inside a broadcast. Both great at building interactive communities, where users meet up on other platforms to engage.

The fate of these and other platforms that have gone before them represent the one true thing about the Internet: everything is evolving and few things are a sure thing.

That said, the video platform is an essential storytelling tool and a must-have for the transmedia toolbox. A webcam is all that is required, whether it is an external or from a laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Point and shoot or get a bit more productive with annotations and creative editing. Make movie and book trailers, let your characters take the audience deep inside the story, interview people who work behind the scenes. Video is where it is at. People tend to be more inclined to consume a video over sifting through a website or reading a blog. No matter what your project or business is, chances are you can use video to your advantage.

The big enchilada and the queen of all queens is YouTube. While it is indelibly linked to Google Hangouts and Google+, there have been many changes that I'm still trying to figure out, but setting up a YouTube Live Stream event cuts out the middleman Google Hangouts on Air, even though they still connect with each other.

The best way to figure out a platform is to just do it. Play around with it and worst-case scenario you can always delete the video if you hate it that much.

Besides YouTube, there are several other platforms for video that can be used in lieu of, in conjunction, or mirrored.

No matter what platform you decide to try, download the MP4 of your content so you have a backup of it, just in case. I have downloaded some Periscope, Facebook Live, and Blab videos and posted them to YouTube. Personally, I now choose only to use video platforms that allow me to download and be able to keep my own content.

The following are some of the many choices for video platforms. They each have their own audience, so you can never assume a video can be one size fits all.

Maker TV requires a minimum monthly viewership before you can be accepted to the site, but once you are, there is an opportunity to grow your YouTube channel.

Vimeo is used by a lot of filmmakers and music artists. The platform only allows original material that you played a role in creating and hold the copyright to.

Facebook Live is a live streaming option from your Facebook page. In Canada, so far you can't use it from your personal page. There is an icon that shows up in the post options that allows you to post instant videos.

Dailymotion has a copyright filtering system that will flag anything you try to upload that isn't your own.

Vine videos are six-second shorts that can only be posted from a compatible mobile device.

Instagram videos can be a minute or less, and must also be posted from a compatible mobile device.

UStream is one of the first interactive live-streaming video platforms on the market and is still kicking.

Twitch is a popular live streaming platform for the gaming community.

Periscope is a live streaming mobile app owned by Twitter.

YouNow is a live streaming video chat platform that has a younger participating membership.

Now get filming and have fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Creatures of Yes

Brooklyn's Puppeteer Jacob Graham has come up with a brilliant video series called The Creatures of Yes. It's a show about puppets discovering things for the first time and learning to interact. No, it's not a knockoff from Sesame Street. It's a 1970's flavored puppet show brought to a streaming video platform. It's simple, vintage, and delightful. This Vice review offers a good overview.

Besides its YouTube channel, there is a website: that gives you that 1970s vintage feel. (Oh my God, is 1970s considered vintage?!)

On the Instagram channel, you can see how Graham has carved a niche for himself using liquid lights, lasers, and analog synthesizers.

So as we look at the collective platforms The Creatures of Yes appear on, each intertwine with each other, but many of the posts tell a different story, and collectively, they make up the sum of the whole. That's transmedia in action.