Study: Marketing to the "Selfie" Generation - How to Drive Brand Value With the Mobile Camera

Yeah, yeah, it's not exactly breaking news: millennials love sharing pictures with their friends. So much so, that when satirical news site AdoboChronicles.com joked about "selfies" being a psychiatric disorder, everyone actually believed it. Heck, there's even a TV show about to premiere called Selfie.

Mobile Camera - Selfie Admittedly, I'd probably take a lot more pictures of myself if I looked like this.
Similar to our own recent study on Advertising To Millennials, Mitek Systems has just published a report about Millennials' relationship to mobile, and the results only further underscore just how central the mobile camera has become in the daily lives of this high-priority demographic.

Marketing to the "Selfie" Generation: It's All About The Camera

According to Mitek's findings, the mobile camera was ranked as the third-most popular answer to the question "What is your favorite feature or function on your mobile device?" The only answers to garner more votes were "apps" and "internet." Things like texting, games, email, and social networking all placed behind the mobile camera in terms of overall preference.

Mobile Camera Study The mobile camera ranked third for most important feature on mobile devices—ahead of texting and only behind apps and internet (image courtesy of Mitek Systems)

Unsurprisingly, 91% of millennials stated that their mobile camera was "important" or "very important." More than a third (37%) don't go a single day without using it. And the overwhelmingly most popular purpose of the camera? "Post on social media." (76%)

Millennials & The Mobile Camera Millennials view their mobile cameras as an integral part of their lives

Mobile Ads With Camera Functionality

    "The smartphone is critical to the millennial age group,” said Jim Debello, CEO of Mitek, San Diego. “It's also critical that enterprise businesses explore ways to engage through pictures with this audience.

It's simple common sense: if you are targeting your brand to a demographic whose lives revolve around their mobile cameras, then shouldn't your advertising strategy also involve the mobile camera?

Let's look at some of the different ways you can do this:

  1. Apps
  2. UGC (User Generated Content)
  3. Display Ads

Apps

Don't waste your money.

Okay, let me rephrase: unless you can realistically compete with the gajillions of existing photo editing apps already out there, then the threshold of convincing new users to install your branded photo app is probably too high to make the endeavor cost-effective.

Be honest: If a user does install your branded photo editing app, what are the odds that they're going to use it more than once? Does it justify the expense?

UGC (User Generated Content)

If you're creative enough, UGC is a terrific, cost-effective way to expand your reach and turn consumers into brand advocates. Remember, people are far more likely to trust the opinions of other consumers than they are your official brand marketing (we live in an age where advertorial overload has made consumers understandably suspicious).

Mobile Camera - User Generated Content Belkin's "Lego iPhone Case" is a great example of how user generated content campaigns can leverage consumers' love of the mobile camera

There are a lot of brands out there who are really rocking it with #hashtag photo campaigns on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Contest incentives are usually the best way to get UGC campaigns off the ground, but with the right campaign and the right brand, it's possible to generate a large volume of UGC with no reward offered other than the bragging rights of appearing on a brand's official Facebook page.

Related:
Study - Social Media Demographics

In-Ad Photo Campaigns

One of the great things about mobile rich media ads is the sheer versatility of user experiences they can encompass. Ads that link to or expand into a branded photo-editor are a great way to combine the targeting of a mobile media campaign with the engagement and social reach of a UGC campaign.

You also have the advantage of both leading the user's creative process and branding the finished image by incorporating custom "frames" or cutouts that users can upload images into.

Related:
Drive Social Share with "Photo Booth Ad Units"

Topics: FunMobility

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