Generation C | Marketing in the YouTube Era

Marketers are constantly looking for the next big segment of consumers to gain whatever advantageous angle they can. Whether it’s the Baby Boomers valuing individual choice, Generation X and their results-driven desire, or Generation Y who just craves change, marketing is largely about who you’re trying to reach and why. But now that the age of the digital consumer is upon us, the ability to tap a certain segment can actually be made more difficult, despite the tools available. Have you even heard of Generation C?

Sure, consumer data is just about everywhere you can draw from — we can know where people are, what they like to eat, and who they know or what they buy. More so, we can figure out what they believe in. Now unlike ever before, marketers can get to the core of someone’s values, understand their emotions, and sell to them. And yet what is most surprising is this: Age may no longer be the tell-tale sign of a target group as once assumed.

Generation C

Personalizing the broad range of channels your brand is on will help reach Generation C.

Meet, Generation C

The “C” stands for creation, curation, connection, and community — four of the key values this segment offers up as the main driving forces behind their decisions. At face value, these essential values seem a bit nebulous, but really, it’s possible they’re more targeted than we may realize. Also known as the “YouTube Generation,” these consumers are a group of whom

  • 40% rarely watch TV
  • 67% upload photos on social media
  • 85% consider peer approval before buying
  • 91% sleep next to their phone

Ultimately, Generation C consists of influencers (large and small), helping to guide industry decisions, especially with things like traditional advertising. This is a group that consumes digital video by the billions — without personalized, original or relevant information, it’s completely ignored.

So how are brands to react in light of such a choosy Generation?

1. Be transparent:

If people are already talking about your brand, it inevitably means you’re being scrutinized. Getting involved in the conversation shows that you hear what people are saying, and actually take pride in addressing their concerns. With both positive and negative reviews, tackling the conversation head-on and remaining open to discussing what’s at hand is a solid way to show you’re only human.

2. Take a stance:

Generation C consumers want to see that you’re on their side, so choose your issues wisely and don’t be silent. Part of that may involve alienating some of your consumers, but ultimately it will build a much deeper trust and brand identity in the eyes of your target audience. Just be sure not to go overboard and to pick your battles wisely — sometimes a controversy isn’t what it appears to be without some appropriate research.

3. Genuine Storytelling:

Your product may be great, something anyone could get behind — but that means you need to support it with real stories or attempts to ground the brand as something human. Any chance to highlight true accounts of people using the product, being affected positively, or just exemplifying your values is cause for celebration! Here, it’s not so much about talking up a product but more or less adding to what’s already there.

4. Offer Personalized Value:

Generation C needs to know they’re on your mind, or at least that’s how it appears. Through creating shareable content, whether educational, funny, or inspiring, reaching your consumers personally is a top priority. Personalizing content provides trust on an authentic level, something that serves as the foundation to any proper brand.

The moment your efforts start feeling fake to Generation C, the moment they look elsewhere. Traditional methods may work to a certain extent, but the YouTube Generation won’t settle for anything less than what they think they deserve. (Authentic) content is king!

New Social Media Networks Are Lacking

There was a time only a few years ago when a new social media network took the world by storm every month. The playing field was thick with networks like Vine, Omegle, and even the once prominent MySpace. However, it seems like more and more of these networks are either throwing in the towel or being enveloped by bigger companies. So why has this once eclectic market dwindled down to five major social media networks, and are there any up-and-coming networks that could break through? 

social media outlets

The social media landscape has dried up over the last few years

The Big 5 Social Media Networks


It’s no surprise that Facebook is, and most likely will stay the most popular of the social media networks. With over a quarter of the world using Facebook, it’s no surprise that many businesses heavily lean on this social network for recruitment, vetting, and marketing. Facebook even became public and hit the stock exchange, a first for a social media market this size. That big risk shows that owner Mark Zuckerburg could slowly try to become not just the best of the social media networks, but the only social media network. Acquiring competitors like Instagram and other apps have quickly put Facebook in sole possession of the social media title.

New Competitor – LinkedIn

Although they aren’t necessarily a new social media network, LinkedIn has slowly been carving out their own path in the industry. Focused more on the business and networking side of things, LinkedIn has continued to add new features to make the platform more appealing and easily accessible, and many companies are using the network to recruit and screen possible employees.

social media recruiting

More employers are looking towards social media for recruiting and screening


Twitter has essentially cornered the market on short, sweet, and to the point. What was once thought to be a less-technical Facebook has quickly blossomed into a great news source and surprisingly a much-used outlet for our Nation’s President. With the addition of live streams of sporting events, it’s no surprise that Twitter gets 80% of its users from mobile devices, so it’s a great way to reach an audience that’s on the move.

New Competitor – GAB

One of the biggest controversies that Twitter will often be faced with is the issue of free speech. Twitter’s ability to ban accounts has brought into question whether or not social media should be censored. According to the creators of GAB, the 300-character social media app believes that freedom of speech is vitally important. Set up like the popular site Reddit, users can post messages without the fear of being banned or penalized. While Twitter continues to reign supreme, too much censorship could open the door for GAB.


Instagram is known to have been the birthplace of the filter and the Instagram model. However, it’s become much more than that. The picture-sharing app has quickly become one of the best social networks for visual advertising. In fact, the network had become so popular that Facebook eventually bought it. This purchase had many industry experts wondering what they can expect. We’ve seen Facebook slowly integrate more and more features from Instagram, so it will be interesting to see just what Zuckerburg and company plan to do with the site.

New Competitor – Flickr

Flickr is still a viable alternative for those who are afraid that Instagram will become stale or too commercial. One of the best features about Flickr is that you can seamlessly upload and view images from a variety of different mobile devices. This will allow your audience to view your images on a tablet, smartphone, or computer.


Snapchat is a very interesting case. Out of the social networks listed above, this is probably the one that is in the most danger. With apps like Facebook and Instagram quickly adopting similar features, it will be up to Snapchat to figure out how to stay relevant in the social media market. With over 150 million active users, it will take a big effort from Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks to get rid of the GhostFace Chillah.

New Competitor – Wickr

Wickr has become a popular place for those who want to share photos while maintaining privacy. This encrypted messaging service has gained popularity after the various photo hacking scandals. Wickr could eventually become the ideal photo-sharing app for those who want to maintain a sense of privacy.

Lessons in Marketing from Westeros

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past seven years, you’ve definitely heard of Game of Thrones. This award winning show comes back each season with rockstar lineup of episodes. And their millions of dedicated fans come back each week to see who’s closer to sitting on the iron throne. But one aspect of the show fans relate to most is how it mimics human nature. And if there’s one thing all marketers should understand, it’s just that – human nature. How do you market to people, if you don’t understand them? Marketers could learn a few lessons in marketing strategy by watching (and rewatching) this addictive HBO show.

Luckily, we are here to assist you in understanding the show. We have binged the show and picked up on some popular themes you can apply to your overall marketing strategy.

Brace Yourself: Lessons in Marketing are Coming

If there’s one things Game of Thrones (or as the cool kids call it – GoT) knows how to do, it’s how to keep people coming back to them every year. And isn’t that what marketers want to do for their company? Businesses want to build a base of loyal clients and the like that continue using them. So why not take some lessons in marketing from the best? Here are some tips even Jon Snow would know a little something about:

Winter is Coming

Okay, so winter is technically over, but this will make sense I promise. In Westeros, the phrase “winter is coming,” is a warning to stay vigilant and prepared. Have a well-developed marketing strategy in place to use when all else fails. If it’s worked for you in the past, chances are it will work well again. But always prepare a Plan B. Research trend and strategies that have been useful to your company and others in the past and go from there. Keep your creative juices flowing and fighting off white walkers, I mean other competition, will feel like you’re using Valyrian steel.

Don’t Be Afraid to Kill Something Off

I cannot stress this enough – do not actually kill anyone. In the real world, it’s illegal and you probably don’t have a Red Witch hanging around to bring them back to life like Jon Snow (I’m talking to you Melissandre). But, if something isn’t working for you, toss it! When you can tell an idea has become stale and overused, kill it and move on to the next. Maybe you’ll miss it forever (Ned Stark) or maybe you’ll move on to the next best thing completely.

Don’t Ignore the Whispers in the Shadows

I’m talking about message boards and social media comments. These outlets are the Little Fingers of this world and they can have a huge effect on company success. While you may not always want to see the negative comments on a social media post or blog, you simply have to move past it. Rectify the issues with the person who commented and move on. And don’t forget to reach out for those who compliment you too. We’ve seen similar struggles with Jon Snow and the Men of the Knights Watch. Catering to both sides is a difficult struggle but test the waters, and even if you’re right, always listen to an upset customer. Doing this will help build a better reputation and loyal consumer base.

Never Let Your Guard Down

One of the final lessons in marketing you can take away from GoT is to never be too comfortable. Many of the characters fight and die for their chance to rule. We’ve seen many make it to number one, then relax- BIG mistake (you can reference poor Margerie Tyrell and her ENTIRE family and ladies in waiting for this particular lesson). Even if you reach the top in the marketing world, someone bigger and better will try to bump you from your slot. Constantly look for ways to improve what you are doing even if you have something that seems great.

For now, keep working on your marketing game like you’re preparing for battle. And, look out for more marketing tips when season 7 premieres this July!

Social Update: A Story About Stories

If you’re an avid social media user, you may have recently noticed several new updates: Instagram added its most talked about social update yet, allowing users to post multiple pictures at once without using an app to create a photo collage. Before that, they jumped on the “story train,” an idea started by the creators of Snapchat. Most recently to add stories to their platform was Facebook, and consumers don’t really know how to feel about it. A new social update happens so often, users quickly become frustrated and hate the new additions before settling down after a few weeks. But will the frustration with the new story addition last a little longer?

The Social Update Story

With reports that Instagram and Facebook have been stealing Snapchat’s users, its hard to believe such a crossocial updatesover would occur. From a social standpoint, the three social platforms seem to be used for different reasons by different people. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, about 8 in 10 American adults use Facebook while nearly one-third of Americans use Instagram. Over the years, we’ve seen the number of teen Facebook users decline and the number of users 25+ increases – but why? Probably because no teens want the parents, or worse, their grandparents, to see what they’re up to! That is what makes Instagram and Snapchat stories usage more popular.

Showing their dislike of the added feature, users took to social media to put Facebook on blast for the stories update. Some went as far as editing photos of random objects and unlikely applications to feature stories giving their take on an overused feature.

Part of what makes the idea of Snapchat such an interesting platform for younger users is its ability to delete their messages. It’s one of the quickest means of distributing a message or photo to show what you’re up to before it disappears anywhere from 1 second to 24 hours later. Instagram now work in a similar way with its stories, but photos still remain on your feed and page until you manually delete them. The new feature on the Facebook social update, however, causing users to feel forced to use the stories.

New Form of Ghosting

A year or so ago, when you heard the term ghosting, you may have believed it to be when you simply just stop contacting another person and never hear from or see them again without any warning or reason. Now, it takes on a whole new meaning. When Facebook first introduced their stories update, unless your friends posted to their story, all that remained was your story “bubble” – a little circle you click on to add pictures or videos (basically Snapchats whole deal). Now, whether it was to fill the white space at the top of feeds or otherwise, Facebook created story bubbles for all of your friend too, even if they don’t post.

Now, where Facebook may be going wrong here, is using the ghost versions of your best pals. On Instagram, once you have completed viewing a story the bubble of your friends fades to an opaque shadow. But, nothing will show up unless those you follow post. On Snapchat, if one of your friends posts a story, nothing shows up at all until they do. And when the story is gone, so is the icon (or newly added Bitmoji).

What Facebook seems to be doing is forcing its users to look at the stories section like a “hey, check me out and use me!” instruction. The story bubbles appear with your friends profile picture, but slightly grayed out and “ghostlike.” Only after you tap on their bubble does Facebook tell you they haven’t added content “recently.”

Snapchat’s Stand

With the recent social update on what is still the most widely used social media platform, Snapchat didn’t respond right away. About a week after, however, the timed message sending application sent out a new filter making any picture posted look like an Instagram post. The filter was released on April 1st a joke. For now, jokes aside, whatever comes next, let’s hope each social media platform starts releasing some more original ideas instead of cloning each other’s creations.