Black Millennials want Diversity from YouTube
How to Reach Black Millennials with YouTube

YouTube and video marketing are among the most powerful forces in internet marketing today. People turn to YouTube for many reasons. They want entertainment, information, and peer reviews. Yet, video marketing must appeal to its audience. While YouTube may appeal to some, many black millennials feel the marketing giant is missing the mark when it comes to attracting their attention.

When asked what would make them tune in, black millennials told YouTubers exactly what they want. Read on to learn more about how to attract this audience to your branded videos.

  1. We Want Diversity

The number one thing black millennials want with any platform, whether it be video, print media, or any other form of advertising, is diversity. Black millennials want to see more people that look like them and their friends.

Any time a person researches information online, the first thing to come up is the average Caucasian person between 18 and 35. While the age range may hit millennials, Caucasian men and women are not the answer to diversity.

Younger people, black, Asian, and Latino, want to see people that look like them. They want to see people who live in their neighborhoods, go to their schools, and attend the same places.

Most importantly, they want those in the video to represent the diversity within each group. Diversity does not mean black or white. It means many colors, looks, and ideas. It means some couples are interracial. Some may be heterosexual, while others are homosexual. Diversity is more than just showing a few black people in a video and calling it new and different.

  1. We Want More Black Creators Involved in the Process

Diversity is more than in front of the camera. Black millennials know how to depict black millennials. It shows in their work product.

Black millennials want to watch content developed and directed by other black millennials. The content is less contrived. It does not feel like it is reaching to attempt to find its audience. Instead, it feels authentic.

Even if Caucasian creators write the content and direct it, a black creator should consult and get involved in the process. Black creators can look at the content through a different set of eyes. They know what will resonate with the audience and what appears contrived. To reach the black millennial audience, many advertisers want to reach; they must not appear too contrived in their message. It must flow naturally. Not only must the words seem authentic, but the delivery must resonate as well.

Making sure the people on the screen are as diverse as the potential audience will attract black millennials more than watching an ad with an all-male or female cast of dark-complected young black people.

  1. We Want to See Small Businesses and Small Channels Succeed

YouTube is made up of channels, much like cable or other television outlets. Some channels are large conglomerates with large audiences. They do not appeal to any niche marketplace. Instead, they try to capture all markets whenever possible

In contrast, YouTube has many smaller niche channels. These channels know their target audience well and try to focus on what that audience wants.

Black millennials, like most millennials of any color and background, want to see the small, niche marketplace succeed. They want to watch content on niche channels that appeal to their wants and needs.

While some of these channels may specifically target young black people, not all are geared towards race. Some target young professionals, while others target young artists.

In the end, millennials, in general, want to be heard. They want to feel like they are an individual, not part of a larger targeted audience. Partnering with niche channels will help reach those black millennials based on who they are, not their age or skin color.

Final Thoughts

In general, Millennials want to see people who look like them, the people they know, and the people they love doing things they love to do with other people that look like people they love. Black millennials are no different.

The people they know, and love are of all genders, colors, races, and religions. They love people of all genders, colors, races, and religions. While black millennials want to see black people in the advertising, they want it to be diverse. They don’t want it to be only black men and women of similar shades. They want to see people of all different backgrounds getting along.

Black Millennials are Changing the Corporate Economy

African-American Millennials: Leading the Future of the Digital Economy

African-American millennials are increasingly shaping mainstream conversations through digital communication. A recent study explores how Black millennials, representing 14% of the US millennial population, are outpacing other demographic groups as influential social and economic leaders.

Trend-setting African-American audiences are changing how digital platforms, social media, and technology products evolve. Now, more brands are adapting their strategies to attract this growing affluent market segment’s buying power.

Educational Advancement of African-Americans

One aspect contributing to growing African-American influence in the digital economy is the demographic’s achievements in educational excellence. More Black millennials are completing higher levels of education, compared to older generations.

Level of Education Black Millennials Black Baby Boomers
High School 88% 77%
Associate’s Degree 38% 28%
Bachelor’s Degree 15% 10%
Master’s Degree 6% 7%


Today, fewer African-Americans are dropping out of high school. Instead, Black millennials are exceeding other demographics in college enrollment rates. Female African-Americans, in particular, are accelerating their academic progress the most.

The number of Black-Owned Businesses and African-American entrepreneurs have also experienced substantial growth. At least 9% of all US businesses are Black-Owned, 59% owned by women.

Black Influence in the Digital Economy

Higher levels of education and business ownership are contributing to a rise in household income for African-American families. In many areas across the nation, Black income growth exceeded Caucasian income growth, reflecting substantial upward mobility.

Brands that successfully market to African-Americans can benefit from tremendous economic rewards. The majority of Black millennial buyers tend to be brand loyal, particularly to Black-Owned businesses. In addition to supporting initiatives for racial equality, meaningful connections, celebrity endorsements, and high-quality products are ways companies are gaining the respect of African-American customers.

Aside from achieving higher levels of education and income, the Black community is also particularly tech-savvy. African-American millennials spend more time on digital devices than their counterparts in other demographics. Compared to the total population, Black Americans spend 44% more time networking on social media websites.

Around 91% of African-Americans access the internet through their smartphones, while only 45% use desktops or laptops. Capitalizing on the opportunities within this segment is requiring marketers to prioritize mobile optimization strategically.

Growing Social Awareness

One of the most significant trends reveals that Black consumers aren’t just using the internet to connect with friends and shop for deals online. African-Americans are using the web to instigate social change and raise awareness of diversity-related issues. The hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, is a recent social media-based movement challenging social justice inequalities in the Black community.

As social consciousness grows, so do Black millennial consumers’ preference for brands displaying strong social values. Many brands are supporting racial equality and the BlackLivesMatter movement through targeted campaigns. For example, Ben and Jerry’s started sponsoring the initiative through their new “Justice Remixed” ice cream flavor.

Online streaming platforms are winning over Black consumers through storytelling. Platforms, such as Netflix, released African-American educational documentaries, and donated to equal rights organizations to signal solidarity. Other companies have been inspired to make internal changes, implementing more diverse and inclusive business practices.

Another digital initiative supporting the future of African-Americans is #BankBlack. The message encourages individuals to use Black-Owned banking services. By increasing business, supporters hope to create more wealth and jobs for African-Americans. Black-Owned lending institutions tend to serve low-income communities, presenting opportunities that narrow the overall wealth gap.

Driving Change in Corporate America

Compared to the rest of the US, Black Americans are more responsive to digital communication and the potential new technology can offer. This high demand for products and services that cater to African-Americans’ needs is having a significant impact on corporate America.

Many companies are carefully considering any factors that could influence the purchasing decisions of this influential market segment. Businesses that fail to appeal to the Black millennial demographic could be missing out on essential revenues.

An increase in both African-American shoppers and business owners are compounding corporate America and society’s changes. Brands shift their focus to become more image-conscious, address the needs of a diverse market, and participate in civic events.

Want to learn more about Marketing to African-American Millennials? Ask the Digital Marxman.

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