Industry Updates

Youth Engagement in an ever Changing World

27 Aug 2014

Young South Africans may account for less than 20% of marketing budgets, but they remain an important market bringing with them the power to dictate trends, parental purchases, fashion and the popular choice of technology.

“Youth marketing has taken on a whole new meaning in today’s tech-savvy world. Today’s marketers are talking ‘engagement’ not marketing, operating under the same assumption, and widely accepted fact, that tapping into younger audiences now, builds long term relationships,” says Paula Brown, MD at Okuhle Media, the Cape Town based television production company and producers of Hectic Nine-9, South Africa’s largest and most successful youth television show .  “By the same token, we acknowledge our responsibility of entrenching behaviours and thinking that provides young people with skills and tools that will add value to society in the long term ,” continues Brown.

Okuhle Media make use of multiple communication channels to reach, grow and engage with its audience. An unprecedented two million viewers daily and second place on the international best youth show market.   Its Facebook Fan Page boasts an impressive 309,000 fans with its website enjoying more than 13,000 unique monthly visitors and an active following of over 60 000 on Twitter, rated top 5 fastest growing Facebook and Twitter pages in SA.

Understanding this audience and getting to know them has led to the following tactics in keeping them engaged

Understanding context and our audience..
With youth connected to all mediums across television, digital, social and print, it is important to have relevant content connecting all these platforms. “Tailor your language to suit the youth audience and the medium and speak honestly,” says Brown.  “Don’t teach or lecture, recognise individualism and diversity and remember to always show gratitude for your follower’s efforts.”

Interaction is key

Research, conducted by Hectic Nine-9, confirmed that young people need to interact in their search for identity and independence.  They have a constant need for new experiences and live with powerful peer pressure, not always knowing how to cope with it. It’s the need to be heard and understood, particularly in this busy world, where adults don't always have the time to listen.

A picture is worth a thousand words
There’s a reason Instagram and Pinterest have climbed the social media charts all the way to the top 5.  A picture really does speak a 1000 words, even more so, a video.  The Hectic team are constantly ensuring that this new love for teens forms part of their daily serving of entertainment.

Youth marketing is about so much more than ratings and increased revenues.  It carries with it a responsibility to positively influence tomorrow’s leaders. “Hectic Nine-9 sits in a strong position to influence young people positively, we take this responsibility very seriously” says Brown.

“The most exciting part of the engaging the youth is the opportunity to generate smiles, tears and goose bumps and confidence,” says Brown. “It is this that makes our viewers tune in daily and keep coming back for more.”

About Okuhle Media
Okuhle Media is a Cape Town based, female-owned, BEE Level 2 compliant media group.  Established in 2003 the Okuhle Media has consistently delivered excellent production, marketing and broadcasting services resulting in local and international awards. Amongst these are the Imbongi Award for best production company in the Western Cape and a number of SAFTA awards. The Okuhle Media Group is comprised of Okuhle Marketing, Okuhle Productions and MagnaTude Studios & Post.

Mariaan Christian
PR Manager
M&Co Public Relations
083 318 7619