What The Millennial Audience Really Wants
Millennials are a challenging generation. They are very diverse and very different. But if there is one demographic that needs to be understood really well by marketers, it is the Millennials. This year, the millennial generation is projected to surpass the number of Baby Boomers, 75.3 million as against 74.9 million. In short, millennials or those born between 1977 and 1995 is your biggest market today and will be for years to come. So if your content marketing strategy still has not figured out how to market to millennials effectively, you are in big trouble.
Millennials’ purchasing power is something to really sink our teeth into. They spend around $200 billion annually and would have spent $10 trillion in their lifetimes. By 2025, they will make up 75% of the workforce. Now you will say: “I have a Facebook account, I’m on Twitter, and I have thousands of Instagram followers. Therefore, I am marketing to millennials.” If you think being all over social media is enough to rally your digital marketing campaign, you are doing it wrong. It’s one thing to be on social media and another thing to actually matter.
Here’s the first problem: only 1% of millennials is influenced by advertising. They skip commercials and avoid banner ads. So as a marketer, how do you go about marketing to millennials? Here’s a ten-point guide on how to tap the millennial audience. What do they really want.
Content that means something
Obviously, if your content does not have value to your audience, what’s the point? To know what type of content means something to your audience, you first have to know who they are. Go beyond your target market’s age, gender, and social status. Create a content persona by coming up with a profile, what they do, what they want, what their preferences are, what their dreams are, etc. Find ways to know your audience more by knowing what their priorities are, spending habits, and also influencers. Know what makes them tick and from there, design your content marketing strategy.
You must look authentic
One study by Elite Daily found that 43% of millennials look for authenticity when they consume content. The content must be produced by a credible company, brand, or organization before they even bother to read it. Authenticity is indeed the new authority. An actionable tip for marketers is to make sure that the content they produce is backed with credible sources and influencers and enough to satisfy the critical and skeptical generation. Millennials connect best with blogs so start publishing authentic blogs from now on.
While this is a wired generation, they certainly do not want to feel like they are talking to a machine or a marketing department. Your brand and your content must feel human. Ditch technical and clever for conversational and personal. Use simple sentences and ideas in a friendly tone that still sounds honest and authentic. And by the way, keep it short.
Seamless and consistent
Millennials have multi-screen habits. They browse their mobile phones while watching TV or downloading something on their laptops. A 2014 study by SDL called “Understanding Millennials” showed that 37% of millennials use four devices a day for different functions. And here’s the deal: 64% of millennials expect seamless content and interaction regardless of platform or device. This means that your content marketing campaign must be able to deliver a consistent message across channels. Take note: consistent but not necessarily identical.
Everything on a smartphone
If your content is not mobile-friendly, most millennials won’t even bother checking you out. According to eMarketer’s findings, over 90% of millennials have mobile phones and over half of them own a smartphone. A majority of them also access the Internet via mobile devices. In fact, they touch their smartphones 45 times a day to text, call, or browse. This means that if you communicate through a digital channel, chances are most millennials saw your content on the day it was delivered. Find out where your market is and make sure to be where they are.
Build a relationship
What this generation hates is not brands per se but desperate advertising. If you structure your content in such a way that they center on sales and profit, the audience is not going to like it. Remember that this is a generation built on connection and interaction. So make sure that your content will build relationships and create a community. Talk to them, answer their queries, give suggestions, and act on their feedback. When you publish content, don’t forget to ask your audience what they think.
Content they can use
Millennials love to be entertained with funny videos and memes but they also appreciate content that can actually help them. Remember that a certain percentage of this generation is married or have kids while a majority of them are working. One way to tap the millennial audience is creating content that they can use in their daily lives. DIY videos, instructions, relevant lists, and hacks are some of the content they can really appreciate.
In general, Internet users share content that are entertaining, fun, and positive. One study found that content that draws out positive feelings like joy, anticipation, surprise, and trust are the ones that easily go viral. Millennials are a positive bunch so give them that one thing that they want and keep it positive.
What’s in it for me?
The godfather of marketing sounds something like this: make them an offer they can’t refuse. Most millennials are not brand conscious and they will go from one brand to another if that means they can save a few bucks. Every now and then, produce promotional content that offers discount and rewards. It’s one way to show that you value your market.
Pay it forward
Millennials may be a “selfie” generation but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about other people and well-meaning advocacies. In fact, 75% said it is important that a company gives back to society. Millennials like brands that support causes and their local communities. So when you create content, be sensitive to what your audience supports. For example, if you are catering to an animal-loving crowd, publishing current and relevant content about animal abuse and supporting organizations against it will not go unnoticed.
Millennials may pose a great challenge to marketers but they are well worth it. They control the market and they can make or break a brand. Understand who they are, work with their peculiarities, and give them what they need and want.