How do we define the Millennial generation? For Generation Y, also known as Millennials, the delineations can vary, but most researchers go by the years between 1980 to the early 2000s, meaning they range from ages 18 to 35. There are about 80 million Millennials in the U.S., which makes them 25% of the population, and according to a 2013 White House report, Millennials are the largest and most diverse generation in the U.S.
The media have given Millennials a lot of grief, calling them an entitled, narcissistic generation for the ways they use social media and for their unrealistic expectations after graduation. I don’t completely agree with all of that; as a Millennial myself, I can contend that we are resourceful, hardworking, tech savvy (tech gadgets almost becoming an extension of our bodies) and generally more comfortable with the idea of a public Internet life.
Coinciding with our childhoods, Millennials witnessed amazing developments in computing and technology that came about over the last few decades. These rapid developments have shaped the ways in which Millennials interact with technology. It also seems to have had an influence on us and our high expectations for innovation and creativity.
Wondering why your traditional marketing tactics aren’t working on Millennials? Stereotypes aside, as the largest demographic in the U.S., we matter, and so does knowing how to communicate with us. Just as previous generations have done, Millennials are exerting our influence on the world around us. Our generation will shape the economy – and marketing initiatives – for decades to come.
Working at a high-tech marketing agency, we create strategies and content across multiple channels for various marketing initiatives. Our goal is to ensure we’re reaching our clients’ target audiences when and where they’re most receptive, even demanding Millennials. Following are five ways to attract this exacting generation to your content marketing efforts, straight from a Millennial herself.
Visuals are Key
Millennials will not hesitate to pass judgment on websites that are lacking in the visuals department–a second-rate design job is an immediate turn off. Plus, content by itself is not enough, you must have a visually pleasing design to enhance it. So don’t neglect the design aspect of your website, printed collateral, eBooks and advertisements. Visual appeal matters–particularly to my generation.
Capitalize on Social Media
When you engage users through social media, the possibilities are endless. Millennials in particular seem to be more connected with technology than previous generations, and a quarter of us think our specific relationship with technology is what makes our generation unique. A majority even believes that losing our phone or computer would have a bigger impact on our lives than losing our car.
It isn’t enough to close a sale anymore by simply having a strong brand with an interactive website or a mobile-friendly design. Social media is only continuing to grow, and Millennials are making purchasing decisions with the help of our online networks.
You can find most Millennials spread across the main social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and of course, Facebook. So keep promoting your content via these channels! The more content you share on social media, the more likely it is that you are to attract Millennial readers.
While we may be demanding, if you’re promoting something we find interesting or create things that we can share, we’re very likely and willing to share your content with the world, thus giving you an even wider reach. Seeing as one study found that Millennials have a network size almost four times the that of the generation before us. Considering that same study found that 47% of us have discovered brands from one of our peers following, liking, pinning or tweeting content, this could be very beneficial for your business.
However, you should focus most of your attention on what you do best, because it’s impossible to be everywhere. Realistically, you should define your marketing framework and choose platforms on which your Millennial audience is more likely to spend its time. Research where they are most involved with brands similar to yours. A well-executed marketing presence in one area is much better than a mediocre presence on all of them.
The way Millennials use technology foreshadows the way marketing should evolve. We like to feel as if we have participated in the co-creation of products or brands. We want to be creators, but not just on our own – we also want to create with the brands we know and love.
Brands need to interact with their consumers and encourage them to take part in the marketing experience. Millennials want to feel as if we can voice our opinions and give our feedback to support the success of the brands we admire.
No matter how you go about it, Millennials want to be a part of unique experiences, so you have to stand for more than just your bottom line.
Connect with Us
For your content to really resonate with Millennials, it needs to feel personal. Authenticity matters to this generation, and if you want to grow your brand and get consumers to really become engaged with your marketing, you can’t just use typical corporate jargon. Instead, try to mainly use personal pronouns in your writing, or words like “you” and “your” when referring to your reader. People connect with other people, not establishments.
In addition, it can be worthwhile to make your content marketing story-driven. You can even use humor to entice us, considering 80% of Millennials want brands to capture our attention and entertain us.
Support a Cause
So much for being selfish: 37% of Millennials say that even if it would mean spending a little bit more, we would be willing to purchase a service or product that is supportive of a cause we believe in. And almost 50% of Millennials would be more likely to make a purchase from a company if that purchase supported a good cause. What’s more, almost half of Millennials wouldn’t question abandoning a brand if we find it has ethics that we don’t agree with.
This generation values brands that can enhance and enrich our lives and allows us to help make a difference in the world. If you stand for more than your bottom line, you’ll receive more brand love in return.
This generation grew up during a time of rapid technological developments, globalization and a disruptive economy, which has given us a differing outlook and set of behaviors and experiences than those of our parents. Millennials have been marketed to our entire lives–not just in print, radio and television, but also online, on our phones and across social media platforms. So, to reach Millennials with your content, you must target us with your content.
Whether you’re a little more conventional and have been in the business for decades, or you’re just getting your start in the marketing trade, be sure to construct your content marketing strategies in a way that appeals to your target audience. Contact Gabriel Marketing Group today to help you build your content marketing strategy!