Millennials, as the first generation of digital natives, navigate their busy digital lives with brains wired to consume content differently than older generations. Considering that they spend an average of 18 hours a day consuming media, coupled with their natural inclination to share content, makes content marketing an especially effective way to reach this coveted demographic. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Here are five basic principles marketers should consider when creating content designed to capture the hearts and minds of consumers born in the 1980s and 1990s.
If You’re Authentic, They Will Read (And Engage). According to our research, Millennials are the first generation to be open not just to receiving ads, but engaging with and sharing them. Brands will resonate more with Millennials if the branded content provides some sort of value relevant to its environment, such as a recipe on a cooking site or a how-to video on a DIY blog.
Personality Wins. Millennials identify with brands that show off their personalities and align with generational values of transparency, equality, creativity and positivity (to name a few).
LOL: Deliver on Emotion. Our research found Millennials watch comedy more than any other video genre online, highlighting their desire for fun and positivity. We can’t all be funny all the time, but knowing when and how to crack a joke or tug at the heartstrings will result in better engagement from this audience. Always strive to generate content that gives Millennials an emotional payout.
Don’t Judge. Content that’s judgment-free, open and honest appeals broadly to this group, members of whom often engage in self-expression themselves. This is the first generation to share their lives on social media, so appealing to their openness and social nature while reserving any judgment will make your content shine and increase engagement.
Act Like the Locals. Millennials have access to 7.1 devices daily, on average. Because this generation consumes information through multiple devices and platforms, it’s important to develop content that is native to each social network, whether it’s a blog, a photo-sharing site, or a video platform. Marketers need to speak the native language of whatever platform is most appropriate for their audience and brand.
At the end of the day, content marketing is about contextual relevance. It’s a new way for brands to tell their stories and be part of a real conversation with consumers. While Millennials may be more open to content marketing than older consumers, it must be executed with a keen understanding of who this group is and what makes them tick. If done right, you too could get a slice of the $1.4 trillion millennial spending power pie.