With terror threats to our nation at peak levels and risks of the deadly Ebola disease spreading throughout the globe, the world is truly a scary place at this point in time. As wonderful as it would be to assume that everyone was your friend and that we all had each others’ best interests in mind, this is certainly not the case.
Times as uncertain as these have led many to feel quite uneasy, especially Millennials, and when people feel uneasy it impacts their level of trust. Also, whether we realize it or not, our level of trustworthiness can greatly impact how receive information from brands. For this reason, it is more important now than ever for marketers to put their best foot forward when developing their strategies for reaching their target audience.
A report from Pew Research shows that only 19% of Millennials believe that “most people can be trusted”, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents and 40% of Boomers. However, despite their distrust, Millennials are much more willing to trust their peers and this is something that marketers should definitely keep in mind. A study done by Ipsos reveals that User Generated Content (UGC) is “20% more influential when it comes to purchasing and 35% more memorable than other types of media.” In addition, the fact that Millennials spend over five hours a day on social media viewing UGC should be reassuring in and of itself. But what does all of this really mean?
Marketers targeting the Millennial market segment should consider creating opportunities for their audience to create content on their behalf and share it. Pinterest is an excellent platform for hosting contests, as well as Instagram; and since the studies show that this market is particularly receptive to their peers, why not push them in the direction of being catalysts of your message – informal brand ambassadors, if you will. The key to a successful campaign is being able to reach your audience in a way that resonates with them as deeply as possible.
In addition, since Millennials have been so positive (49% of them saying the country’s best years are ahead, the highest percentage across the board of generations), and UGC has been so effective among them, brands should consider campaigns aimed at our future that urge their target market to post content of positivity and encouragement. Happiness breeds happiness. Why not spread it?