Millennials are the group of people born in the 1980s and ’90s, and they’re set to dominate the spending scene here in the U.S. Numbering about 80 million, this generation is larger than the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X, and they wield enormous buying power — about $200 billion in annual buying power, actually (Forbes). If your brand isn’t tailoring its content to this demographic, you could be headed for trouble. These tips will help you craft great content that targets millennials.
Millennials need to feel a strong sense of purpose
Millennials want to change the world. Eighty-four percent of them say making a difference in the world is more important than professional recognition, according to Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business. Having a purpose and living to it is what drives them forward.
Create content that’s inspiring and centers on selfless, giving themes and missions. Think global. Provide a way for them to contribute and fulfill their need to effect change.
Millennials are not swayed by advertising. According to the 2015 Elite Daily Millennial Consumer Study, just 1 percent of millennials said that a compelling advertisement makes them trust a brand more.
The right way to get their attention is through storytelling. Provide a great story. Connect with them emotionally. Give them something they can relate to. Create content that focuses on such themes as leadership, creative freedom and making a positive impact on the world.
If you have been trying to engage a millennial audience with little success, make sure you are creating high-quality, authentic content. Show real faces of the people behind your brand; interview your customers; share the truth (which may not be as pretty as your highly spun messaging). These are the things that help millennials trust you.
Producing content is not enough to get readers. Content has to be “dressed” nicely, so it looks good on any device. More than 85 percent of millennials in the U.S. own a smartphone (Nielsen), and one in five millennials accesses the Internet exclusively through a mobile device (comScore).
It’s imperative that your content is optimized for mobile. Navigation and readability must be excellent, so people with smaller screens can enjoy your stories. And don’t forget performance — your content should load fast, to ensure a positive user experience.
This one is probably no surprise: Millennials love social media. Eight-seven percent of online adults in the U.S. ages 18-29 use Facebook, 53 percent are on Instagram, 37 percent are on Twitter and 34 percent are on Pinterest (Pew Research Center).
Post content excerpts on relevant social networks to spark their curiosity and then link to your original content. Include visually rich images with your content, too — the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it decodes text, according to the Sage Handbook of Political Communication. For more reasons to use visuals in your content, check out this HubSpot infographic.
There are millions of blogs and magazines in the world; why should anyone pay attention to yours? They shouldn’t, unless you give them a reason. A simple solution is to provide value.
Sixty-six percent of millennials in the U.S. follow a company or brand on Twitter and 64 percent like a company or brand on Facebook to score a coupon or discount, according to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Your success in engaging millennial readers is dependent on the value you offer, whether it’s actionable advice or a coupon for goods or services.
Target friends to gain trust
Millennials don’t trust brands. They trust their friends. In fact, for 95 percent of millennials in the U.S., friends are the most credible source of product information, SocialChorus reports.
Make sure your content is not only engaging but easy to share. Add social media sharing buttons, write snappy, searchable headlines (no more than 70 characters) and include hashtags where appropriate. Make it easy on your millennial readers to share your content with their peers.
Millennials are definitely harder to reach, impress and engage with compared to previous generations. Why bother, then? We’ll give you a trillion-plus reasons: Millennial spending power is on track to reach $1.4 trillion in the U.S. by 2020, Accenture reports. Start building meaningful and long-lasting connections with them early on through your content.
What’s your experience been marketing to millennials? Let us know in the comments or on social.