Who Are Millennials? Millennials are a group of highly connected individuals comprising 24% of the U.S. population (74.3 million). According to Yahoo, Millennials spend 18 hours a day consuming media and check their smartphone 43 times a day. And, they have buying power. Millennials in the U.S. will have more than $1.4 trillion to spend by 2020, cites a recent Mintel study.
Content Rules with Millennials. According to a Crowdtap report, Millennials find content marketing 35% more memorable and motivational than other sources of information such as ads. But the type of content you serve up has to be in sync with Millennial wants and needs.
Millennials Want To Be Understood. They want brands to . . .
- Recognize me
- Treat me as an individual
- Make it easy for me
- Anticipate my needs
- Give me a voice
Millennials are on the lookout for brands that align with their values and allow them to actively make a difference in their lives.
Millennial Rewired Brain. Because Millennials navigate busy digital lives, their brains have been rewired to consume and organize content differently than older generations. They have very little patience with brands that don’t provide an emotional payout . . . quickly.
4 Tips To Engage Millennials
1. Be unpredictable – Nothing kills Millennial engagement faster than if they already know where you’re going with your story. Millennials tune things out due to a lack of novelty, which makes even desirable subject matter mundane.
Chipotle’s content marketing is unpredictable. It takes on industrial farming with their video “Back to the Start,” which depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the error of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future.
You would expect a restaurant chain to promote its food and pricing in content (the predictable). However this unpredictable content approach motivates Millennials to have a relationship with Chipotle . . . to eat at Chipotle, share Chipotle stories with their friends and collaborate in advocating for the importance of developing a sustainable food system.
2. Make it simple – Regardless of the complexity of the subject matter, you’ve got to make it simple and clear so that it travels directly into Millennials’ minds and engages imagination . . . which will inspire action. By simple, I don’t mean simplistic.
You think you’ve got a great content idea that’s unpredictable and destined to shake up your market. Reduce it to a paragraph. Then, pare it down more. Remember the rewired Millennial brain? It’s searching for a quick emotional payout.
3. Make it authentic – If your story is organic and not synthetic, it’ll engage Millennials. Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear #Seetherealme effort, for example, is an unscripted integrated digital and social campaign that showcases real-life teenage girls struggling with their skin issues.
The 19-part YouTube series has done phenomenally well because it touches a chord with young Millennial females. The bonus? It made the girls feel involved . . . it gave them a voice.
4. Care – Millennials are constantly on the lookout for brands that align with their values and allow them to actively make a difference in the world. TOMS is an excellent example of creating content that engages Millennials.
The TOMS “One for One” campaign is one of the most successful cause brand campaigns. TOMS is winning with Millennials by engaging them in innovative ways, encouraging them to share their stories and marketing a cause that’s different.
The TOMS “One for One” campaign is so successful with Millennials because TOMS provides an individualized toolkit for participation, and Millennials are encouraged to share their stories and engage in open dialogues about the cause instead of the product. TOMS is now considered a movement by Millennials . . . not just a company.
Your Brand & Millennials You may be thinking, “My brand isn’t as well-known or as large as Chipotle, Johnson & Johnson or TOMS.” Don’t be discouraged. Look at what you’re doing now with your content marketing. Does it address what Millennials want? Be honest. If not, create a content marketing strategy that recognizes Millennials; treats them as individuals; makes it easy for them; anticipates their needs; and gives them a voice. Next, create stories that are unpredictable, simple, authentic and caring. If you have Millennials working with you, ask them to be part of this process. If not, invite Millennials to share their ideas and critique your stories. Give them a voice.