It’s that time of year…
December 1, and it’s time to think about how to truly nail your content in 2016. I’m not touting a lose-weight-fast or get-rich-quick New Year resolution (those are usually broken by the next week). I’m talking about long term, dedicated strategy–and a vantage point that will get you winning content this upcoming New Year.
Right now, there are about 80 million millennials living in the US. That translates to about ¼ of the total population and since this group wields a buying power of about $200 billion dollars, they’re currently the single most lucrative market in all of advertising.
That said, you probably want to reach out to them with your content in 2016, right? They will be a bigger demographic than ever next year – they are the big, smart, and buying crowd YOU need to attract. Just how do you go about it?
We have some tips to help.
10 Tips to Effectively Market to Millennials with Your Content in 2016
1) Get authentic
Millennials spend about 25 hours each week online and they want authentic content. Buttoned-up ‘50s style marketing tactics don’t work on this crowd and they’re scouring blogs, social media, and websites for content they can truly connect with.
In fact, 43% of millennials rank authenticity as more important than content when they consume news and, as a result, they’re on the search for content that mimics their feelings, opinions, and passions while also offering unique value and a distinct voice.
Take Taco Bell, for example, which recently began a program to reach out to millennials with its “Millennial Word of the Week” program. This program makes the brand appealing, approachable, interesting, and relatable. Plus, since the whole program is curated by Taco Bell employees the same age as millennials, it’s authentic, which is what millennials have been looking for this whole time.
2) Focus on inbound
Have you ever been curious how many millennials will gladly navigate away from your page due to an unwelcome or intrusive ad? The grand majority of them, that’s how many. In fact, according to Wired, millennials alone have killed off several outbound marketing tactics that are inauthentic, invasive, or not valuable. What’s more, 84% of millennials just plain don’t trust traditional advertising, which creates a sticky situation for advertisers.
This is true because millennials know what they want, they’re tech-savvy enough to find it online, and they’re not willing to suffer websites that make them sit through unwanted or intrusive ads. When millennials spend time online, they’re doing research via social media, blogs, websites, and YouTube, which means that inbound marketing tactics are the best and the only way to reach them. By focusing harder than ever before on creating and distributing high-quality, relevant content that actually meets the needs of millennials and helps to answer their questions, you can ensure that your site doesn’t earn a swift “back” click.
3) Strive to be informative
Possibly more so than any generation before them, millennials are hungry for information, and this means that they’ll support businesses that are dedicated to offering informative content. Millennials are drawn to eBooks, videos, tutorials, blog posts, how-to’s, and customer reviews more than they are product listings, and this means that if you can create content in 2016 that offers an expert’s perspective on an everyday challenge, millennials are going to bite.
This is because millennials are 247% more likely than their older counterparts to be influenced in sales decisions by blogs and social media. With that in mind, consider offering tutorials and videos for your millennial customer base. Keep in mind that considering their tech-savvy nature and their propensity for sharing, they’re much more likely to share your video than they are to pull your flier off of a bulletin board and pass it around to their friends.
4) Focus on tailor-made
Millennials are plentiful, powerful, wealthy, and what else – oh yeah! They’re smart too. This means that millennials have a stronger-than-usual B.S. detector and they’ll be onto you in an instant if you create content in 2016 that’s meant solely to get into their pocketbooks.
Instead, focus on creating educational content that caters to their interests. One great way to do this is to focus on selling a lifestyle rather than a product. This means that you should be showcasing the ways in which your product, good, or service can help enhance their lives, produce unforgettable experiences, and equip them with great stories. Trust us, these things are far more valuable to millennials than product descriptions on some stagnant web page.
5) Get collaborative
42% of millennials want to help companies develop products and services and that’s why it pays to use them as a resource when creating products for consumption. Consider, as an example, Lays’ “Do us a Flavor” campaign in which they encourage consumers to come up with the next potato chip flavor to be marketed in stores.
Campaigns like this make millennials the co-creators of a company and increase the likelihood that they’ll buy your product once it hits the market. It also engages their sense of self-expression and personal branding, helping to fuel the values of individuality and uniqueness in marketing, sales, and beyond.
6) Consider the difference between usage and ownership
According to HubSpot, millennials prefer to use things rather than own them. Rather than owning housefuls of things they only seldom need, millennials would rather pay full price to rent items when they need them. Consider examples of this like Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Rent the Runway, a popular rental clothing site. To apply this to your content, consider creating forms of content like classes, webinars, and eBooks that millennials can rent rather than buy.
7) Offer a full-spectrum experience
Unlike their Baby Boomer parents, millennials may actually enjoy the act of shopping more than actually purchasing items. This explains the popularity of sites like Pinterest and Etsy and provides a definite edge for any content creator that can master the art of providing a web-based exploration experience for audiences. To apply this to your content, link content with social sharing sites like Pinterest and ensure that everything you create is designed to effectively inspire and engage your millennial audience into activity.
8) Optimize for mobile
Millennials live on their mobile devices and if you’re not optimizing your content to accommodate that, you’re going to miss out on a great deal of business. In 2015, active social media accounts saw a 23% increase, which equates the creation of over 300 million accounts.
This means that all of your content, social, and other sharing should be optimized for mobile. To do this, pay attention to in-stream photo requirements for sites like Twitter and ensure that you’re embracing content forms like vertical video (very few mobile users ever rotate their phones to watch videos). This holds true for everything except for YouTube, in which case horizontal videos are still king.
9) Get on the video train
In 2014, Facebook began slogging into the world of video content and sharing and, by 2015, Mark Zuckerberg announced that more than 3 billion videos are shared and viewed daily on Facebook newsfeeds around the world.
The reason for this is that 67% of millennials believe that videos produce more relatable content than TV. What’s more, 63% of millennials report that they would try a brand or item recommended by a YouTube personality quicker than they would one recommended by a television personality. While this trend may seem startling, it’s a clear call to marketers everywhere to start producing more video content. With platforms like Snapchat, Meerkat, and Periscope on the rise, it’s obvious that video content is truly the content of the future.
10) Be fluid
Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation in history and they’re also the most innovative. While they play a large part in consuming the content of today, they’re also behind the scenes, developing new tech, producing new apps, and altogether changing the world as we know it.
While the previous 9 tips hold true for today and the foreseeable future, it’s important for marketers to continue to be fluid and adaptable with their content. This means not getting stuck in boxes or being afraid to try new things. As millennials continue to change the world, content will need to change to keep up with them and the marketers that can accommodate this are the ones that will succeed.
It’s an exciting time to be a marketer and as we draw closer to 2016 one thing is sure: millennials have and will continue to inform the direction of content far and wide. This is a great thing, though, as it drives innovation and positive change, and the marketers who can embrace it and continue to reach out to millennials through their content are the ones who will experience content marketing success as they continue to publish even better content in 2016.