Many marketers want to step into millennials' shoes, find out their preferences & dislikes, and speak to them in the best way possible. Despite being skeptical of advertising, millennials are fiercely loyal to brands, which gives you a unique opportunity to reach them. Content marketing, one of the newer tools in a brand's arsenal, is leading the way.
The connection between content and brand loyalty was established by MBC Research. The results of its study revealed that 62% of millennials feel that content drives their loyalty to a brand.
Millennials are among the biggest consumers of content online. Take Nielsen's Q1 2016 Total Audience Report which shows that, in the U.S., content consumption by millennials can shoot up to 18 hours per day. Yet, that doesn't make it any easier for marketers who want to target this demographic that can be split into as many as six distinct types.
So, how do you encourage this demographic to engage with your brand? Here are 5 top content tactics to help you get started.
1. Rev up the nostalgia
Nostalgia works wonders for the millennial generation, as we've seen in the case of Pokémon Go and its phenomenal success. Another example: Disney resonates intimately with millennials because it runs high on emotion. They feel connected with the brand because it was a crucial part of their years spent growing up. It was nostalgia, too, that generated 14 million views for Netflix's reboot of the 90s sitcom Full House.
You can infuse nostalgia to amplify your own content by:
- Using your audio & visuals to tell a story that establishes a strong connection to common memories.
- Creating interactive content that brings back fond feelings of the past. Remember all those quizzes on Buzzfeed?
- Use retro charm to deliver a message in the latest content formats.
2. Forget text, embrace multimedia
A study from August 2016 shows that the leading social media platforms for millennials were Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. All three of these thrive on images, videos and multimedia content. Yet another survey showed that millennials communicate better via GIFs, emoji & stickers than via text. [Click to tweet ]
Brands like Starbucks and Nike are forerunners in creating multimedia content that engages millennials. They use trending formats like Instagram Stories to build brand affinity using micro-content that disappears after 24 hours.
3. Personalize, personalize, personalize
Personalization works for everyone, and millennials are no different. Start with curating your content.
"Personalized and timely content recommendations are one of the most powerful ways to make your leads stay longer on your website and recall your brand at crucial times. Bloggers and large content publishers vouch by predictive recommendations for awareness, reach and engagement (as opposed to ads)." —Jeff Bullas
Personalization requires in-depth research and careful coordination between content creators, technical marketers, automation specialists, customer service and more. While personalization is subjective, the core of your brand messaging and values should remain uniform across the board. A project collaboration tool like Workzone or Trello can keep everyone on the same page. If team-oriented tasks are disorganized, personalization can quickly turn into a mess.
4. Let influencers do the talking
According to Nielsen's Millennials on Millennials report, this group is distracted. They'll easily find ways to avoid advertising when given the chance. In fact, they're more likely to depend on word-of-mouth and social media. Enter influencers.
Social media influencers can help you spread the word about your brand. This tactic can give you an edge over traditional advertising, because millennials trust influencers more than they trust ads. Also, influencers can come up with interesting content that you might not have thought of—as demonstrated by the Clorox brand Brita. Teaming NBA superstar Steph Curry with King Bach, a social media influencer, Brita generated an ad for YouTube that earned 2 million views and led to a 2,000% mobile search lift.
5. Encourage user-generated content
In contrast to baby boomers, millennials are more likely to trust user-generated content. Be it a status update, review or blog post, they take everything into consideration to form an opinion. For example, if someone's considering a particular shade of lipstick, they'll likely look at swatches and reviews posted by their peers and other users, rather than trusting the experts.
One way to generate user content is experimenting with branded hashtags. From KFC's #NationalFriedChickenDay to Oreo's #OreoHorrorStories, good hashtags can work wonders for brand awareness. It might take some innovation, but finding a winner is well worth your time.
Millennials are going to remain a favorite demographic of marketers for the near future. Keep up on the latest tools, techniques and channels emerging on the market, and use them to propel your content and brand engagement.