Generation Y, Millennials or Me Me Me Generation – whatever the name, people born between 1980 and 2000 are likely to reach 1.4 trillion USD in purchasing power by 2020. Yet brands are still trying to figure out what it is that millennials are looking for in a product, as well as in the company producing it.
Marketing to millennials is different from marketing to baby boomers (obviously). It is often (and righteously) noted that the latter have more conventional values and are more receptive to conventional advertising, but seeing the Y generation as self-absorbed narcissists and giving up on them entirely is not just wrong – it’s a death sentence (see the purchasing power estimation above).
Having grown up to witness the birth of the Internet and digital marketing, millennials have their own, and very specific, idea of content that is worth their while. If you are trying to target the group as a whole, you should be pulling the right strings. Here are the general types of content that are likely to draw more millennial visitors and ultimately customers to your platforms.
Will the 5 minutes spent on reading this article be a good investment of my time? How to do things faster, better and smarter? Is there a life hack to life itself? These questions pop up in millennials’ minds on a regular basis. The best kind of content that satisfies this craving for (practical) knowledge is how-to articles and other informative pieces.
Authentic as opposed to sponsored
Remember the episode of Malcolm in the Middle where a cookie commercial hypnotizes Hal right through the TV screen? Funny, right? Well that doesn’t happen to people of the Generation Y. Millennials feel when they are being pitched and they don’t appreciate it. A marketer needs to act smarter.
Native ads work, but there is also room for regular sponsored content that offers genuine information value. Millennials are skeptical about advertising and appreciate it when advertisers catch the vibe. Hence the popularity of humorous ads that make fun of the advertiser first and promote the product second. “We share the same values,” they are trying to say. “And if we do, then you will probably like what we’ve prepared for you.” While traditional marketers are preaching that creativity kills sales, the new generation busts this myth quite successfully.
“Only 90s kids remember” – a great chunk of content has been produced under this motto within last few years. Nostalgic of their childhood, millennials can endlessly stare at images of multicolored pens, floppy disks and indestructible Nokias. This is what appeals to them on personal level and what can be used to establish contact.
Interactive and personal
Gone are the times when marketers could afford to generate content in bulk and ignore feedback. Millennials are not used to this kind of treatment. Using over 3 social networks on average, they expect to find company’s social profiles in good shape and ready to respond to their comments and personal messages in a matter of hours. Brands step down from the pedestal and start mixing with their customers – if they want to achieve anything, that is.
What do you do when looking to buy a piece of technology online? Decide on necessary features, research and compare offers, and … go for user generated reviews, right? Almost no purchasing decision is now made without seeing what others have to say about it. It is only natural given the above-mentioned skepticism towards promo content. Abstract elaborations aside, websites with UGC reviews provide the very best traffic for health and beauty offers in our network.
Fulfilling all of the above-mentioned requirements is hard, but it is also necessary if you want to engage approximately a quarter of the US population, not to mention international audiences. Whatever it is you are monetizing – a website, a blog, a social profile, etc. – aim to make it genuine. Millennials understand their value as customers and don’t take it lightly when someone wastes their time.
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