One word that comes to mind when creating content for millennials; frustration. You put a massive amount of time into creating content, and then, they site hop to your competitor’s content without thinking twice about it. It’s tough to find the balance between the time spent on creating engaging content and the actual engagement it drives. Truth is, it’s still going to be frustrating, and it’s a constant learning process, but understanding how to create content to engage with millennials will earn you a spot as a leader in their ever so distracted minds.
Before you do anything, listen.
In a time where people can post their thoughts online with just a few taps of their thumb, more people are talking than listening. The same goes for brands. Dare to be different and listen to what people are saying.
When you take the time to listen and understand what they’re saying, you’ll be more adept at creating timely and relevant content and will in turn attract millennial consumers. It shows you care about their problems instead of just going straight after their wallets.
If they’re speaking, don’t interrupt them, especially with an ad. The more they post, the more information you have and can leverage in your content to maximize the value you provide. That’s what it’s all about. Value.
Think of your digital marketing as a conversation. Your content is the communication consumers choose to spend time with. Millennials have grown up seeing interruptive ads everywhere. From TV, radio, and those pesky YouTube ads everyone skips, they can spot them from a mile away.
Listening is the first step in truly understanding how to create content to engage with millennials. It needs to fit the ebb and flow of the “conversation” you’re having with them. If it doesn’t, you’ve lost their attention.
Don’t Do Social…Be Social
It’s no secret that millennials are active across all social scenes. From Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and everything in between, it’s where they spend their time. After listening of course, find out what social platforms they’re on, and create a presence.
Once you find this out, the process of creating social content to engage millennials begins. However, the common issue of being interruptive still presents itself. Millennials grew up learning how to use social media as an extension to their lives. It’s important to them, so if you crowd their feeds with irrelevant posts geared towards trying to sell them, they’ll scroll right past you.
That being said, you need to make sure your content aligns with the channel your promoting it on. It all comes back to listening. What channels are your ideal customer spending their time on? What kind of content are they engaging with the most? What problems are they expressing and how can your content help them overcome these challenges?
When you address the issues they’re facing, your brand becomes relevant. Once this happens, your job is to be social and expand upon their challenges, and provide them with opportunity. Check out these companies that kill it on social media.
Companies that do social media struggle to attract millennial consumers because they tend to push interruptive content that gets scrolled over. Companies that are social, connect and provide value to users by creating a personal brand.
Companies Sell, People Connect
A key element to your content marketing strategy for millennials is to make it personal. But what is a personal brand and how do you create one? Personal branding is utilizing public identities such as celebrities and influencers to achieve marketing results.
When 37% of millennials claim to distrust big businesses, the ability to promote authenticity through social media and lifestyle marketing is important to this generation. I’ll touch on lifestyle marketing a little later, but using an individual identity that your target audience recognizes and “knows” will make it that much more relevant and engaging.
Empower your employees to reach out to customers. Use personal “from” email addresses and include a profile picture when reaching out. People like doing business with people, not being sold by a company.
Be Where They Are, When They Are
Millennials many times earn the label of entitled in the minds of many, but in reality, it’s just impatience. They’re digital natives, and they’re used to the instant gratification that comes from the digital world.
Think about it this way, a family with child around the age of 6 or 7 gets a puppy. Over time, both the child and the puppy grow up together and get used to each other, forming an unbreakable bond. This is exactly what exists between millennials and the internet.
To earn the attention and engagement of the generation, we need to take a look at some best practices of inbound marketing and millennials as a generation as a whole. Inbound marketing is all about creating valuable content that users discover in a timely manner. But how can you be everywhere all the time?
In order to provide the instant value millennials are expecting, you need to incorporate automated marketing into your content strategy. Based on user behaviors such as page views, form submissions, or other types of engagement, a timely email with added value is something they’ll open and click without thinking twice. Your content is great, but context goes even further.
Segment…Then Segment Again
Let’s touch back on lifestyle marketing to create a personal brand for millennials. If your goal is to market to millennials as a whole, good luck. Not only are they the largest generation in history, but they absolutely hate being labelled, unless they like the label.
Your content marketing strategy for millennials needs to be extremely targeted. More than just basic demographics, but rather into the psychographics and lifestyles your target audience lead. Find out their passions. What do they do on the weekends? What jobs do they have? Do they even like their job?
Finding answers to these questions and using individuals to touch on these aspects of their lives will not only attract millennial consumers, but will establish an emotional connection with your brand.
People will forget what you say, but never how you make them feel. Make them feel important, and that you understand whatever is going on in life. Nostalgia. Happiness. Love. Understanding their lifestyles and their passions will create a connection, and make your brand equity skyrocket.