June 28, 2018 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Millennials, people born between 1981 and 1996, are an interesting generation. Despite often being mocked by older and younger generations alike—for different reasons—these individuals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s have the eyes and ears of most marketers in every industry because they currently make up the largest segment of the U.S. population. What makes this group so interesting is the way they grew up around technology and how those experiences shaped their ideas of business and consumerism. Today we’re looking at how this generation’s ever-changing preferences influence how your brand reaches millennials with content marketing.
Use these tactics to help reach millennial clients and customers with your content marketing campaigns:
Overall, millennials don’t like a “hard sell” style of marketing. Maybe it comes from all the cheesy “As Seen on TV” ads they saw as kids. Or maybe it’s because they prefer making their own decisions rather than having someone, anyone, tell them what to do. Either way, this generation’s dislike of salesy language and pushy marketing tactics is great for a content marketing approach. Content marketing by nature isn’t about the hard sell, but about providing value to the audience.
Instead of trying to make a sale with your content marketing, focus on the search intent of what your millennial audience is looking for. Make the content informative, entertaining, and personalized to the industry and their interests.
Unlike some older generations, millennials know they have options when it comes to where and when they spend their money. And this group isn’t afraid to put in the time and effort to research to get the best offer or deal. Millennials check online reviews and get the opinions of colleagues, friends, and family members before they even consider making a purchase.
Creating content that encourages reviews, feedback, or discussions helps increase not just engagement with your brand, but also trust. By opening up your brand to both good reviews and potential criticism, you’re promoting transparency. Your brand has nothing to hide, and your real users and clients can show other millennial leads that through their feedback.
Image via Unsplash by @wildlittlethingsphoto
As the first “social media generation” millennials are dialed into what people in their circles are doing 24/7. This constant access to the personal lives of the people around them and even celebrities created the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) phenomenon. If millennials aren’t doing, talking about, or buying the things others are, they feel like they’re excluded from some kind of group or club.
But this isn’t a psychological study. All you need to know as a marketer or brand representative is that if you convince millennials they’ll miss out on something if they don’t engage with your company, they’ll be more likely to bite. Using language like, “limited time,” “act now,” or “get yours before it’s gone,” are ways to encourage the FOMO feeling in your content and encourage a millennial audience to take action.
Another side effect of being the first social media generation, Millennials aren’t afraid to air their opinions about any topic in public. Things previous generations wouldn’t discuss in social circles like politics, religion, and activism are regular topics on social media. This group doesn’t just like to voice their opinions on these topics. Millennials like it when the brands they use and the companies they support share their same values and viewpoints.
There are plenty of ways to show your brand’s social awareness through content. Consider sharing press releases about your latest environmental milestone or achievement. You can also share interviews with brand executives about their political or social views. Keep in mind that this tactic only works if it’s organic and authentic. Faking or forcing social awareness when your company doesn’t practice what it preaches could make you lose clients if those lies came to light.
Each generation spans 15 years. That means the oldest and youngest people in each one are always going to be in slightly different life stages. While we count Millennials as one audience group, the youngest ones might just be graduating college at 25, and the oldest ones might be sending their first child away to college themselves at age 40.
A 25-year-old client or customer has very different needs from a 40-year-old one. When creating content for Millennials, it helps to segment the generation even further. Doing this segmentation helps you better meet the needs, search intent, and expectations of the smaller groups.
Related: FAQ: What Is Audience Segmentation?
While we typically think of Gen Z as the “video” generation, Millennials were the first to encourage marketers to transition from written to visual content. Unlike Gen Z, visual content doesn’t explicitly have to mean video content for Millennials. Charts, maps, infographics, photos, and interactive content are also Millennial favorites. Consider incorporating memes with the potential to go viral or artistic shots of your products or service spaces in your content to entice this generation to like, share, and comment.
Millennials were also the first generation to have in-home video game systems, internet access, and computer games become commonplace rather than a luxury you only got to experience if you went to a popular kid’s house. Maybe easy access to this kind of technology is why the generation loves interactive quizzes, surveys, and polls so much. This content requires input from the audience. Most interactive content also produces personalized results, which encourage shareability on social media and sparks even more discussion about the content and your brand.
Remember the FOMO phenomenon? It doesn’t just apply to content, but also to the channels where you share content with your millennial audience. This generation prides itself on being early adopters of new technology, including the latest social media channels. But just because millennials use certain channels doesn’t mean that’s where they’re spending most of their time. This generation uses Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube most frequently, while spending some time on channels like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and in their inboxes or browsing blogs and websites.
If you’re targeting Millennials specifically with your content marketing, it’s important to invest the most time and resources into their most popular platforms while maintaining a smaller, more manageable presence on their secondary choices for brand awareness and connections.
Though Gen Z is getting more purchase power as they age into adulthood, the need to target Millennials is still important and won’t be going away soon. If you want more tips on how to point your content marketing at Millennials, or any other demographic client and customer segment, subscribe to the weekly CopyPress newsletter. In each issue, we discuss a real challenge or oddity that affects marketers today and give tips and resources on how to boost your content and sales with just a few easy tips and tricks. Subscribe now before you miss out!
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