Millennials are the most recent generation to disrupt technology, the workplace and everything in between. According to the US Census Bureau, this generation makes up 83.1 million people, or more than one quarter of the nation’s population. This generation also dominates the business world—more than 30 percent of American workers today are Millennials, and today there are more Millennials in the workplace than Gen Xers.
Along with this dominant generation comes $200 billion in annual buying power, and they tend to be seen as trendsetters across all industries, from fashion to food. Companies have been struggling to connect with this generation using traditional forms of marketing and advertising because these tactics have proven ineffective at capturing their attention.
The most successful content marketers will need to use content (really good content) to reach, engage and ultimately influence the Millennial mindset. And here are three reasons why:
Millennials are hyper-connected
The Millennial generation is the first to come of age with cable TV, the internet and cell phones, meaning mobile devices and wi-fi are essentially baked into their DNA. According to Nielsen, when asked what makes their generation unique, Millennials ranked “Technology Use” first (24%), followed by “Music/Pop Culture” (11%) and “Liberal/Tolerant” (7%). In contrast, Boomers ranked “Work Ethic” as the most defining characteristic of their generation.
Given their fluency and comfort with technology, Millennials have more of a positive view of how technology is affecting their lives than any other generation. More than 74% feel that new technology makes their lives easier, and 54% feel new technology helps them be closer to their friends and family.
These digital tendencies lead to hyper-connectivity that marketers have to acknowledge in order to compete and stand out. Content marketers that focus on building a truly multichannel strategy to scale content across channels and media are most likely to reach Millennial audiences in the various places they’re connected and engaged.
Millennials expect highly personalized experiences
Consumer expectations for how personally relevant their online experiences should be are influenced greatly by the digital companies and platforms they spend time and attention with. When asked to choose the three companies that are best at being personally relevant, Amazon leads the list by a wide margin, with 55% of people citing them as a leader. Google and Facebook also score high marks with 39% and 38% respectively, with Netflix following closely behind at 33%.
This demand for personally relevant content is particularly key to Millennials. More than 50% of Millennials are less interested in a brand’s products and services if the content marketing they provide isn’t personally relevant.
Millennials have trust issues
When it comes to certain brands, especially in financial services, Millennials have real issues with trust. According to a Contently study, 30% of Millennials don’t trust financial service companies. Only 1 in 3 Millennials have invested money in the stock market and only 33% own a credit card. While it seems like financial services brands have a lot of work to do to build credibility with this audience, content marketing can help. 47% of Millennials indicated they’d be more likely to trust a financial services company if it created useful content, which is why brands like TurboTax and Wells Fargo are focusing on educational content marketing to engage Millennial consumers.
For more insight on generational differences and the impact on your content marketing strategy, check out this blog post on content marketing for the next game-changing generation of consumers, Generation Z.
Marissa leads marketing at OneSpot.