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10 Surprising Facts About Millennials and Content Marketing

Julie Ellis
Julie Ellis

If you want to successfully reach Millennials with your content marketing efforts, you have to get to know them first.

This means understanding their interests, concerns, passions, and behaviors.

If you don't understand Millennials, you cannot reach out to them in ways that will receive a positive response.

In order to help yourself avoid wasting time and effort on content marketing that will not be well received by Millennials, you need to learn the following ten facts about Millennials.

This information might just cause you to rethink your marketing strategy.


1. Marketing to Millennials Can Be an Uphill Battle

Millennials view sponsored content with a lot of skepticism and they are quick to dismiss it if it doesn't meet their needs. They're also not very likely to share branded content unless they see a really compelling reason to do so. If you want to engage with millennials, focus on content that is...

  • Entertaining
  • Visual
  • Brief
  • Personal
  • Original
  • Educational/Informative

This is a generation that will reject a hard sell, and that will spread the word quickly if they believe the claims you make in your content are false or overblown. However, if you can make a connection with millennials, they are an extraordinarily loyal customer base and they will help your content go viral if they find it to be compelling.

2. Millennials Have a Fear of Missing Out – Especially Women

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the reason that members of Generation Y are constantly checking into social media. They are afraid that they will miss out on news and events that come light while they are disconnected. Members of all genders have fear of missing out, however, women in particular feel the need to log into their social media accounts more often during a given day than men. You can use FOMO in your marketing efforts by making millennials feel as if they will be missing out if they ignore your content or CTA.

Related Article: Who Are You Hiring? Meet the Millennials [INFOGRAPHIC]

3. Social Issues Are Important to Generation Y and That Shows in Their Spending

Millennials want to do business with companies that are socially conscious. If you share the good that you do in your content or use your content to draw attention to the causes millennials care about, you are more likely to connect. Of course, socially conscious marketing is more than the causes your organization supports. Millennials want to know what your track record is as an organization. This includes:

  • How fairly you compensate employees
  • Your environmental track record
  • The social and political views of your executives

4. They Do an Extraordinary Amount of Research Before Making a Purchasing Decision

When millennials are interested in making a purchase, they do a lot of research when compared to previous generations. They will seek feedback from friends and family members, but they will also look to online reviews.

In fact, they see user generated content as a more reliable source of information on products and services than the content that is generated by businesses. It is important to note that a majority of this research is done using mobile devices.

5. It Is a Misstep to Ignore the Diversity Within This Generation

If you buy into the stereotype, you might see millennials as the 'selfie generation'; self-involved and concerned about appearances, and easily manipulated by trends. You're also completely off base. Members of Generation Y range from teenagers and college students to married couples who have kids and own homes.

It is so important to remember that when you are writing content for millennials, that you know who they are. Even better, you should consider whether or not you should be targeting a specific subset of the millennial generation rather than the generation as a whole.

6. They Have Money to Spend

A large number of millennials are homeowners who are well established in their careers. They spend money on travel, entertainment, electronics, automobiles, and other high priced items.

In fact, millennials hold about 1.4 trillion dollars  in spending power. An impressive portion of this money will be spent online.

7. They Are Visual Consumers

Millennials are more likely to view content that is visual in nature than text-only content. They are also more likely to share visual content with others. This is especially true with video. Millennials will not only view and share video, they are more likely to trust that content than any other form of content. It is important to remember, however, that the same caveats apply to video content as it does with other types of content. Video content that is all sales pitch won't gain any traction.

8. You May Not Be Reaching Them on the Right Social Media Sites

Millennials are spending less time on Facebook and more time on Instagram and on Tumblr. They're also communicating with friends, family members, and even celebrities using apps like SnapChat. Creating a presence where millennials are is a good first step in getting them to engage.

9. Millennials are Attracted to Interactive Content

Quizzes, polls, surveys, and interactive infographics are all examples of interactive content. They require input from the reader and then provides the user with feedback based on their responses. One of the most popular forms of interactive content are the quizzes that are frequently shared on Facebook and other social media pages. Interactive content often goes viral quickly among millennials.

10. They Are Multi-Device Consumers

In a single day, a member of generation Y might view your content on their smartphone, tablet, and laptop. Not only does this mean that your content must be optimized for all devices, it also means that you must understand the common behaviors of millennials as they use each device.

For example, many millennials use mobile devices to check up on social media, while they use larger devices to read articles. Millennials are also more likely to be on mobile devices during the day and during commute times, and on tablets and desktops in the evenings.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Julie Ellis
Julie Ellis Member
About the author: Julie Ellis – experienced freelance writer, marketer and passionate traveler. As a business writer, she’s been featured on such websites as Business2Community, SocialMediaToday, and others. When she’s not engaged in helping her customers and students, you can find her reading articles and books of young writers and attending marketing conferences. Follow Julie’s Twitter and Google+ to learn more about academic and business writing skills.