Millennials are the last generation experiencing the shift from print to digital media firsthand. They saw the world connect in ways that generations before them couldn’t imagine as news now travels in less than a second. The question becomes for a PR pro, what can you learn from them?
Millennials, ranging from the ages of 22 to 37 according to Pew Research Center, aren’t so different from generations before them, but the pace of change they represent is powerful. According to the Millennial Generation Research Review by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Millennials “are the anchors for this change.” Millennials are the modern day architects for innovation and free thinking. This begs the question, how can your organization work with this new wave of thinking and reach this generation?The fact is, millennials are altering our workforce. They’ve surpassed Baby Boomers as the population’s largest generation, according to Time Magazine and are also the most educated generation in American history, according to a PayScale study. By 2025, they’ll make up 75% of the global workforce. We’ve got the formula that’ll show you show you a great way to learn from this generation.
Make your messaging short, sweet, with a lot of visuals
Visuals with a quick line or two can grab someone’s attention with the snap of your fingers. Millennials know this concept like the back of their hand. They know storytelling can happen with just about any visual: a 6.5-second Vine, a meme or GIF, a short documentary, or a relevant photograph can all tell your story. A great rule of thumb is to show, not tell. To put this in perspective, when someone goes on a long monologue about themselves at dinner, do you start to tune them out? The answer is most likely yes. To combat this, you can show people your product’s benefits and how it makes someone’s life easier, and it will work wonders for your messaging.
Entertain, inform, or provide another type of value to your audience
Like we mentioned before, talking a lot about your brand alone won’t resonate with this generation. You should aim to inspire, entertain, or educate your audience. Millennials are pros at this: they have a quick wit and being the most educated generation in American history, they know how to reach their peers in a hot second by being entertaining and informative. Sites like Huffington Post and BuzzFeed are prime examples, and guess who’s on the staff? Millennials. Another type of value stems from Future Cast research, they say that “almost 50% of millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause.” If your company provides any combination of these strategies, you’ll have a better shot at reaching your target audience.
Think mobile-friendly first, desktop view second
According to Future Cast’s research, “Millennials are 2.5x more likely to be an early adopter of technology than other generations, and 56% of millennials report that they’re usually either one of the very first to try new technology or are among the first group to try a new technology.” So, let’s think, what’s the most sophisticated technology out there available to the average consumer? You guessed it, the smartphone. Just in this past year, mobile usage has reached 63% of all traffic versus 37% for desktops, and for good reason. Millennials don’t want to have to logon to their computers to get their news, they want their news on-the-go. Free online news subscriptions like theSkimm and Need2Know, both run by millennials, exemplify this concept. Their content is mobile friendly and goes directly to your email so you can even read it on your way to work. This means making your content mobile friendly, i.e. easy to use, loads quickly, and no glitches are the way to go.
Earned versus paid media
In an interview with a former leader at BuzzFeed with Google, a millennial himself, said that “putting a little money behind your ads go a long way.” He’s right, promoting your social media posts with paid media will enable you to earn engagement from your followers as well as leading people to your business. In other words, putting yourself out there with relevant content will have people talking about you online, for example, sharing your posts or interacting with your company, which can then generate a higher ROI. Since they’re so incredibly active on social media, millennials in the workforce realize that there is now a lower organic social reach than ever before. You can learn from this by promoting your media on social and retargeting your audience, which will get people talking.
Offer quick, easy solutions
One thing’s certain: millennials know how to find the answers wherever and whenever they need it. Since the smartphone became a big hit, millennials search for answers to their immediate problems. For example, in 2017 one of the most popular search terms was “What is Bitcoin?” This is a prime example of this instant craze and all of the millennials wanting to get in on it–they’re risk takers, entrepreneurs, go-getters, and want their content fast. If you want to be their go-to company, being there 24/7 serving their content needs and building their trust, you need to provide them with fast, detailed information and easy solutions.
These steps will set your organization on the right path to developing content and will resonate with the millennial generation, enabling your content to reach them in ways you can’t imagine.