Hey, remember the good old days before smartphones? That golden age where you actually had to use a landline to contact friends, use paper maps and log on to a whirring desktop computer to access the Internet? Well, guess what, many of today’s young influencers and consumers of the future don’t.
In fact, even if your earliest memories of a mobile phone are a chunky Motorola, you could probably take a tip or two from the younger generation to inform your content marketing efforts. Why? Because they are the connected generation, brought up on social media and smartphone use. They will see your snake game and raise you a Pokemon or three and this is all from the age of 11.
Of course, your target audience might not fall into the teenage or early twenty-something bracket. But in a world where Eric Lassard, a boy of 12, has (amongst other ventures) launched an app, social platform and is publishing his second book, ‘From Dublin to Silicon Valley’, perhaps your business might pick up a tip or two straight out of the mouths of babes. For connecting with millennials and those that come after is the future of your business…
1. Be authentic
I came across an article on PostPlanner.com which asked the same question of 22 young influencers: what’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Authenticity, honesty and transparency cropped up more than once. Offer content with real value to your customers, stay authentic and own your mistakes if you make them. Demonstrating humility, honesty and humanity will tick their boxes and portray a personality that they’ll trust and want to know. The younger generation are smart and digitally savvy – if you’re not transparent, they will suss you out and your brand will lose all credibility in their eyes.
2. Involve to engage
Another piece of advice was the importance of using an online presence to develop meaningful relationships. How? By connecting on the social platforms they use, in the way they like to use them. There needs to be a great emphasis on listening and talking with (as opposed to talking at) younger customers in order to engage them – just look at the success of brands who have formed partnerships with influencers in their campaigns. Millennials like to be involved and listen to one another – they are far more likely to watch a video or purchase a product if it is recommended by a peer or someone they trust.
3. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Although it’s important to appeal to your audience on the social platform of their choice, bear in mind that one of the hallmarks of the younger generations is a a predilection for change. They are quite happy to drop a social network or cast it aside for a time at least in favour of something new and more interesting – just last year, Psychology Today reported on the new trend for small groups of millennials leaving Facebook. Connect with your audience across several well-chosen platforms and don’t rest on your laurels or you may suddenly realise your loyal followers have jumped ship.
4. Grab their attention
With the world wide web at your fingertips, why should you have to waste a single second on anything that doesn’t interest you? Whether on the daily commute or having a little scroll before bed, the connected generation are constantly on the lookout for something which grabs their attention and if you can’t hold onto it then you’ll be discarded in search of juicier fodder. PostPlanner’s millennials recommended catchy visual marketing that’s easy-to-relate to and preferably has a bit of a sense of humour – it’s got to be shareable after all. I quite like how one of the influencers put it: “be funny, be helpful, or be gone”.
So, there you have it. Some of the common elements on the content marketing wish-list, straight from the millennial’s mouth. Need any help working these into your own content marketing efforts? Contact M2 Bespoke today.