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How to tap into millennial marketing

With their natural affinity for all things tech, Millennials are making their mark on social media. Now it’s up to brands to keep up with them

There’s no denying the influence of Millennials. Also known as Generation Y, the term refers to those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Making up nearly a quarter of the UK population, these digital natives have grown up in the Internet age of mobiles, tablets and online media and are true tech connoisseurs. Fully immersed in the evolving digital landscape where our devices allow us instant access to immeasurable information at the swipe of a screen or touch of a cloud, Millennials are driven by immediacy and virtual communities. Now entering their peak purchasing years, they are turning to their peers on social media to validate their spending habits and, more importantly, their opinions. What does this mean for brands with a Gen Y target audience? Generating engaging content powered by a stellar social media strategy and an understanding of the inner workings of the millennial mind is the only way to stay up to speed. 

Be bright and interesting 

Image led content is key. Thanks to their smartphone addiction, a Millennial’s attention span is a mere 8 seconds according to Microsoft research (that’s less than a goldfish). So creative solutions teams need to grab a consumer fast with condensed and captivating content. It also has to feel authentic. Research by strategists Latitude found that 92% of people want content to tell a story. Here at 3CC we love producing and distributing content in the digital sphere driven by ‘story-tech’. 3CC’s Instagram shares behind the scenes shots of editorial shoots, illustrations, fashion show snaps and quirky gifs that encapsulate the story in a single memorable visual. 

3CC behind the scenes with La Redoute

Be everywhere, instantly

A global survey by customer experience firm SDL found that 56% of younger audiences prefer to discover brand content on social media rather than via search engines. By publishing on third party platforms, businesses are able to target the Millennial market’s subconscious rather than trying to force them to their front door. Visiting multiple platforms every day is second nature for them, so tailoring unique content to each platform is crucial. Both Refinery29 and Burberry communicate via Snapchat Discover – a portal that allows the user to post images and short video clips which disappear after 24 hours. And Viber is now inviting brands to open public chats so that followers can feel part of an inclusive conversation. This short, finite form of content publishing carries a sense of immediacy that appeals to this generation. 

Burberry shares short, snappy content on Snapchat Discover

Be caring and sharing

Creating quality, shareable content that is visually enticing and relevant on a personal level is important because this audience - more than any other before it - seek approval from their peers. Whether it’s a retweet, a pin or a like, trend-driven posts leads to peer association and those all-important shares. This year style bible i-D launched Amuse - a video-driven channel promoting conscious consumerism – a major millennial interest. Its content interacts on an emotional, authentic and sensory manner. Nike took this one step further with #instaposters, a personal real-time experiment taking users Instagram fitness snaps and turning them into motivational street art. Over 25,000 images were posted online, proving that something tangible can also do wonders for a social media campaign. 

i-D keeps millennials 'Amused' with video driven content 

Be targeted

Seek out the virtual hotspots where Millennials congregate most and create content that speaks directly to them. Clinique took to Tumblr with #FaceForward, a global campaign aimed at boosting confidence in young women. The skincare giant producing videos and promoted a range of user-generated content (another popular pastime for this segment) that was repurposed into Tumblr and GIFs. A marketing domino effect. 

Clinique and user generated content take to Tumblr 

Be on film, first

Bite-sized video platforms are picking up speed with this early adopting group. Periscope allows you to live stream videos that consumers can comment on or favourite. It’s in-the-moment approach and sense of exclusivity makes it eminently appealing to Millennials. Meanwhile the app Meerkat (not to be confused with the fluffy creature or insurance company) allows ‘Meerkatters’ to stream and participate in live video from around the globe using their mobiles. This live community is building an even greater sense of engagement. 

Meerkat goes global with video live streams 

So what’s next on the digital super highway? Better ask a Millennial.

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