How to Reach Millennials with Content Marketing

June 13, 2019

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re picking up your kids—from the bus stop, camp, or school—and you see them coming towards you with a strange look on their face. Could it be? It is! They’re smiling and excited. Now they’re waving! Wow, parent of the year over here. Suddenly as they get within huggable distance, they walk right past you and you realize the group of friends behind you is the source of all the excitement.

“Oh, hi mom/dad,” is all you get.

While this hopefully isn’t a regular occurrence, brands too can feel like the uncool parent when it comes to marketing to the elusive younger generation. Though dad jokes and misused slang are endearing and comical, knowing how to reach millennials should be part of your marketing strategy.

Why millennials?

The millennial generation is slowly becoming one of the most studied generations. As digital natives, they’ve grown into life with the internet in the palm of their hands, social media, texting, and shopping online. Consider these facts:

  • The millennial age range is between 23 and 38 years old in 2019. (Pew Research)
  • One trillion. That’s the projected buying power of millennials in 2020. (The Motley Fool)
  • Millennials are entering prime spending years.
  • In 2019, millennials are projected to overtake baby boomers as America’s largest generation. (Pew Research)

As millennials start to move up in their careers, get married, have kids, buy a house, travel, upgrade their technology, they’re poised to spend money on the needs and wants that go along with these life experiences. This generation, though, makes a poignant statement when it comes to deciding where their money goes.

Goal: Get Through the Filter

If you haven’t noticed, traditional advertising blurs right passed the millennial generation. It’s as if their advertising filter is programmed to send off an alert every time something feels too salesy or inauthentic. They don’t want to be sold to—does anyone?—but rather they want to be supported, entertained, and moved.

They’re also not afraid of a little fact-finding. Nothing’s fooling a millennial with a fresh Google search bar on their phone. Have you ever seen someone in the drugstore aisle scrolling on their phone? Like a human robot that hit their pause button, they’re probably looking up product reviews (I may know from experience).

Don’t Start Without a Defined Brand

Without a solid brand, your content marketing efforts run the risk of returning flimsy engagement at best. You need a roadmap for your voice, tone, values, and differentiating factors. With a well-defined brand, you can essentially just be yourself by creating content that is consistently on brand. This means you can avoid the inauthenticity that millennials are eager to sniff out. The key is to build a brand that millennials seek to follow. Easier said than done.

Content Marketing to Reach Millennials

Because the marketing landscape has changed so much with this digital generation, many brands are still left wondering where they can find the secret code to millennial marketing. Content marketing is a strategy that can be one part of that secret sauce. Content comes in many forms:

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Social media posts
  • E-books
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Case studies
  • White papers

In simple terms, your content should provide value to your reader. When writing a blog post, for example, talk about a problem that your target audience might be having. Then explain how they can solve their problem with your product, service, or brand philosophy. Bonus points if your content takes a stand on an issue, as long as you don’t offend anyone. Your content portfolio should be a mix of material that is:

  • Visual
  • Quick, short, to the point
  • User-generated
  • Shareable
  • Original

In this multi-channel approach, this is where your defined brand comes in handy. Consistency in tone and creative design is important so you’re easily identifiable everywhere.

Before you start planning your content strategy, here’s one more fact that might surprise you.

  • As of this year, over 40% of millennials are parents. (Think Google)

One day millennial parents everywhere will be on the receiving end of the fake-out hug at the bus stop.