Content is king, but churning out mountains of content is not a sustainable or effective way to target millennial customers. Today’s audience is constantly bombarded with marketing messages everywhere they go, so what matters is creating the right content for the right audience, and then delivering it consistently wherever that audience prefers. For millennials, social networking has become the key source for content discovery, drastically outranking online and customizable newsfeeds, according to a new global study by SDL.
In the midst of this content explosion, digitally savvy millennials are always connected to content and information. In fact, U.S. consumers between the ages of 18-36 are checking their smartphones an average of 43 times a day and if you sent a millennial an email, they likely saw it that day or even the very moment you sent it. Millennials are constantly consuming content and then discerning and sharing what they find relevant on their social channels, so it’s important that the content finds them where and in the way they are trying to engage.
A recent survey by Forrester showed that the top five most-trusted types of online promotional content were so-called pull content, including peer reviews, natural search results and brand websites. Display advertising and push text messages were trusted the least. Despite increasing personalization and targeting in online advertising, customers are more likely to engage with brand messages when they are in control and can choose whether to do so. (Build Your Content Brand by Delivering Customer Value, Forrester Research, Inc)
Remember: Today’s consumers aren’t waiting to be wooed by elaborate marketing campaigns. Instead, they’re using digital devices and new communication platforms to orchestrate their own experiences. You want to make sure your content finds them where and in the way they are trying to engage.
“Today’s customers are accessing a wide range of on- and off-line channels to start, stop, rejoin and jump engagement levels, carving out highly individualized paths to purchase,” said Paige O’Neill, CMO, SDL. “SDL’s survey shows that social is the channel of first choice for millennials, and that will have broad implications for marketing as brands seek to build trust and relationships with this important demographic. We now have the ability to create and target content in context, which means content will truly have the ability to find the customer.”
Click through for findings from a global study looking at how millennials find and engage with brand content, conducted by SDL.
Millennials embrace brands on social media: Five out of six millennials surveyed said they connect with companies on social media networks. Millennials use social networks and other customizable online news feeds for content discovery. When asked “How do you typically discover new and interesting things online?” respondents indicated they turn first to social networks for content discovery, and then to online and customizable newsfeeds. More traditional means, like email and search engines, ranked last.
International markets use fewer channels to discover content: Social networks dominate content discovery amongst millennials, drastically outpacing online and customizable newsfeeds, email and search engines.
Millennials share content via digital channels: On average, millennials share six pieces of content via social media a day, which has overtaken email with five shares a day as the de facto channel for sharing content.
Millennials prefer targeted content: Millennials are expecting content that is tailored to them and their needs, whether it is personalized social networks, customized news feeds or music streams that constantly adjust to their changing tastes. Seventy-one percent of survey respondents said they are most likely to listen to hyper-targeted music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify over non-targeted listening options like local radio.
Millennials value a prompt reply: Millennials consider speed of response important when they engage or communicate with companies. The study showed a preference for instant gratification approaches, such as online technical support via chat.
The next step: If you want to help your customers orchestrate their experiences and build your brand with the right content, at the right point in a customer’s journey, here are three questions to ask your team to make sure you are on the right path.
- Are we targeting our social efforts in areas where content is discovered most?
- How do we engage with our customers in real time?
- Is it time for us to rethink our email strategy?