Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released a sobering statistic: The Millennial generation now totals 83.1 million and represent more than a quarter of the nation’s population. If that’s not enough to make you sit up and pay attention, consider this: Millennials officially outnumber Baby Boomers (who represent 75.4 million).
Why do I find this noteworthy? Well, we all know that one of the first lessons of marketing is to know your buyer. In content marketing, that not only means knowing your buyer, but what they need, when they need it, and—in today’s digital age—how they’d prefer to consume it.
And, when it comes to buyer preferences, Millennials are changing up the rules of marketing and engagement, according to Demand Gen Report’s 2015 Content Preferences Survey.
Alicia Fiorletta, Senior Editor of Demand Gen Report, presented some of the survey results during this year’s Content2Conversion Conference. According to the findings, only 3% of Millennials would rank content as “excellent.” While it might be tempting to shrug off this statistic given the generation’s reputation as a demographic of “self-absorbed and entitled” youth, Fiorletta pointed out that many Millennials are young professionals who are quickly rising in their careers. So if they aren’t already, they soon will be making most of the buying decisions for their companies.
Here are some other interesting findings from the survey as it relates to Millennials and their content preferences:
- 61% of Millennials frequently use their smartphones to access content
- 71% of Digital Natives (a slightly younger set, ages 21-29) say they consume content before interacting with a salesperson (vs. 53% ages 40+)
- 66% of Millennials use web search to find content, 53% use industry publications, and 51% use peer referrals
Since more than half of Millennials surveyed use their smartphones to access content, Fiorletta advised conference attendees to consider the “pinch and zoom effect” when creating mobile-optimized content, as well as load time on small screens.
It’s equally important to not overload content with copy. Remember, Millennials consume a lot of media on a day-to-day basis, so marketers need to be sure their content is not only relevant, but uses strong images with more white space and little text to grab the attention of a generation with a short attention span.
Millennials find these interactive, shareable, easy-to-digest formats most valuable when conducting research:
- Assessments/ROI calculators – 47% (vs. 32% older)
- E-books – 45% (vs. 21% older)
- Webinars – 28% (vs. 15% older)
- Infographics – 27% (vs. 13% older)
Millennials are a complex demographic, but by taking these things into consideration when developing your content strategy, your business will not only make a significant impact in the mind of the Millennial buyer, but will stand out from the competition.