Millennials challenge marketing communication – 6 tips


As millennials join the market in greater numbers communications challenges are mounting. If you want to connect with them you will have to use different channels and platforms. But tossing out the old tools isn’t right either. Find six tips below:

1. Get to know the way they live: millennials are used to finding information on their own

They’ll seek out what they need, when they need it. They are used to finding information on their own—not waiting for it to be delivered to them. If they want it, they will find it instantly. They’re very aligned with the self-serve culture. It gives them a sence of freedom. This generation is used to technology as a driver of everything they do. Their smartphones are ubiquitous.

They value short-form communications. You have to make information easily digestible and very clear.

2. Prefer video over newsletters

The monthly newsletters you’ve relied on may fall flat with millennials, because these tools don’t fit into their socially- and technology-driven lifestyles. It’s not that millennials are averse to communications; it’s that they react positively to different forms of communications than other generations.

Millennials love to watch video and create it themselves. According to the Pew Research Center, one out of five millennials have posted videos of themselves online; they’re also more likely than any other age group to have watched video during a 24-hour period. They’re heavy consumers of video across social channels, according to Animoto’s recent survey on social video: Sixty percent of millennials would rather watch a company video than read a company newsletter, and 76 percent of them follow brands on YouTube.

3. Add text overlays to video

Be clever and think of the advantages of video. Videos let you put a face on important messages—you hear them and see them coming directly from someone’s mouth. They’re as close as you can come to creating one-on-one relationships.

Do add some text overlays to videos. Text will help not only millennials but everyone understand the takeaways—especially when English isn’t their first language.

Don’t go long on videos. Keep them to two minutes or less.

4. Do not focus on email

Millannals don’t hate email, but don’t make email your primary communications channel if you have millennials as a target group. Email is the workplace tool everyone loves to hate. While it’s still a necessary evil, it’s definitely not millennials’ first choice. Millennials look at email like they look at the telephones on their desks. They don’t use it.

Don’t overload emails. Given millennials’ preference for other tools like social networks, emails can easily be ignored if they include volumes of information. Several short emails are better than one long one.

Space them out, with one action item per email, and include hyperlinks to make it easy to respond. Consider sending out regular emails on the same days each week, so people know to expect them.

5. Not just for millennials

Attracting millennials is all well and good, but what about the rest of your audience? Tossing out the old tools, while forcing everyone to use the new ones, is probably not the way to win hearts and minds. So you can’t abandon your other tools either. It makes the marketing communication job tougher, as you need many ways to spread your content.

6. Move to image sites and LinkedIn

Millennials like curated-image sites like Instagram and Pinterest. 30% uses them and their popularity is still rising. Instagram implemented an algorithm that, instead of ordering posts in users’ feeds in reverse-chronological order, it now orders them based on “the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content,” using signals such as likes, comments and searches. Although Instagram attracts different profiles than Pinterest, this means both platforms will grow closer to eachother. Instagram is growing in popularity for users of short video messages.

You may have noticed it yourself: millennials flood LinkedIn, keying on personal branding. This opens new opportunities to connect to them. Their top ten content topics on LinkedIn are:

  1. Recruiting
  2. Social media marketing
  3. Employee engagement
  4. Recruiters
  5. Self-esteem
  6. European Union
  7. Integrated marketing
  8. Venture capital
  9. Marketing
  10. Lean manufacturing