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Entertain The Un-Entertainable

It has come to the point in marketing where traditional sales techniques just do not work.  In fact, they are turning potential customers away.  A significant portion of the buying market is made up of millennials (people born between approximately 1980 and 1995), and the way in which they engage is vastly different to the traditional forms of sales media that companies are used to. They do not want products and services pushed in front of them, but would rather feel like they came across them of their own accord.  They also want to be entertained at every opportunity, not sold to.  It is for this reason that your content marketing must be entertaining, and appeal to the millennial mindset.


Who are the Millennials?

Millennials are a generation who have grown up with technology, or have mastered it in their teenage years.  It is part of life and their existence has come to rely on it.  They have also grown in a multicultural society and are more tolerant of differences than those older than them, and they are used to the evolution of things around them because things are always changing rapidly.  On the other hand, millennials are known to be selfish and entitled; they have lived in a world where everything is thrown at them or where they find things quickly.  Their ability (or need) to wait for things is diminished and they have a ‘now or never’ attitude to many aspects of their lives.


Millennials are, however, the most active group of people on the internet, particularly when it comes to social media.  They have lists of friends and followers that go on and on, and their ability to reach hundreds of people in an instant is unbelievable, and it can work wonders for your business.


Why Should I Target Millennials With My Content Marketing?

Millennials are the dominant users of social media; they are active on platforms everyday and their potential reach is enormous.  They love to share posts with their friends, give their opinions on everything and are most likely to use your content to influence their purchasing decisions.  Studies have also shown that millennials have a huge influence over the older generations, and are responsible for pointing them in the right direction when it comes to finding information online.  So, in some ways, if you want to reach older generations, go through the millennials!


How Do I Target my Content Marketing To Millennials?

Millennials are the perfect audience for your content marketing; they love to be entertained and that is the foundation of content marketing.  Content marketing should not be a sales message; it is not what it is about, and this is one thing that will turn millennials off your brand anyway.


Millennials want to be continually entertained.  They are used to scrolling through their social media news feeds and finding things that make them laugh or cry, or that can teach them something new in an instant.  They switch off to the traditional forms of learning (reading and information processing) because they no longer need to do it.  They get little bits of information in short bursts, in ways that are amusing, and this is what you need to consider in your marketing efforts.


Be relevant.  Your content marketing efforts need to be relevant to things that are happening now, not that were happening six months ago.  When creating your content marketing pieces include current events, sayings or ideals and use them to your leverage.  You are more likely to get engagement by doing so.  Draw on quotes from famous movies or Tv shows to showcase your products, but not in a hard-sell way.  Make it fun, and even go as far as poking fun at your products through current events to draw attention to them; it is more likely to be shared by many people.


There is a fear among millennials that they will miss out on something.  They are a competitive group of people, who always need to have the latest and greatest of everything, especially materialistic items. They cannot be seen to be having last year’s model of phone, or wearing shoes that were popular last season.  Millennials need to be keeping up with trends at all times, and their Fear Of Missing Out (or FOMO, as it is commonly called) is what can help drive sales to your business and engagement with your brand.


A few techniques that you can employ to capitalise on their fear include urgency, motivation, elusiveness, visuals and social.  Firstly, make it appear as though what you have to offer is limited-time only (urgency).  This will encourage a fomo and is more likely to drive immediate sales. If they believe there are only a few of its kind they are enticed to participate because not everyone will have it.


Secondly, whatever you put in front of them needs to be motivating.  It must give them a sense of wanting to accomplish something in their lives, to start something new or to finish something they have had trouble finishing.  Millennials are consistently looking for motivation in everything and if you provide that motivation, you are likely to captivate them.


Elusiveness is a great tool to use when marketing to millennials because they know that only a really special few can have what you are offering.  For example, a members-only special (whether that be a discount or a new product release) encourages them to join your members group, in fear of missing out.  They also love to be the first at everything, so if you offer them an opportunity to do so they are more likely to take you up on it.


Millennials are visual, there are no two ways about it.  As a general rule they do not want to read lengthy posts and pieces of information; they want to see it quickly and understand it immediately.  For your content marketing strategy consider videos (instructional or entertaining), images or infographics.  Give them as much information as you can in short bursts, and leave them wanting just a little bit more.  Keep your posts short and to the point. To save yourself time, however, turn existing content into new posts.  For example, take the information from a blog post and make it into a video, or gif, or infographic.  Find 2-3 different ways of presenting the same information, so that it can be utilised across all of your social media platforms. By doing this, you are also catering to the needs of many, without reinventing the wheel.


Millennials are social beings.  There entire worlds revolve around what their friends are doing, or what their peers are saying on social media. If it is trending on Instagram, they will listen to it.  This is where you using current trends to tie into your business will work well; create content that is relative to the now and that your audience can share with their friends.  You need them to share the content on their own pages, or at least engage with it on yours.  From this, their friends will see their engagement and are more likely to take notice of your brand, and so your company’s reputation is expanding.


Finally, you need to consider the type of content that you are putting out there, and it needs to be vivacious.  It is best to consider the needs of your target audience when creating content, not what you think they should hear from you.  It needs to be constantly changing, based on many factors, and therefore needs to be fresh and updated daily (at minimum).  This is where using current trends will come in handy, because it is up to date.  Keep abreast of everything that is happening on social media and, where relevant, share information as it comes to light.  Be the first to deliver news to your fans and they are more likely to share it with their friends.


Another way to create vivacious content for millennials is to include them.  They are an opinionated group who love to tell it how it is.  So let them.  Gather their thoughts on latest events, your products or trends and share them.  Then, use it to guide what type of content you put out to the world for the next little while.  This is a win-win; fans get information they want and you can reach your audience better because you know what they want, and won’t waste time creating content they do not want to see.  Discover their needs and fill them.


They are not a scary breed by any means, they simply keep it real.  Millennials are always up with the latest trends and if you follow in their footsteps your business will always be at the forefront of the marketplace.  Remember that they have significant influence over others, so if you target your content marketing efforts to what they want, you are likely to reach an audience that is far and wide beyond the borders of the millennial group.

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