Millennials Hate Ads! Want This Instead

Michael Brenner on Aug 3, 2015 in Content Marketing

If you’re in marketing or advertising, it’s no news that millennials are a big and extremely lucrative market, representing one fourth of the entire US population and over $200 billion in spending power.

The bad news is that it’s hard to get millennials’ attention, and traditional advertising no longer works on this generation. The good news is that content marketing is the key to unlocking the door to millennial eyeballs.

If you are one of many brand marketers out there who are scratching their head and struggling to find a way to connect with millennials, here are 5 things you need to know to better target and reach this generation.

Traditional Advertising Is Dead

Ask most people what marketing is, and they will reply with something closer to advertising or sales. Marketing has a marketing problem.

Traditional advertising strategies are simply ineffective for this generation. In a recent study, Elite Daily surveyed 1,300 millennials and found that only 1% of millennials would trust a brand based on a compelling advertisement.

Most millennials don’t like to be talked at, and they are extremely adept at filtering out ads that do this. To most millennials advertising is intrusive and not authentic, and they would rather skip and avoid them whenever they can.

Authentic Content Is King

Millennials love good, original content. When you give them the content they like, they will share with their friends on social media like crazy.

Your content needs to be authentic. 43% of millennials said, when consuming news, they would rank authenticity over content. That’s why we always suggest adding author names to every post. Millennials want to connect with a real person and voice, not an impersonal, cold logo.

One example of creative content and platform is smartphone apps. Millennials love apps, so this is a great way for your brand to connect with millennials. Keep your brand relevant by staying up to date with the latest applications and technologies, so you are able to engage them on the platforms where millennial eyeballs are going.

Community Matters

Building a community around your brand is crucial to the success of your business. 64% of millennials said they are more likely to become a loyal customer if a brand engages with them on social.

Millennials don’t tend to go to traditional media for information when making a purchasing decision like older generations do. They look to their social networks for product reviews, opinions, and feedback from trusted sources – their peers and social networks. This is why you want to build a community of millennial advocates for your brand, because once they become your fans their communities will follow.

Co-creation Is The Future

Another way to promote engagement and build loyalty is by offering millennials the opportunity to co-create your products with you.

42% of millennials said they are interested and want to get involved in helping businesses build their future products and services.

By including them in your development process, you are gaining their loyalty and building your community of advocates and fans.

Giving Back Counts

Millennials love brands that give back to society and will choose to purchase from them over competitors who do not. 75% of millennials felt it is fairly or extremely important that companies support their local communities instead of just reaping all the profit.

Millennials Don’t Want Ads!

Surveys like this goes to show that traditional advertising may be a tough way to reach millennials.

To capture millennials’ attention, you need to create authentic, engaging and co-created content.

So build these ideas into your content marketing strategies now. Or contact me and we will help.

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 2 comments
  • Rocky Angel

    I think its funny that you have an article about intrusive advertising then a popup window pops up about joining a subscription to some bullshit…i didnt even read your popup; you article was that good.. As soon as that javacript popup happened i thought,”pot calling the kettle black”

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks for the honest feedback. I use subscriptions as a measure of success. The pop up should not have shown up until you were more than halfway down the page. Each article gains more or less subscribers and that helps me understand which articles resonate with my audience.

      And my subscribers tend to be highly engaged readers of my content.

      So it is not an ad but an offer to opt-in to receive my articles by email. I apologize if it offended you but hope you can understand the reason behind it.