Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Three Easy Ways to Make Sure Your Message Reaches Millennials

Posted by Dean Asher on 10/8/15 9:26 AM
Topics: millennials, Marketing to Students

Today's generation of college-age customers have some very unique traits. Few remember a world before the internet. They're well read, but not from the traditional news sources you may have grown up with. And they almost unanimously — and frequently — use their smartphones. So how do you adjust your traditional message to make sure it's hitting the mark? Hubspot has the answer. Be sure to read the full story here.


1) Appeal to their pickiness

Millennials have a reputation for being picky. But once you strike a chord with them, they’ll stick around for the long haul—in other words, they’re loyal.

Media companies can tap into this behavior by forming strong relationships with their readers. The step forward here is simple: interview audiences in your target market to understand what they enjoy reading and why. This insight will help you develop an impactful, laser-focused publishing strategy, which you can further build upon through the analytics that you’re collecting.

As one Inc article points out, a ‘good customer experience’ and ‘quality product’ are the two most cited reasons for millennial brand engagement. Even though this trend refers to products and services, media companies are no different: your content is a product that needs a strong market fit.

2) Incorporate a social component

Millennials are driven by their friends, networks, and peers. Approximately 84% rely on social opinions to guide their purchase opinions, with 51% trusting the opinions of stranger’s more highly than friends.

While this stat refers to brand engagement and performance, it’s equally applicable to publishers and media companies. As a publishing house, your business’s health depends upon viewership and engagement in your subscriber-base. Social media plays a major role in this ecosystem by generating exposure for your content, reinforcing your authority, and helping build trust with your audiences.

Be on the platforms they use. From SnapChat to Facebook, there are a number of social tools at your disposal. Think back to step 1 when forming your strategy: ask your millennial audiences what social platforms they’re using and how they’d like to engage with you. Pay attention to social sharing buttons on your articles, and see which method of sharing is generating the highest counts.

3) Be as mobile as they are

Research from Nielsen points out that millennials are the largest segment of smartphone owners. These audiences depend on their mobile devices for inspiration and are taking advantage of every ‘down’ moment to discover new content, particularly through ‘stream of consciousness’ social media feeds.

Publishers need to keep this trend in mind. Mobile isn’t an afterthought—it’s a core part of your UX. If you have a poor mobile experience, you’ll likely frustrate and lose your millennial audiences. This pattern will affect their sense of brand loyalty and in turn, impact your monetization strategy and advertiser relationships.

Not sure how to build the right UX for mobile optimization? Talk to your audiences: ask to interview them in exchange for a gift card or free subscription. Understand what websites they like browsing, and incorporate these best practices into your own media experiences.

Article comments

Subscribe for updates

Share your experience

Contact our editorial team to set up an interview or to contribute a guest post.

Most popular posts