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Younger audiences or millennials like some like to call them represent the largest living generation in the United States. According to a Forbes article, they will have more spending power than any other generation by 2018.

While they are obviously a gold mine for businesses, younger audiences are not easy to understand and market to. Because they grew up in an era of rapid technological advancement, their preferences and needs are always evolving.

Content marketing is the ideal way to reach millennials because they have a greater tendency to do research and shop around before they make purchases. If you can align your content strategy with their concerns, interests, and behaviors, you will be able to connect with them on a deeper level.

Follow this guide to better understand younger audiences and market to them more effectively.

  • How can you Reach Younger Audiences with Content Marketing?
  • How can you Reach Younger Audiences on Social Media?
  • How to Create Content for Younger Audiences
  • What do Younger Audiences like Watching?

How can you Reach Younger Audiences with Content Marketing?

Younger Audiences Will Reject a Hard Sell

Younger audiences are highly skeptical of sponsored content, and they will quickly dismiss it if it does not suit their needs and preferences.

Read Also: Best Content Creation Tools

They are also unlikely to share branded content if they do not see a truly compelling reason to do so. If you want to engage millennials, you must focus on creating content that is:

  • Informative or educational
  • Original
  • Personal
  • Brief
  • Entertaining
  • Visual

Millennials generally dislike the hard sell. Not only will they reject hard-selling marketing but they will also spread their opinions quickly if they think you have made false or overblown claims. If they like your content, however, they can become excellent ambassadors for your brand.

Younger Audiences Substantial Research Before Buying

When millennials are interested in buying certain products, they do comparatively more research than older generations. They will check out online reviews and seek the opinions of their family members and friends.

In fact, they consider user-generated content on products and services as a more trustworthy source of information than marketer-generated content.

To engage millennials, you must create content that can generate discussion, such as social media and blog posts. Also, it is important to know that millennials perform most of their research on mobile devices, so you must make sure your content is mobile-optimized.

Younger Audiences Are Afraid of Missing Out

One of the main reasons millennials are active on social media is their fear of missing out (FOMO). They are afraid they might miss out on the latest news and events when disconnected.

While millennials of both genders are subject to FOMO, women have a stronger need than men to check their social media accounts frequently.

To take advantage of millennials‘ FOMO, use a shortage strategy to make them feel like they will miss out on something valuable if they do not respond to your content or call to action. This might come in the form of a limited-quantity or limited-time offer.

Youths Care About Social Issues

In general, millennials prefer to do business with socially conscious companies. If your content promotes a good cause or draws attention to an effort millennials care about, you will be able to connect with them more meaningfully.

However, bear in mind that socially conscious marketing involves more than just discussing the causes your company supports. Millennials also want to know about your social responsibility, including:

  • Your environmental track record.
  • Political and social views of your executives.
  • Treatment of your employees in terms of compensation, rights, and working conditions.

Millennials Are a Diverse Generation

As a whole, millennials are typically seen as the “selfie” generation that is self-involved, concerned with physical appearances, and easily influenced by trends. In actuality, this is far from the truth.

Millennials range from teenagers to married couples with children and homes. It is essential that you know exactly who you are creating content for. For better results, cater your content to a specific subset of millennials instead of the generation as a whole.

Millennials Are Visual Consumers

Millennials generally prefer visual content to text-only content. Not only will they view visual content but they are also more likely to share it with their families, friends, and people in their social communities.

This is especially true with videos. They also have a greater tendency to trust visual content than other types of content.

Nonetheless, remember that the same preferences and standards apply to visual content as they do other forms of content. Sales-oriented visual content will not gain traction.

Younger Audiences Like Interactive Content

Interactive infographics, quizzes, surveys, and polls are some examples of interactive content. These kinds of content require input from viewers who then provide feedback based on their responses.

Quizzes are one of the most widely shared types of interactive content on Facebook and other social media networks. It is common for interactive content to go viral among millennials.

Millennials Use a Variety of Social Media Websites

If you are actively promoting your content on just one or two popular social media websites, you will have little success engaging millennials. Millennials are now less active on Facebook and spending more time on Instagram and Tumblr.

Also, they communicate with their family members, friends, and even celebrities frequently using Snapchat and other apps.

To engage millennials effectively, you must stay up-to-date with the latest social media trends and build a strong presence on social media networks that are popular among them.

Younger Audiences Are Multidevice Consumers

Millennials use a variety of devices to view content, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Besides optimizing your content for all devices, you must understand their behaviors when they use different devices.

For instance, millennials are more likely to use mobile devices to check their social media accounts and larger devices to read articles.

Although millennials can be challenging to reach and present a higher level of risk for businesses and marketers, they can be extraordinarily loyal customers if you win them over.

If they find your content compelling, they will try to make it go viral. It takes more time, effort, and strategizing to engage millennials with content marketing, but the huge rewards you stand to gain make it a worthwhile endeavor.

How can you Reach Younger Audiences on Social Media?

Below, we share 10 tips that mature brands can rely on to create and uphold a strong social media presence with new and younger audiences.

1. Develop a Social Media Platform Strategy

Just because a new social media platform pops up in the news doesn’t mean a brand immediately needs to jump on the bandwagon. Instead, brands should identify which platforms their target audiences frequent most.

For example, Pinterest has a predominantly female user base, and therefore, if a brand is trying to attract a male consumer, then a different platform should probably be prioritized.

2. Keep Up-to-Date on Digital Trends

That said, it’s important that brands remain educated on new trends emerging in the digital space.

There’s no better inspiration for coming up with an innovative initiative or strategy than combing the trade sites for exciting developments, and constantly being aware of what the brands in your competitive sphere are doing.

3. Dive into Conversations

The reason they call it “social” media, is that it gives brands the opportunity to have real-time conversations with their consumers, target audiences, on-brand publications, influencers, and friends.

Content should always include a good dose of initiating engagement and conversing with people. In this way, social platforms can even serve as extensions of traditional customer service models.

4. Stay Relevant

A brand should research which cultural topics and influencers their target audience is talking about. An easy way to discover these conversations is to search for popular hashtags on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Brands should pinpoint the overlap between their values and their audience’s areas of interest, and then infuse these buzzworthy topics into their content strategy to excite and engage users.

5. Create Content with High Share Value

With so much competition out there, it’s important for brands to create attention grabbing content that users will be excited to share. Content with high-share value is more likely to create a viral effect, exposing brands to wider audiences.

Users tend to share content that is less promotional and more personal. Therefore, brands need to look for content inspiration beyond the products they’re selling, and mix in content that is inspiring, beautiful, and useful.

6. Strong Visuals are Key

Sharing photos on platforms is one of the most common ways for users to communicate their interests and ideas, making it crucial for brands to participate in an effective way that portrays their brand identity.

Users are more likely to engage with posts that showcase striking imagery. As an example, Twitter recently incorporated images into users’ timelines, and as a result, Tweets with images included now receive 18% more clicks.

7. Produce Compelling Video

YouTube has one of the fastest growing user bases and reaches more U.S.-based adults, ages 18-34, than any cable network. It’s a great story-telling platform for brands, and one that should be utilized to reach big audiences.

Instagram is another rapidly growing platform that has embraced video content by allowing their users to create 15-second videos

8. Optimize for Mobile

These days, people are glued to their devices, making it extremely important for brands to optimize their social efforts for mobile.

This includes ensuring that all content looks great and is easy to share on small screen devices such as iPads and smart phones. The number of people accessing social platforms via mobile devices continues to increase rapidly.

Since Q1 2011, the number of people who access the Internet via a mobile phone has increased by 60.3% to 818.4 million across the 31 GWI markets, according to GlobalWebIndex.

9. Implement an Influencer Strategy

Influencers and bloggers tend to have a lot of social clout. Brands should partner with the ones who are on-brand for them, and create interesting content and initiatives, utilizing the influencers’ large audiences to create buzz, virality, and awareness.

10. Reward Audiences for Their Engagement

Hosting contests and giveaways is a great way for brands to increase exposure by incentivizing users to “like,” follow, and/or share information about the brand for a chance to win a prize. Choose a reward that will resonate with your target audience to ensure optimal engagement.

How to Create Content for Younger Audiences

Numerous studies have demonstrated that younger audiences consume information differently, so it’s probably high time we stopped taking ‘newspaper’ (digital or print) as a byword for ‘news’.

As publishers it’s important to recognise that – and seek to understand what kind of content millennials are responding to, the channels they’re using, and how your brand can intersect those two things.

1. Make it visual

Not everyone is into reading. Even devotees of print enjoy a change of format from time to time. Digital natives in particular respond well to content that’s less wordy and more image-driven. This absolutely doesn’t mean it has to be less rigorous.

Check out this touching piece by The New York Times. It’s a masterclass in how to combine classic storytelling with visuals to give impact – and a fresh perspective – to a topic that’s been widely reported on.

Going the extra mile with visuals can help build both reader engagement and loyalty. Stories that are visually appealing are more likely to make people remember your brand, and it’s certainly a way to stand out from the pack.

Of course it’s important to be recognisable in the approach. Of course it seems obvious, but if you want to dive into the world of more visual storytelling, then it needs to be something you commit to.

They call it ‘building’ a following for a reason: you need to give your audience a chance to associate your brand with this approach, and ample opportunities for them to be able to consume it.

2. Write about topics that concern them

It looks like an obvious method, but it really isn’t. If you ask yourself what younger audiences are into, most people will easily come up with 10, 20 or even 50 topics.

The problem is, it’s more than likely everyone else will come up with lists that look remarkably similar, and nobody ever got ahead by doing the same. In the course of our many conversations with newsrooms, one thing we’ve noticed is that it’s easy to talk about millennials.

It’s less common that we hear newsrooms talking with them. You need to go to the source. Not only will your findings be more authentic, but they’ll be more specific and more nuanced.

Now’s the time to harness the power of data. Experiment with different topics, but always measure how your content performs. This is exactly what they’ve done at The Wall Street Journal. ‘Noted’, the publication’s younger-focused monthly news magazine has a tagline of “For you. With you. By you”.

That mission statement is something that permeates into every aspect of their story life cycle: from the way they introduce staff (in candid posts on Instagram), to the way they actively seek out feedback from 7,000 ‘Noted Advisors’ (a group of readers from their intended demographic), right on through to the way they publish the stories themselves. It’s an approach we’re watching with interest.

3. Choose subjects your audience can relate to

This will connect them to the story more easily. A government’s response to fiscal recommendations about mortgage payment holidays during the pandemic may not be the kind of subject of interest to millennials – a generation widely acknowledged to struggle in the housing market.

But that’s not to say that writing about finance isn’t something that’s relevant: the trick is to find a topic that resonates with younger audiences. It’s also a good time to remind you about conducting thorough user-needs analysis: with millennials – and Gen Z for that matter – it’s important to show not just tell.

These readers may need educating, inspiring – as well as updating. But, if you’ve audited your audience and your brand, these things will be easier to understand.

Go wild. Invite a bunch of millennials to your newsroom. Give them the opportunity to create their news for one week. Give them various roles and let them play with the articles you are writing.

You’ll probably be surprised what they come up with, how they talk about the various topics, what are the things that resonate with them and what is the amount of volume they produce when they discuss certain topics. Invest in understanding the generation who will be your tomorrow’s customer.

4. Content is king, but context is pretty important, too

This isn’t about patronising your audience, it’s about recognising at which points explainers and context might be valued.

There’s not much more of a turn-off than lengthy explainers that overlook basic foundational pieces of information that might be obvious if Capitol Hill has been your beat for twenty years, but for younger, less-worldly readers, a brief spot of scene setting wouldn’t go amiss (though it’s possible that older, previously disinterested readers might appreciate this approach as well. It’s your publication, you’ll know if that’s the case).

5. Make it interactive and use the possibilities of the platform

The audience is migrating at all times. Until about a year ago everyone was busy figuring out how to present news on Snapchat. Now, it’s Tik-Tok. These things change rapidly and publishers need to learn how to adapt alongside these channel hops.

There’s a massive upside and opportunity here though. New platforms bring new ways of interacting with the audience. What was beyond imaginable 10 years ago is commonplace now: expectations are higher. These new platforms are opportunities to interact with your audience – and find new audiences too.

The possibilities are endless: from story recaps with the most important facts on Insta stories, to creating quizzes to see if people understood what they read.

And that’s just the channels. Formats are brimming with potential also: podcasts (a form that was heavily derided until only a couple of years ago) and Q&A sessions with journalists and editors now make it easy to interact with your audience – and they’re a massively popular medium.

Each of these platforms offers a different way of making a news story a two way street. It’s easier than ever to get feedback from your readers and incorporating this information with other data on story consumption news outlet posses can be a step further in the editorial strategy.

6. Think mobile-first

The following can’t be stressed enough: young people spend time on smartphones. Heck, sometimes it seems like they [we] spend all their time on them.

At the moment, given the circumstances and the COVID-19 pandemic, they [we] probably spend more time than ever with their phones. Making your stories ‘click’ on mobile screens will mean a lot from a user experience point of view.

There is a whole set of rules on making your stories mobile-friendly, and here are some of them.

  • Understand reader behaviour
  • Use lots of subheadings to make the text more scannable
  • Shorter paragraphs are easier to read, and look better on mobile
  • Shorter titles are more mobile-friendly

Mark Twain once said “don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do”, and this fits in perfectly. In other words, keep it simple wherever you can.

7. Use videos

Is video the right form? Of course it is. There was a time when the ‘pivot to video’ seemed like a punchline to a bad joke, but who’s laughing now, eh? Some things are just not as easily explained in the written word, and some ideas are just too complicated to be put into an article.

Videos can be less formal and more fun – and are an easy (or easier, let’s not overstate this) way to assert your brand identity into the piece.

You can communicate a lot more information in a couple of minutes of video than you might be able to with text alone – and in lots of situations, this is massively beneficial (so-called shorter millennial attention spans, anyone?). Also, in the end, people share way more videos than articles.

If the lockdown has shown us anything, it’s that mobile technology gives everyone the possibility to harness the power of video. Easy-to-use studios are often mobile-compatible – and affordable, so it’s simple to try out various ideas in a low-risk way.

What many of the Covid-era phenomenons lacked in technical finesse, was more than outdone by superlative creativity – and that should be a lesson to all of us.

If you’re inviting millennials into the newsrooms (or Gen Zs), maybe it’s worth letting them loose with a video explainer. You’ll probably be surprised about how they turn out!

8. Connect to influencers

There’s been a huge debate on whether influencer marketing works or not. Still while the jury’s out, what’s irrefutable is that younger people seem to like influencers and follow them. Nearly three quarters of Gen Z and millennials in the US follow influencers on social media, a study revealed.

Now, we’re not suggesting that it’s as simple as just ‘getting’ an influencer on board. Nor are we saying that you need a Jenner to make this work. Once again, it’s about participating in the conversations being had on the channels you want to use.

Social media is, at its core, a conversation, and if you can strike up a chat, it’s possible they might be willing to build a relationship with you – as well as deciding whether you’re good partners for each other.

Most importantly it’s about being picky. Getting in the right conversations with the right people is vital.

9. Write listicles

On the web, it all comes down to how scannable your content is. If the attention of the average person lasts for 8 seconds (it could be a little less, or little more but you get the picture), and if people read on average 28% of content within a webpage, then you know why lists as a type of content work.

Lists are scannable and very search-friendly which guarantees success.

And then there’s this guy: Cialdini. He created the 6 principles of persuasion. It can be distilled to this: listicles are a smart way of connecting with people because our brain wants to finish things.

If you say ‘here are 13 things you should know about ‘topic’ – then chances are most people will go through the whole list because it’s finite.

10. Create shareable content

Captain obvious, right? It is, but there’s a harder question: what type of content is shareable? We’re gonna let you in on a little secret. Data is the key. Experiment and gather information on the story performance on different platforms (social media) for a certain period of time.

Analyse the performance and create your overviews, or simply get our Story Value Engine running and receive all these insights hassle-free. What’s deemed ‘shareable’ varies from publication to publication. Replication isn’t the answer. Know your onions. And, by onions here we mean audience.

11. Filtering the Feed

Creating content that resonates with your readers is never easy, especially for this so-called impossible generation.

We know there’s no one single scenario whereby all your stories go stratospheric, but it is possible to refine the selection of stories you offer to your readers – and when and where you publish them.

Being smart about this can save everyone valuable time and energy and ensure that your readers get served content they’re interested in – and aren’t bombarded with irrelevant stuff at all hours of the day.

It all comes down to embracing data-informed decision making: the correct balance of editorial instinct with data.

First, analysing topics that did well in the past is a really useful exercise to understand why something’s worked (or not) – and it can help guide you to what might work next.

Setting up notifications to the whole team (and not just designated ‘data recipients’) can also reinvigorate the newsroom’s relationship with data. These can inform you of what’s working, what’s not and what usually performs well. That’s not all.

The right tool will let you know how to harness reader attention in real time by offering up insights about which channel is the best one for a certain story, or whether it needs more space on a homepage. Conveniently we can point you in the direction of such a tool, and the Story Value Engine that drives it…

Secondly, know that while all news consumers have preferences, millennials are super picky. Older users might like the feeling of having myriad articles and pieces of content to choose from, but millennials tend to be more specific. It’s really important that you make what they are looking for easy to find.

And here, we obviously can refer you back to the first point here: there’s a ton of data available to help support your understanding of your readers – make sure you use it. Those content stickers on BuzzFeed are not just a designer’s party. They serve a purpose

What do Younger Audiences like Watching?

Different generations consume video differently. Some generations spend hours watching videos on social platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Others only watch videos when they need specific information. Whatever the reason for watching videos, video production teams have to adapt to different audiences.

If you don’t diversify your video content and the platforms its on, you could have low engagement and missed goals, leading to wasted effort.

To help you understand how to create and share videos with different generations, we’ll look at two of the youngest groups — Gen Z and millennials. Each consumes more video content than generations before them. Plus, their video-viewing habits are radically different from other generations—and from each other.

Gen Z

Gen Z, people ages 7-22, are most likely to watch videos on social media. The two most popular platforms are Instagram and YouTube. 65% of Gen Zers use Instagram daily and 62% of Gen Zers use YouTube daily. And with ongoing advancements in mobile technology, more of these videos are watched on smartphones. In fact, almost all Gen Zers own a cell phone.

Social Media Video Habits

Teenage Gen Zers spend most of their time watching videos on YouTube (37%) and Netflix (35%). Most of the videos they watch on YouTube are user-generated. Many of these videos are by influencers like David Dobrik, PewDiePie, and Emma Chamberlain.

Gen Zers typically see influencers as more relatable and reachable than celebrities. This makes influencer video campaigns more effective because viewers are more engaged and responsive.

When you create social media content for this audience, consider partnering with influencers. You can even partner with micro-influencers, vloggers with thousands (vs. millions) of followers, to test how influencer marketing impacts your Gen Z audience.

Gen Z viewers are more likely to watch and feel a connection to brands that understand their interests. You can give your social media partners access to Rev, so they can upload videos for your team to transcribe or caption.

Streaming Habits

Gen Z is the first generation to be considered digital natives. They don’t remember a time when the internet wasn’t available and access to information wasn’t at their fingertips. Gen Zers spend more time online and stream more content than any other generation.

Here are a few interesting facts about their streaming habits:

  • 73% of teenage Gen Zers watch video on their smartphones (and other mobile devices).
  • 7 out of 10 teenage Gen Zers watching more than three hours of mobile video a day.
  • Only 33% of teenage Gen Zers watch cable TV.

Create videos with smartphone viewing in mind. Keep videos short to hold viewers’ attention. The shorter the video, the better the chances of people watching them to the end and seeing your call to action.

Short videos also have a short turnaround time when you order captions and transcripts through Rev. Transcripts can be available in as little as one hour and captions in three.

Action Plan for Gen Z

The key to reaching Gen Z with video is to promote content in the places this group spends the most time—on social media. Production teams need speedy workflows to keep up with demand and competition. Fortunately, Rev integrates with YouTube, so your team doesn’t have to manually upload videos.

They simply log into Rev and upload any published or listed videos. They can even upload more than one YouTube video URL at a time to Rev to save more time.

Once the video is uploaded, choose whether you want to add in captions or foreign subtitles. Both ensure your audience is able to watch your videos even when sound is turned off or when they’re in different countries.

Captions ensure your videos are ADA compliant. When your videos are published online, it’s important that your audience can watch them, regardless of any disability or special needs.

Video captions are ready in as little as three hours. Captions cost $1.25 per video minute, and you’re guaranteed 99% accuracy. Foreign subtitles cost between $3-$7 per video minute, depending on the language you want to translate to.


Millennials, ages 23-36, prefer to watch TV online and on streaming services. They stream more online TV than any other generation—mainly on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney Plus.

Social Media Video Habits

Just like Gen Z, millennials spend a considerable amount of time watching online videos. They prefer Instagram and YouTube. In fact, in the past year, 70% of millennials watched YouTube to learn how to do something new or learn more about something they’re interested in.

45% say a YouTuber inspired them to make a personal change in their life. And 47% of younger millennials watch their favorite TV shows on social media (when they’re available). For millennials, social media is used for entertainment vs. sharing personal information and updates.

Streaming Habits

For millennials in North America, Netflix is the top streaming service. Amazon Prime Video is the next popular option. Overall, millennials spend an average of 1.5 hours a day watching TV online and on streaming services.

Millennials still watch traditional TV, but numbers are low compared to baby boomers and Gen X. However, for millennials who watch TV, they’re more likely to stay on one channel vs. switching during commercial breaks.

The Nielsen report that confirmed this also states that millennials engage with smartphones and other mobile devices during commercials. Millennials are open to viewing ads during these breaks, but they have to be unique enough to draw millennials’ attention.

Read Also: Top 30 Content Marketing Tools

Consider creating video ads for social media and for TV. However, focus on how the product or service solves a problem vs. being promotional. 66% of millennials are turned off by promotional videos.

Action Plan for Millennials

Use Rev to add captions and subtitles to content on streaming services. Netflix is strict about the types of videos it streams on its service—it requires closed captioning on all videos. Captioning ensures that videos are in-line with the requirements of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Amazon Video Direct now also requires captioning on its videos.

Use Rev for all of your captioning and subtitle needs. Captioning only costs $1.25 per video minute, and subtitles range from $3-$7 per video minute. Even with several hours of video to caption and add subtitles to, Rev’s low price point doesn’t negatively impact your budget.

Plus, with the Enterprise feature, your entire video production team has access to created content. When you order captions, anyone on your team can review them, before videos are published.

About Author


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