A new study shows Millennials more open to advertising than oldsters—if that advertising is relevant to them.
“There are so many stereotypes about Millennials, and we are trying to break this down and figure out who this generation really is and how to reach them,” says Anne Gherini, director of marketing, StumbleUpon, which recently released data on Millennials and online content.
The goal was to break down some common stereotypes of Millennials, such as that they are needy, aloof and have short attention spans.
“The reality is that a lot of those are fallacious statements,” Gherini says.
The study reinforces the idea that Millennials are a mobile-first generation. The desktop is becoming ancillary, and marketers need to figure out mobile strategy when targeting this generation.
“It’s important to understand how to develop content for mobile screens and to develop messaging that works. Compared to a 60-inch TV, it’s a small amount of real estate,” Gherini notes. “Consuming content on mobile is more sporadic. Millennials take in content in shorter forms, at multiple points during the day. So more than any generation in the past, they are taking more time consuming content, it’s just spread out over a longer period and in shorter intervals.”
Millennials span from age 18 to 35, and their behavior and interests can vary greatly.
“It’s quite diverse. You’re not just reaching one type of person, you have to market and message to this very vast group of individuals,” she says.
Millennials are also responding to advertising more than past generations, and there has been a shift in what sponsored content needs to be in order to really connect.
“We’re now creating better sponsored content. With Facebook you can boost a post, but for it to get to the next realm and be shared across user networks, the content has to be really good,” Gherini says.
Mobile banner ads are performing poorly with Millennials, as it’s tough to get a message across in that small of a space and clickthrough rates are not good.
“Everyone is looking for new opportunities and avenues to market via mobile, and one of the biggest ones in creating content. Being upfront with the fact that content is sponsored works best when the content is of a high quality,” Gherini says.
In the next year, mobile will continue to dominate. Creating websites and emails to be mobile-first as opposed to just mobile optimized will be a trend among Millennial savvy marketers.
“When we build new templates and email programs we have to be in the mindset first and foremost of what is the experience like on mobile?” she says.
Creating killer content is also a continuing trend.
“One of the things that’s really exciting about that is we’ve got a lot of content enablers out there,” Gherini says. “Vine videos can do just as well as tailored campaigns with high production value. With that shift, we can produce content with iPhones and GoPros.”