This is part 2 of a 2 part series on media habits among Millennials and Gen Zs – if you have already read this and want to read part 1, click here.
Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials have had the benefit of living with and without technology. They’ve lived through dial-up and witnessed the advent of mobile. If those born between 1900 and 1921 were labelled as “The Greatest Generation” – then Millennials are the luckiest generation.
What’s special about them when consuming media then? Here’s what we found out:
Gamification is a growing medium for brands to create experiences. It promotes interactivity with massive reach without having to invest in physical infrastructure. By 21, the average American would have almost spent 10,000 hours playing video games, making them close to a “gaming expert” by the 10,000 hour rule.
This isn’t just for your independently published game. In fact, Millennials are twice as likely to wish for more branded games to play than Gen Zs. Combined with the fact that adblocker usage has seen a 41% increase in the past 12 months among Millennials, resulting in the increased difficulty of using programmatic display ads – this is a strong way to cut through the noise and reach them.
It’s not just in the US. Brands around the world are looking for more and more creative ways to interact with Millennials. Get inspired here.
They’re not just on social media. They are social media. According to Adobe, half of Millennials consider themselves content creators, 20% more than the general population. Content creation can be built from scratch, or a social commentary of something someone else has created. In fact, 75% of Millennials share content online and are 2.5 times more likely to share video content that is perceived as authentic.
What does this mean for a marketer then? It is a reminder to create content that sparks conversation, that invites Millennials to share their opinion about the topic. In that, Millennials will feel like they are contributing and fulfil their need to be content creators.
Speaking of authentic communication, Millennials can smell a paid ad from a mile away. It was no surprise then that when Deep Focus asked Millennials how they wanted brands to reach them, “Email” was rated the #1 channel – almost 50% more than social media.
Half of all Millennials check their email while in bed in the morning, both personal and for work. What do they love most about being reached via email? More than half said it was because they could check their emails whenever they wanted to.
Don’t treat this as gospel, however, and start spamming your entire database with emails. As loved as it is to be reached by emails, Millennials are also highly likely to unsubscribe and never resubscribe from you again. Instead, formulate a strong email strategy with purpose before starting to send them out.
For the longest time, humour has been one of the cornerstones of great media. A quick search on YouTube shows thousands of compilations of funny commercials that air during the Superbowl. The most viewed video has a whopping 23 million views and has only been uploaded for a year.
Millennials beg to differ. Compared to Gen Zs, Millennials prefer more ads (50%) that create an emotional connection by pulling on their heart strings. The result? Higher attention captured.
Nike has done this perfectly for years, from their 2012 Find Greatness campaign to their 2019 Dream Crazier campaign – just have a look at how many celebrities you can identify.
No, Facebook is not shutting down. But for the first time ever – 2019 saw a decrease in the amount of time spent on social media by Millennials. While the decrease is only by a minute, it is a signifier that Millennials are out there seeking for real-life experiences in order to engage with brands. Considering that they are the only generation that saw a decrease – this is an important thing to know.
This is likely to see a ripple effect as being on social media just because their friends are on them is becoming a decreasing motivation for Millennials. Rather – using social media to research for products as an intent saw the biggest growth.
What does this mean for brands?
Social media is a must have in your arsenal of marketing tools, but it is not the only thing you should have. Understanding how Millennials interact with it and building your creatives and campaigns around them can only mean better ROI on your marketing spend.
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