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Is Content Marketing Right for Your Millennial Audience?

Is Content Marketing Right for Your Millennial Audience?

We have a lot of preconceived ideas regarding the 'Millennial Generation' - words like young, entitled, and precious often come to mind. My favourite definition for millennials comes from Urban Dictionary; "special little snowflake".

However, when you look past these preconceptions the millennial market actually looks pretty different.

Defining the Millennial Market

The millennial market is made up of two distinct generations; while the term 'millennial' is often confused for Gen-X (1992-2001) it actually includes Gen-Y (1982-1991) making the market much broader than many assume.

One of the main distinctions between these two generations is the types of technology that they grew up with, with Gen-Y we grew up with personal computing, MSN messenger, and the Nokia 3310 being the best thing since sliced bread. For the Gen-X generation, things were a bit different with touch devices like smartphones and iPads and the introduction of the app ecosystem.

The main commonality between these two generations is that we all grew up with easy access to technology - and this is the biggest difference between the millennial generation and those that came before. 

The reason that this access to technology is important, is that it has had a dramatic impact on audience attention spans. A study in 2015 has shown that attention spans have decreased from 12 seconds to only 8. To put that in perspective - goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds.

This decrease in attention is directly related to our increasingly digital lifestyle. We are now constantly consuming information and content across multiple devices and in multiple ways throughout a day. As a species, we are consuming more content today than ever before.

Rate of Content Consumption

When you look at the data the average adult now spends up to 10 hours a day consuming content - this includes all forms of content such as images, social feeds, podcasts, Netflix, blog articles, videos and of course TV.

However, when you segment that market down to focus on millennials, you'll find that millennials consume up to 18 hrs of content a day.

When I saw first this statistic my initial response was - where on earth do they find the time?

The answer is that is not about time, it's about the increase of multi-device consumption. 

People are not just consuming content more than ever before, they are consuming content on multiple devices at the same time. If you're anything like me you're guilty of reading your social feed which watching a Netflix show.

The impact of multi-device consumption is huge. Not only is it harder than ever before to get audience attention - you now have to share that attention with other content they are consuming at the same time.

Types of Content Consumed

When you look at the types of content consumed by millennials when compared to other generations, the results are very interesting.

What we find in this comparison is that there is almost no difference across generations when it comes to the types of content people like and dislike.

Across the board, we all prefer to read blog articles or look at images. We prefer ebooks over whitepapers. There is no noticeable difference.

In Summary

Millennials are not "special little snowflakes" - when it comes to content consumption they like the same types of content as everyone else. 

The big difference is their rate of consumption and the increase of multi-device consumption.

The simple fact that millennials consume almost double the amount of content as the average adult makes them a prime target for content marketing. If your brand is not making content a central focus for your millennial audience you are definitely missing out.  

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