At the moment, 64% of the earth’s population is made up of millennials (those born between 1981-1996) and Generation Z (those born after 1996). That means no matter how loyal your audience is to your media company, if you aren’t attracting younger consumers, you’re losing out on a huge portion of potential subscribers. Not to mention your existing audience is continuing to age out of your target demographic.
It isn’t hard to see why younger generations are becoming increasingly important to the future of your brand. But here’s the catch: millennials and Gen Zers are notorious for their short attention spans, and can’t easily be won over by ads and content.
So what’s a media company to do in order to attract and retain them?
We’ve gathered the top, tried-and-true ways to grab and hold the attention of Gen Y and Z. Take your business to the next level by applying these best practices to your company’s content strategy.
A Flawless Mobile-First Experience
If you know anything about millennials and Gen Z, you probably know that they’re glued to their smartphones.
In fact, 40% of Gen Zers prefer streaming TV over their smartphones, and nearly 20% of millennials solely rely on their mobile devices for internet access. So when it comes to media, the user’s mobile experience is everything to younger audiences.
These individuals expect organizations to offer quick and seamless mobile experiences. Which means your website, app or video-streaming platform must be completely responsive to different device sizes and load content instantly.
Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on a highly profitable audience that might have been loyal to your brand.
Social Immersion Outside of Social Media
From the explosion of Facebook in the early 2000’s to the popularity of Snapchat and TikTok, it’s clear that generations Y and Z both value online social interaction.
But rather than allowing these interactions to happen on social media, bring this love for socialization right to your platform. That way, you can directly monetize their time spent interacting with one another. You can also generate consumer loyalty as they build meaningful connections to your platform.
Consider implementing moderated conversation, live chat or interactive blogging tools to give your visitors a way to be social on your platform.
Personalize the Experience
McKinsey and Company, an international consulting agency, conducted a survey and found that “Generation Z is not only eager for more personalized products but also willing to pay a premium for products that highlight their individuality.”
Since younger audiences have grown up in the midst of the digital age, they’re completely accustomed to being bombarded with content from hundreds of media companies. Great content is everywhere these days. So if you want your content to stand out from the competition, your user’s experience must be both unique and personal.
“Young people are not a monolithic marketing segment,” states an article on Forbes. They expect media organizations to treat them as individual humans, not just a number.
Want the solution? Simply look to your first-party data to determine how you can customize the experience according to the interests of your visitors.
Amplify Your Brand’s Authenticity
Millennials and Gen Zers both value a certain degree of transparency and sincerity in their relationships not just with humans, but also with the companies they choose to support.
“Gen Z craves a personal, authentic connection,” the editor of a report on Generation Z tells CNBC. “The key is to know your brand and evolve accordingly. Quick about-faces and trend-chasing will be seen for what they are.”
So connect with your younger audiences over topics and issues that matter not just to them, but also to your organization.
Fun Fact: Almost 90% of Generation Z prefers supporting companies that help out with social or environmental issues.
Rely on Visual Content
“With new voices and new platforms entering the media landscape by the minute, the competition for young people’s attention has never been greater,” VICE’s Senior VP of Global Insights says.
Thankfully, visual content like GIFs, memes and most importantly, video, is richer than just text-based articles, and can reach consumers in a matter of seconds.
We’ve all seen how visual-only social media platforms have become extremely popular with younger generations, after all. Brands that want to effectively create loyal and younger audience members must learn to replicate engaging visual experiences on their own platforms.
In general, to capture the attention of younger audiences, you need more than just great content and products — you need to offer exclusive, unique experiences.