Millennials: The Next Generation of Creative Digital Content


Erika Wang

Millennials are the first generation to really share and engage with advertisements, which is why a strong campaign aimed at them should include compelling and visual content on the right platforms.

Content marketing has increasingly become a go-to tactic for many marketers, making it important to understand the nuances of creating compelling content marketing for a particular audience.

In the case of Millennials, expectations are high when it comes to content marketing. Yahoo’s recent “Content Marketing: Best Practices Among Millennials”research, conducted with Tumblr, reassures us that Millennials constitute a large and powerful force for marketers. This is not only because people of this generation are expected to spend more than US$1.4 trillion in the U.S. by 2020, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they are the first generation to be truly open to not just receiving ads, but engaging with them and sharing them.

About 45 percent of Millennials don’t usually find content marketing compelling enough to share, which means that brands should be focusing on how to re-imagine content marketing in order to more fully connect with this highly influential demographic segment.

Let me share “five golden strategic principles” useful in reaching Millennials with branded content:

1. Be Native, Not Deceptive

Millennials are willing to share good advertising, but dislike it when advertising feels deceptive. With 79 percent of them saying they would watch at least some native videos and 51 percent being willing or likely to share them, brands should create native content that is relevant to the environment it is hosted in, without misleading the viewer.

2. Be an Individual, and Be Ready to Evolve

Millennials favor brands that showcase their personalities. Brands should know when to evolve their communications to stay culturally relevant, and to keep the audience wanting more.

3. Deliver on an Emotion – Humor Rules

What kind of content works for Millennials? Content that gives them an emotional payout works well – and comedy is the number one most watched genre online, which speaks to their values of fun and positivity.

4. Reserve Judgment

Try to reserve judgment in conversation with consumers. Millennials engage in creativity and self-expression, traits which thrive in a judgment-free space.

5. Act Like the Locals

Brands should follow the rules of the Millennials’ environment, and leverage on all the different formats – video, images, GIFs, and text – that Millennials view and use the most.

Lee Brown, global brand partnerships for Tumblr, has observed that of the many brands engaging in successful content marketing on Tumblr, all have a key winning factor – visual.

Tumblr’s global microblogging platform has some 200 million active blogs, and more than 400 million monthly unique users creating, sharing, and discovering content about a wide variety of interests every day. The sites have appealing content to successfully encourage users to engage with powerful social functions such as “follow,” “like,” and “reblog” – creating a strong virality in distributing content throughout the platform’s network of users.

Using a platform such as Tumblr can increase circulation for up to a month through reblogging. From the brand’s perspective, this means higher content marketing efficiency. By incorporating user-generated content, brands can go even further in attracting and engaging viewers.

The promotional website of the action movie Lucy in Taiwan used the Tumblr platform to carry out a content marketing campaign where many outstanding drawings of the movie scenes submitted by users were posted on the Tumblr site.

This campaign cleverly made use of the creative canvas of Tumblr to attract the culturally and socially curious Millennials.

Findings in the recently published Yahoo & Tumblr Ipsos Content Marketing Case Study found that when people view content marketing, unaided brand awareness increased by 40 percent, brand consideration grew 31 percent, and tagline recognition increased by 100 percent.

The power of creative brand storytelling is there to be unleashed.