Being a grownup is hard. Even the mundane things seem unnecessarily difficult. The current struggle in my life is my car needs new tires. So, like a responsible adult, I went and got several quotes. And because I’m no car enthusiast, I asked what each tire professional would recommend for my Jeep, and every single one of them suggested a different tire. From what I can tell, all the tires are good quality, and they are around the same price. So what’s a clueless young adult to do?
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you know that I am what the world likes to refer to as a Millennial (those of us born between 1980 and 2000). There are currently 80 million Millennials with an annual purchasing power of $200 billion. As marketers are discovering, we aren’t all that fond of brand advertising. Instead, Millennials prefer content marketing because it’s more personal and authentic. We want ebooks, opinion articles, how-to videos and wikis that cover the topic and give us the nitty-gritty, so we can make educated decisions for ourselves.
But let’s be clear: we aren’t looking for content that advertises your product. It’s come to the point where the main message should no longer be about the product, but about the life of the user. Sure, you could make a video on how your tire retains pressure better than others, but you should also make a video on how to check tire pressure, as that’s the kind of material Millennials crave.
Developing a Road Map for Content Marketing
This is long-term marketing. The idea is that the viewer will remember the helpful information and recall that you gave it to them, so when it’s time to get new tires, the choice is easy. You’re building trust, crafting a relationship and tying your brand to something bigger than the product it sells.
Ryan Jenkins’ blog post, 28 Revealing Millennial Statistics to Help Boost Your Next Generation Branding Strategy, shows Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites than other generations and that 60% of Millennials are actively using and uploading content to social sites. That’s a lot of opportunity to build your brand without being pushy about your products. There’s even more good news. Millennials are 2.5 times more likely than Baby Boomers to share a social-media link that references a brand. And because Millennials are significantly more likely to buy a product based on what their friends and other consumers recommend, rather than which company they’ve seen the most ads from, those shared links are likely to earn you customers.
The hardest part of using content marketing is finding a way to get the consumer to see it. And that’s a tricky one, because not only are there dozens of extremely popular social media sites to peruse, but each one has thousands of different channels and pages to choose from. Plus, if you have a product like tires, the likelihood of someone actively searching for your content isn’t great.
The best way to drive that traffic is through traditional advertising like direct marketing, because it connects brands to individuals on a more personal level than say, a magazine would. Plus, with the promotions of the USPS and technological advances, it’s easier than ever to incorporate QR codes, pURLs, augmented reality and other tactics to connect prospects and customers to valuable content. It extends the conversation and deepens it with an audience segment that wants it.
So no matter what you’re selling, think about how you can add value to your brand for your Millennial audience by embracing content marketing, even if you sell tires… especially if you sell tires.
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