45% of millennials don’t find content marketing compelling enough to share, according to a generational study conducted by Yahoo. Adding insult to injury, millennials represent 82 million of today’s content consumers and together will have $1.4T in spending power by 2020.

So how can you get through to this increasingly important audience?

Get personal

Don’t market to millennials like they’re everyone else, even if “everyone else” happens to be other millennials. Millennials appreciate it when marketers take the time to get to know them. The good news: you don’t have to know the intimate details of their lives. Simply creating content acknowledging millennials’ age, location, culture or interests would elicit a response from just over 50% of those NewsCred surveyed.


Make them feel
While you’re at it, don’t just focus on contextually relevant content. Look for opportunities to make a deeper connection. 60% of NewsCred survey respondents are willing to share content when it’s thought provoking and 50% will pass something along when it’s something they believe in. Talk about the causes you support, the difference you’re making, whatever. If you’re unable to create content around “social good,” try to craft something that resonates emotionally. The bottom line: you can capture their attention (and loyalty) when you make them think or feel.

Teach them
Usefulness is a big thing with millennials. It’s a generation known for watching large amounts of YouTube videos in the pursuit of learning new things. Play into that inquisitiveness by showing them how to do something they didn’t know how to do before. In the NewsCred study, 31% admitted they’re more likely to buy from those who teach them. Because many millennials are using their mobile devices, be sure to create content (videos, infographics, etc.) that makes it easy for them to learn. The number one requested quality of content in Yahoo’s survey was brevity, so be mindful of that.

Try humor
While humor is subjective — and it’s not always appropriate for every brand — the Yahoo study declares comedy as the most watched genre millennials stream online. A whopping 70% said they’d share content that made them laugh, which is very closely aligned with the emotional response we touched on above. Another 30% told NewsCred they refuse to look at content that doesn’t entertain them. If your product or service lacks a cool factor, a lighthearted approach could get millennials take a second (or perhaps even a first) look at your content.

Creating your content around millennials — rather than around your offering — will help create a sense of trust, which can later translate into brand preference. At present, only 32% of millennials find brand communications helpful, so clearly content marketers have a way to go. As digital agency Moosylvania shared in their report on millennials, marketing to millennials should have three simple goals: “make them look good, make them feel good and entertain them.”