Appealing to Millennials with a User-Generated Content Model

User-Generated-Content-LGEOResearch-620x350The media narrative about Millennials is that they are unlike previous generations because they were raised on social media and gravitate online toward all things social at the expense of traditional media channels. Now, some fodder to substantiate that notion: a new study showing that, for Millennials, user-generated content (UGC) is 20% more influential when it comes to purchasing and 35% more memorable than other types of media.

The study, which was conducted by marketing startup Crowdtap and the global research company Ipsos, found that Millennials spend roughly 30% of their day with user-generated content, as opposed to 33% with traditional media.

Considering that we’re only one decade into the social-media age, that 33% figure will likely decline.

Millennials also trust user-generated content more than traditional media channels, including conversations with friends (74%), peer reviews (68%) and social networking (50%). This is in contrast with traditional media such as print newspaper (44%), radio (37%) and TV (34%).

Brands and organizations that want to reach the Millennials will have to reevaluate their media strategies and make sure they deploy a social-media first model. This may cause some dislocation, of course, but companies have little choice.

Before executing the strategy, PR managers and directors should get a better handle on what makes Millennials tick. Here are a few tips on PR pros can debunk Millennial stereotypes, compliments of Glynn Murph, a senior account executive in the Atlanta office of Edelman.

  1. Make use of technology and social media: Milennials are incredibly tech-savvy and consider communication through text and tweets the norm. Put a Millennial in charge of a social media campaign and I guarantee your clients will be thrilled at the innovative thinking and execution.
  2. Keep us challenged: We are born multi-taskers and thrive on constant stimulation, new projects and learning opportunities. If a client tosses you a curve ball, put us up to bat and watch us knock it out of the park.
  3. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin said it best, but mutual respect is a must. We perform best when we feel that both managers and colleagues sincerely respect our work. While we may not have been in the workforce as long as you have, we still want our voices to be heard.

Follow Glynn Murph on Twitter: @GlynnCocoa 

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1

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About Matthew Schwartz

Group Editor, PR News: Matthew Schwartz is group editor of PR News, the leading source of trends, how-to content and best practices for PR professionals. Matthew leads the editorial strategy for PR News’ premium content products—including its weekly newsletter—and for its digital presence. Matthew was editor of PR News from 2003-2005. Prior to returning to PR News, Matthew was a reporter for Crain’s BtoB and Media Business magazines, where he covered business marketers and media companies. He was also editor of BMA Buzz, a biweekly email newsletter covering B2B marketing, advertising and social media, and contributing writer to Advertising Age Custom. Matthew has helped to launch blogs on behalf of ZoomInfo and direct marketing agency The Kern Organization. He also spent a few years in cable-news precincts, working as a writer/producer at CNN and Fox News Channel.

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