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Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are a generation of doers, multitaskers that have high expectations for the brands with which they choose to interact. The metaverse opens up new opportunities for brands, but authenticity is of the utmost importance to millennials. SmartBrief connected with AJ Rowe, a creative producer based in Brooklyn, N.Y., and head of content and culture at Hogarth Worldwide, to gain insight into millennials, not only how they interact with brands, but to discuss how Facebook’s parent Meta can work to bring authentic experiences so craved by this generation.
What values do millennial consumers prioritize when choosing a brand?
As a millennial consumer, the biggest values my peers and I seek in brands are convenience, reliability and authenticity. We are a generation filled with multitaskers. The ability to consume with smartphones and online marketplaces makes life easier, and shopping experiences more efficient.
With all that accessibility, reliability is also at the top of our list. While we’re constantly on the move, we find comfort in knowing there is little to no risk with our investments. Whether it’s the stock market, or simply buying home essentials, millennials want to know our hard-earned money is not being wasted.
Most importantly, millennials seek authenticity in the brands we support. In today’s time, it’s a lot easier to identify hyperbolic and inauthentic storytelling in marketing. Additionally with the rise of technology, the “magic” of production has faded, and consumers now understand what happens behind the camera. If advertisers want to connect with this generation, transparency must be at the core of what they do.
How can brands create responsible content that still resonates with millennial consumers? How will Facebook and Instagram shape content creation?
The best way for brands to create responsible content for millennials is to create within the audiences they seek. As an industry, we can no longer assume a one-size-fits-all model for production. We have to be more intentional with our creative resourcing and tap into communities to find who and what connects to the people.
Social media will continue to play a huge role in this transition. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok (and whatever’s next) are content playgrounds for creators around the world. As tech intelligence continues to rise, brands must be up to date with all trends, and be innovative with both their ideas and their connections.
Which content formats most appeal to millennial consumers? Short-form video, reviews, influencers, etc.?
Appealing to millennial consumers can be tricky. The amount of content we have access to continues to rise at an alarmingly fast rate, making it more difficult for branded content to resonate. Millennials thrive in short-form media. Anything longer than the average bite-size piece of content is typically overlooked for something that’s quick and easy to consume.
In addition to easy viewing, we also want to feel a connection to the work. Whether using real people to tell stories, or partnering with influencers or cultural ambassadors within communities, we seek brands who work with people who look like us. So, it’s more than simply casting for millennial talent. It’s about actively searching for ways to connect with consumers so they can see themselves in the work a brand produces.
What effect will Meta have on the industry and millennials in particular, as we move into 2022?
Facebook’s corporate transition to Meta may completely change how we view our universe; let alone the media we engage with. The concept of reality will be flipped upside down as we will now be able to create our own “metaverse” catered to our every desire. Each of us will be even more connected than we are today, and experiences that were once determined by screen swipes will now be an air swipe, or at the glance of an eye.
Millennials as a liberal and open-minded generation, will welcome this new world with open arms. Being able to experience life digitally will increase the desire for authentic expression and bring more control to audiences. Brands will no longer be able to hide behind what they think consumers want to see. It will be their responsibility to connect directly with the source to find what truly moves and impacts culture.