Millennials: mystery or marvellous? How can you perfect your copywriting to speak to them?
Despite what you may think, millennials are actually astute readers and information consumers. Studies show that millennials are more likely to read more books than people in their thirties and forties. Not to mention the amount of online reading they consume.
They have a hunger for authenticity and a knack for being able to determine what is horse poo and what is real and comes from the heart.
They are constantly overwhelmed with information, blasting at them from all directions so they need to be able to determine what is worthy of their time immediately. Essentially, you have a micro second to grab their attention and let them know what you need to because you may not be able to keep it. There are a lot of things competing for their previous time and attention.
Given this time limit, it’s important that website writing specifically for millennials is designed to be read within seconds (not minutes!) and is entertaining and has a strong storytelling component. The same techniques that you would apply to writing a webisode or sitcom would apply for millennial content.
And if your first sentence and headline aren’t pure, unadulterated magic you’ve already lost them.
It goes without saying they are super tech savvy and completely voracious and have a world of information within clicking distance, so they are not going to take something at face value just because you tell them to. Even with great copywriting. They can do their own research and find out other points of view within mere minutes.
‘If your first sentence and headline aren’t pure, unadulterated magic you’ve already lost them.’
Additionally, millennials are highly socially conscious beings so seek out and align themselves with content and companies that share these values and their cultural interests.
48 per cent of people interviewed for a US Millennial Supplemental Consumer Sentiment Survey (2013) reported this age group prefers to invest their time, money and attention in companies that demonstrate social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
Copywriting for millennials
The best way to communicate with a millennial is to:
- encourage and offer interaction
- provide information without coercion
- use inclusive language
- foster their decision making and opinion forming ability
- be authentic
- keep it educational but don’t patronise or insult them
- write as if you know they will scan the content
- make it clear what your main points are
- write with humour
- keep the style clear, concise and informal
- don’t adopt a superior tone
- keep it simple and readable
- use correct grammar and spelling as this increases authenticity and credibility
- learn what keywords and phrases they are partial to by reading what they read and hang out online where they hang out.
Speaking of authenticity, in a 2014 survey of twelve global industries, it was shown that ‘…91 per cent of consumers value honesty about products and services above any other authentic characteristics.’
Additionally, using heavy action verbs will connect with them emotionally and encourage action. For example: seize, stopped dead, stumbled, fall apart, excel… and so forth.
Lastly, millennials are not a generation to be feared when copywriting for. In fact, quite the opposite. They are the generation that will have the biggest influence on your digital marketing as they are active participants in sharing, commenting, interacting and helping to shape your content and communications. Start valuing the millennial!