For businesses with an eye on the future, it’s important to build loyalty with young, millennial consumers. People in this demographic are in a stage in their lives when they are taking on new responsibilities in life, which requires them to buy certain kinds of services for the first time. The shopping habits and brand preferences established now can stay with them for decades and even influence generations to follow. Most business owners and marketers know that internet marketing is a good way to reach millennials. A new study suggests that producing meaningful content is an effective ways to build loyalty with millennials.
A recent study from Newscred found that millennials found content marketing to be one of the most effective tactics for fostering trust and loyalty among millennial consumers. According to the study, more than three out of five (62%) of the people surveyed felt that online content drives their loyalty to a brand. The only factors more important for fostering loyalty were product quality, which 77 percent of the respondents cited as a driving factor in loyalty, and brand recognition, which was cited by 69 percent.
As the third most important factor for building loyalty, the value of content marketing is undeniable. However, the quality of the content matters. Many of the respondents reported that the content they were receiving is too sales focused. Some of the things that turned them off to online content were “not helping them navigate their everyday problems, being too long, sales-driven, and not tailoring messaging to individual cultural interests.”
Creating meaningful online content may seem challenging given all those constraints, but the study found there was tremendous value when it was done right.
“Millennials today value quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing,” wrote Shafqat Islam, the CEO and co-founder of NewsCred, in a release. “Millennials don’t want to have to work to find the value in a sea of sales messages. Brands can earn millennials’ trust, loyalty, and share of wallet with the right content – but they need to invest in being a helpful partner that respects the characteristics, interests, and qualities that make each millennial unique.”
To be fair, Newscred sells content marketing software, so it’s no surprise their research methods show a high value to content marketing. Regardless, there’s little reason to doubt the overall point of the research. Millennials turn to the internet for information and they will form a bond with content producers that create things of value to them.
The report also had information that can help content marketers refine their content creation and distribution strategies. For example, the study found that “purchase decisions are predicated on content being interesting and educational (35%) as well as authentic and truthful without being sales-y (31%)”.
Besides being interesting and educational, it also helps to be a little humorous. The researchers reported that seven out of 10 millennials (70%) share marketing content with their peers through social media if it is sufficiently humorous. The study also gave a nod to using social media and branded websites as a content distribution channel. According to Newscred, millennials are most commonly interacting with brands via social media (49%) or through a brand’s owned websites (54%). Much of the content interaction on a brand’s owned site probably comes through blogs, though this wasn’t explicitly stated in the study.
The study also found that 30% of the respondents said they liked branded content their friends share and that it helps them discover new content. Getting people to share may not be as easy as everyone thinks. Modern consumers see over 5,000 marketing messages every day, according to Loyalty 360, so most people are selective in what they choose to share. Again, meaningful content is necessary. The majority of millennials (52%) cited a content’s relevance to their circle of friends as a motivator in sharing.
There’s a lot of good information in the study for business owners and marketers. A key action point for business owners is to start content marketing and social media marketing. Even if it’s necessary to outsource the content creation process to produce high-quality and meaningful content, the long-term value of loyal customers makes it a good investment.
For more information on fostering loyalty in the digital age, read this article with nine recent stats on customer loyalty programs.