Big brands just eat up research on millennial marketing. Why? Because this demographic lovvvves to buy stuff. In fact, it is estimated that they spend $600B a year and are predicted to gobble up the biggest combined purchasing power in history. One of the most important insights brands can leverage is the fact that 50% of millennials trust their peers when it comes to recommendations, typically in the form of User Generated Content (UGC). This could be a product review, a photo, or even a “like.” And while the concept of word-of-mouth advertising is nothing new, the UGC voice is growing steadily louder and brands should listen up to reach this coveted demographic.
Originally reported on by Mashable, thisinfographic by Ipsos and Crowdtap, highlights four major roads leading to the millennial dollar land grab: This group spends loads of time online; loves to create UGC; trusts it more than any other content; and most importantly for brands to know–they buy more because of this trust. If you love this infographic and the data it represents as much as we do, I recommend downloading the full study. Let’s drill down on these insights:
- Millennials love their media – Whether it’s checking email, texting, or listening to the radio, millennials spend a staggering 18 hours (this is not a typo) on some form of media every day. Almost one-third of their time, or 5 hours a day, is spent with UGC. This also means they are checking social networks more than any other media.
- UGC beats out other types of content – Sure, a lot of millennials are sharp, but like most of us, they prefer something easy–and these days creating UGC is lightning fast and takes fewer clicks than ever. So it’s no surprise that writing a quick review or posting a tweet or pin are considered much more desirable than spending time building a website or creating a blog.
- In UGC we trust (and remember) – In addition to trusting UGC more than any other media source, 35% of millennials also find it more memorable. This translates to UGC commanding more influence than all other media in their purchasing decisions. Trust levels also rise considerably when it comes to peer reviews with a whopping 67%; the only thing topping it is a conversation with a friend at 75%.
- The last millennial money mile – Final fact: When it comes to purchasing big-ticket items like cars to smaller items such as mobile phones, the first place these digital denizens turn to is UGC. For instance, almost 60% use UGC to inform their major appliance decisions and 45% check UGC to help them make hotel choices.
The big takeaway from the full study is that brands can hit a millennial goldmine by leveraging the sweet spot of social influence: UGC. As social media’s role in defining brands continues to grow, companies are not marketing at their consumers, they are marketing with them. When customers are inspired to create and share content about the companies they love, UGC ultimately influences their networks to do the same. And that’s a win-win for everyone.
Janice Cuban is a communications consultant based in San Francisco, Ca. She helps B2B, B2C, and small businesses find their inner content voice and shout it to the world (or at least to their target markets). Janice is also a blogger, freelance writer, and lover of all things marketing, technology, and trends. Find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and at janicecuban.com.