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7 Hacks For Engaging with a Younger Audience

Having a great time in polaroid photos

7 Hacks For Engaging with a Younger Audience

If you’re a business owner with the desire to build a following online and using social media, finding new and exciting ways to engage with your audience can be a challenge. Things can seem especially dicey when working to engage with younger customers. No worries! We’ve compiled 7 hacks for crafting the perfect content that’ll have the stamp of approval from millennials and the older Generation Z crowd. We’ll provide insight on the channels that these groups use and how you can tailor your content to increase engagement for your business. The secret? It’s all about connecting your content with the appropriate channel for most effectively communicating with your potential customer.

 

Our hacks include:

  1. Let pictures tell your story
  2. Don’t fear the meme
  3. Your audience’s interests: identify, customize, and share
  4. Have fun
  5. Consider various platforms
  6. Mobile-friendly is a MUST
  7. Say it with video

 

Here we go!

 

1. Let Pictures Tell Your Story
How many times have you skimmed past an article but stopped because an interested image caught your eye? Younger audiences are especially responsive to high-quality imagery that conveys your brand story. Pack a double-punch by combining a beautiful picture with heartfelt messaging.

 

2. Don’t Fear the Meme
Those of us who are old enough to remember life without memes can sometimes have a hard time understanding and embracing the ever-evolving world of memes. Instead of feeling like you’ve been left out of a worldwide inside joke, get educated on the meaning behind the memes. Think creatively; how can you rebuild or spin the meme to promote your business while entertaining your audience? Make sure that you fully understand the meaning of the meme; misunderstanding a meme’s meaning can cause you to miss the mark and cross into inappropriate territory. See our lighthearted example of how we reframed a popular meme for our fabulous client La Cabana in Martin below:

 

Funny Meme

At the risk of completely ruining the joke, we’re going to break down this meme in order to best explain the meaning hidden within. The meme’s origins begin in 2015 when the musician Drake debuted the music video for his single “Hotline Bling,” and the point of the meme is to show preference of one thing over another. The top image would be of Drake turning his head away from the adjacent image or text with his hand extended as if to reject it outright and reflect disgust. The bottom image would then be Drake looking at another adjacent image or text with a look of satisfaction on his face as he points to it. The implication is that he (or the user posting the overall picture) prefers the bottom thing over the top thing. Source: Meming Wiki

 

 

 

3. Your Audience’s Interests: Identify, Customize, and Share
What is your audience into? What have been your most engaging marketing efforts to date? Most liked or popular social media posts? What other similar topics do you think could interest your audience? In addition, if you really want to know what interests your younger audience, ask them. Invite them into your space and listen to what they have to say about news, culture, likes and dislikes, and their view of the world. Make your content shareable! Whether you decide to experiment with various topics or survey your followers about their preferred content – pull out all the stops in order to truly get to know your audience.

 

4. Have Fun
Not all audience engagement should be about selling your product or creating awareness about your service. Audiences are fickle – and none are more fickle than the younger generations. People want to be entertained; they want an experience and the story behind the product. They want their interactions to be fun and their transactions to have meaning. With these things in mind, remember this marketing formula for your content creation: 50% entertainment, 20% cheerleading, 20% branding, 10% hard selling. With this in mind, appeal to those common interests that connect us all. For example, consider this post from our Twin Oaks Technology Facebook Page and take note of how the purpose of the post is simple engagement:

What does the color magenta have to do with the company? Take a look at the number of individuals who weighed in with an opinion. Social media can be used for simple enjoyment and encouraging fun. The hard selling of a product/service and social engagement are not mutually exclusive.

 

 5. Consider Various Platforms
It’s just hard to believe that print newspapers were once the ultimate news source, followed by radio and television. Today, younger readers are getting news from Tik-Tok and Instagram – and who knows what’s coming next? The only sure thing is that change will come soon, and business owners have a perpetual learning curve in order to stay out in front of their publics. We encourage you to take this advice: Be willing, stay flexible, and make yourself a deal that you can adapt. New social media platforms provide new and interesting ways of interacting – but the expectations of your audience are much higher as well.

So, how do you determine what’s right for your business? Find out first by researching the various platforms available. Don’t know where to start? Ask a friend, or your friend’s kid(s). Maybe you’ll discover that the best way to tell the story of your brand is through images; Instagram might be the best social media platform for you. Perhaps your organization’s story is best told in a back-and-forth exchange of ideas and chronicling; if that’s the case, you could explore an interview-style blog or a podcast as the platform to tell your story. Only feel the need to use the platforms that are right for you, and make sure to create new content to keep it active and up-to-date. Try to aim for uploading new content at least once per week. Remember that, if you use these tools correctly, your audience will find you. It’s difficult to gain a following if your business is silent or off-grid.

 

6. Say It With Video
Arguably one of the easiest methods of connecting with your audience, video is one of the best ways to establish a following and open dialogue. Maybe you want to use your video to explain something about your company or showcase your brand, or maybe you want to go-live on Facebook and tell the world about your upcoming sale. Perhaps you’d just like to reach out to your group with well wishes or to share something funny or entertaining – your public wants to connect with you! Videos can be fun, informational, informal, and a quick and easy way to communicate your business brand. This method of engagement is affordable, easy-to-use, and the sky is the limit where creativity is concerned.

 

 

7. Mobile-friendly is a MUST
Our culture, and most especially our young people, spend a lot of time on their smartphones. Both the amount of time we spend on our phones as well as the number of individuals who are purchasing and using mobile devices continues to climb. If you want to succeed, make sure that your website and posted content are easy to access to mobile-friendly. Use short titles and set up your subheadings correctly so that people reading your content can scan and pick out sections that interest them. Short, broken up paragraphs look preferrable on mobile devices, and are also easier to read. Most of all, there’s no need to employ large words that aren’t commonly used in everyday language. Connect with your audience by crafting content that feels like a real and interesting conversation.

 

We hope you enjoyed this list! While every generation is different, we’re all humans. We have similarities and distinctions, challenges and victories, interests and concerns. Our audiences may be picky, but variety is the spice of life. There’s no need to jump on every new trend. Find the happy medium between what’s comfortable for you and enjoyable for your audience. Do your best to understand the people for whom you are creating content – and go for it! Understand your purpose, understand your demographic (as well as you can), and you’ve got a beautiful recipe for success.

 

*BONUS HACK:
If you get tripped up, stalled out, or just need some additional help getting your marketing dreams off the ground, call on a team of marketing pros who are ready to help.

Erica Moore