Over two decades ago, blogs entered the world as an online diary, then evolved into a weblog, and eventually gained momentum into the powerhouse lead generation tool they are today. While their purpose has remained constant, blogs have obviously evolved in many ways. Today, running a blog is a common full-time career, a place where people can expand their knowledge, seek advice, and read reviews before making a purchase.
Making up 85% of online shoppers, millennials (individuals born between 1981-1996) have been the focus of B2C marketing for years. As the largest generation in today’s workforce, this generation is grabbing the attention of B2B marketers. After all, millennials are growing up and moving from post-college jobs into decision-making, management, and even ownership positions. With this information in mind, it’s important to understand how this generation differs, what they value most, and which factors play a role in their purchasing and decision-making habits.
Are Millennials Reading Blogs?
Yes. Millennials spend ample amounts of time online consuming content in some way — social media, videos, and blogs. In fact, they spend an average of over 25 hours per week online. Like most online users these days, Millennials are getting their entertainment, product recommendations, advice, education, and more from both individuals and brands online.
Bloggers are marketing to their followers in a way that doesn’t seem so intrusive. When these influencers are creating ads and content for their platforms, they all often lead back to their blog, so when a follower inquires about more information or a link to purchase, they're directed back to the blog.
What Millennials Are Looking for In Blogs
1. Millennials Want to Connect
Traditional advertising messages that are disruptive or use marketing terms are not effective! Bloggers and influencers that millennials follow are more than strangers on the internet. They've built relationships and connections, trusting their opinion when it comes to a product recommendation or advice. Millennials make up 85% of online shoppers, but those purchases are often made after they've conducted research and received the opinion of someone they trust.
This makes inbound marketing top-priority for any brand trying to attract millennials. Content marketing plays an important role in building trust and establishing yourself as a thought leader in an industry; making quality content essential to reaching this generation. Millennials want to engage with human beings, authentic brand messages, and stories that relate to their challenges. By consistently publishing quality content on your blog, you’re educating them, demonstrating your industry expertise, and showing them your personality and voice through the tone and topics of your content.
2. Millennials Want Honest Reviews from a Trusted Resource
Research from multiple studies shows that over 70% of millennials are members of loyalty programs, while 78% trust online reviews for brands and products. This shows that millennials only follow the brands and businesses that they trust. They want real people with real results. When it comes time to make a decision, they’re looking for a recommendation, and a review on a blog post can often help them make an informed decision.
For millennials, online reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing. For example, if a millennial with the role of social media manager has been tasked with finding a new tool to manage their content and track analytics, they’re likely to search their favorite blogs for marketers, in addition to conducting their own research through various online review sources. Being able to read a detailed blog post that outlines why someone chose that particular management program over versus other options and their tips for utilizing the system themselves will help them make a decision.
3. Millennials Want to See the Product or Service in Action
They want to know how it works, how it will affect their life, and tips to getting their desired results. Consider publishing valuable blog posts that detail how to use the product or even several creative and unique ways that the consumer could use the product aside from its intended use. Millennials want to read blog posts that provide them with a trusted opinion or different take on the information that they could find elsewhere.
For example, if that same social media manager has narrowed down their list of potential new programs to choose from, they now need something that’s going to seal the deal for them. A great way to help in the decision-making process is to have blogs on your website that provide the reader with tips, tricks, and demos of ways in which the program can be used in a unique way. Have employees or clients showcase their favorite part of the program and how they use it to manage their social media. Being able to see this connection and relate it back to their everyday tasks in the office will help when it comes to making a decision.
How to Get Millennials to Read Your Blog Posts
Prospects of all ages, including millennials, seek valuable blogs that answer their questions and give them tips on using the product being discussed. They want the information to be laid out for them in a digestible way that's easy to read. If the content is able to be presented in a short-form blog post, then keep it short and sweet. If it's a more complex topic that requires a more detailed explanation, then structure the blog post so that it organizes the information in a way that makes it easy for the reader to locate specific details.
As more of the millennial generation become decision makers and influencers in the B2B market, it’s important to create blog posts with them in mind. It’s common for these millennial decision makers to seek the opinion and recommendations of others in their industry, in addition to conducting the research themselves. It’s important that you have blogs on your website that cover general marketing information, so they begin to see you as a trusted resource for when looking for insight into their positions and tasks they handle regularly. But your blogs can also help these decisions makers see the benefits of your product or service and how it relates to them.
Marketing to Millennials Through Blog Posts
Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts, who are strangers, than advertisements and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites, according to HubSpot research. Millennials are known for spending a great deal of time researching online before making decisions. Marketing to millennials through blog posts is just one way for your brand to build a trusted relationship. By including the right information in the right format, you can help them to see the benefits of your brand in a different light.