It’s always jarring to see stats about how much time we all spend in front of screens. Hopefully a lot of this time is spent consuming, or perhaps creating, great content. In fact, Nielsen’s Q1 2016 Total Audience Report indicates U.S. adults spent 10 hours and 39 minutes each day consuming media, and Millennial content consumption can be up to 18 hours per day. Yet it’s important to recognize that Nielsen also shows that the top 20% of users account for 87% of PC streaming, 83% of smartphone video consumption, 76% of PC internet usage, and 71% of the time spent on TV-connected devices. Some of these “super-users” are certainly Millennials, but definitely not all considering there are 82 million Millennials with a spending power of $1.4 trillion by 2020.
Just as each generation can be subdivided into personas, Millennials have been grouped into six segments by “The Millennial Consumer” report. These distinctions can be helpful when considering user journeys, language choice, and other Millennial content decisions, and were defined as:
“It’s also a good idea to avoid targeting the ‘Millennial’ audience as a general niche. Instead, narrow your engagement by targeting highly specific niche audiences, and interacting with your users on an individual level whenever possible.” — Forbes
Fractl and BuzzStream narrow down Millennial content consumption through the hours they spend engaged with online content per week, revealing:
In fact, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) spend the most time engaging with online content. But that’s for another fact sheet. This time is often split between two screens, since Consumer Technology Association found that 88% of Millennials regularly engage in second screen behaviors when watching video content. Of the time Millennials spend online, Facebook accounts for about an hour — mostly through their app. Yet the highest concentration of Millennials comprise the following app communities:
And when is this Millennial content consumption occurring during a 24-hour cycle? The two most popular slots are late morning and late evening, with 35% of Millennials online between 8 p.m. and midnight and 17% reachable from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Yet again, these “most popular” times statistics must be analyzed further since the same Millennials might be online during both time slots. In addition, 36% of Millennials admit to going online “almost constantly” — meaning many can be reached throughout the day — with Generation Xers (30-49) right behind them with 28% saying they, too, go online “almost constantly” according to Pew Research Center.
As for the preferred way Millennials want to consume their news, 65% rely on TV, 59% the internet, 24% the newspaper, and 18% the radio. If they’re doing B2B research, MarketingProfs shares that 25% turn to search engines, 20% to a vendor’s website, and 17% to peers or colleagues. Social media, salesperson, and industry publications came in fourth with about 11% each. The study goes on to share that their preferred format for B2B content is, in order: video, case study, white paper, brochure, webinar, and infographic.
However, Millennial Marketing reveals that the top Millennial websites overall are Youtube, Spotify, BuzzFeed, Elite Daily, and Amazon. The leading social networks among Millennials are Facebook — which is reaching almost 100% of Millennials in the U.S. — with Instagram coming in at 63%, Twitter at 55%, and Linkedin at 54%.
As for post-consumption Millennial behavior, Chris Ertel of Kaleidoscope shares that “Millennials are three times more likely to talk about a brand over social media than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. They are 10 times more likely to blog about products they like and twice as likely than older consumers to post peer reviews on products.” Ertel adds that their tech savviness and sharing tendencies cause them to be influencers to older generations who look to them for product and service advice as well as a model for what their consumption behavior should be.
As the Millennial generation begins to move into the executive space, they will be looking more at a trusted colleague to find what they need, not merely more video, interactive tools, or “cool” social experiences. Personal touchpoints are key, but business content still must provide real insight and inspiration versus blatant product marketing. That point will never change. — Heather Taylor, The Economist’s Director of Content Strategy
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