We spend a lot of time in front of screens consuming content—social media, video, ads, news, and more. In fact, Nielsen’s Q3 2018 Total Audience Report indicates that U.S. adults spent 10-and-a-half hours each day consuming media. Millennials spend even more time with content, consuming up to 18 hours per day. They also have a lot of spending power—an estimated $1.4 trillion across a group that’s 82 million strong

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:

  • Hip Millennial (29%)
  • Millennial Parent (22%)
  • Anti-Millennial (16%)
  • Gadget Guru (13%)
  • Clean and Green (10%)
  • Old-School (10%)

Millennial segments

How Millennials Interact With Content

Fractl and BuzzStream narrow down Millennial content consumption through the hours they spend engaged with online content per week, revealing:

  • 20% spend 20+ hours
  • 12% spend 15-20 hours
  • 16% spend 10-15 hours
  • 23% spend 5-10 hours
  • 18% spend at least 5 hours
  • 8% spend 0-5 hours

Hours Millennials Spend Online

When are Millennials consuming content? 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. — Moz

More than a third are online all the time. And, 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.” — Pew Research Center

They often split their time between two screens. The Consumer Technology Association found that 88% of Millennials regularly engage in second-screen behaviors when watching video content. — Consumer Technology Association

Millennials are more likely to talk about a brand over social media. They are 10 times more likely to blog about products they like and twice as likely as older consumers to post peer reviews on products. 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. — Content Science Review

What are Millennials Consuming?

Millennials are still spending a lot of time on long-standing social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. And, they are

Facebook and YouTube rule the roost. The leading social networks among Millennials are Facebook and YouTube, with Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter following as favorites. — emarketer

Television is still relevant, but Millennials are more likely to get digital news. According to Nielsen, “digital and mobile are key for news consumption among Millennials.” “Digital only news consumption among Millennials is 4x higher than adults 38 and older.” Still, more than half of millennials are watching national TV news. — Nielsen, Millennials on Millennials: TV and Digital News Consumption

They turn to search engines to research businesses. 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. — MarketingProfs

Opportunities for Companies

Not all millennials are the same. Companies need to merge their understanding of how to communicate with different millennial population segments with their knowledge of their target audience to create personalized experiences.  

Brands succeed when they gain cultural relevance. While the rise of crowdculture diminishes the impact of branded content and sponsorships, it has greased the wheels for an alternative approach called “cultural branding, researching and identifying ideologies that are relevant to Millennials and gaining traction in crowdcultures. — Harvard Business Review

Millennials appreciate thought leadership and expertise. This is your company’s chance to provide killer content that ranks highly in Google and show young consumers that you’re the industry buff. — HubSpot   

Millennials are savvy internet users. Keep in mind that 57% of millennials block ad content because it is too pushy. “We’re doing a lot of self-education and prefer it that way. We’re used to on-demand info. We’re skeptical, critical thinkers. We’re into transparency, and we want personalized experiences.” — Alex Rynne, Linkedin Associate Content Marketing Manager

Focus on providing a personal experience that resonates with your target market. A Millennial’s brand affinity lies in engagement—62% of Millennials say they are likely to remain loyal customers through consistent engagement with a brand. — Social Media Today

As they grow older, Millennials want expertise. They’re looking beyond 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. — Content Science Review

Bottom Line

When considering content for Millennials, avoid targeting the “Millennial” audience in general. Instead, understand that this generation is especially tech-savvy, connected, and more likely to share brand experiences. Narrow your engagement efforts by targeting highly specific niche audiences, and interacting with your users on an individual level.


The Author

Content Science partners with the world’s leading organizations to close the content gap in digital business. We bring together the complete capabilities you need to transform or scale your content approach. Through proprietary data, smart strategy, expert consulting, creative production, and one-of-a-kind products like ContentWRX and Content Science Academy, we turn insight into impact. Don’t simply compete on content. Win.

Last Updated: December 1, 2019

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