What Marketers Need to Know about Reaching the Centennial Generation

Aug 20, 2015 Marissa Toselli

Centennials, the generation that Business Insider comically defines as “a younger, better version of a millennial” have recently captured the attention of brands, publishers and quite frankly, the media in general. Born at the turn of the century, centennials are the first generation that experienced the full-fledged age of connectivity by having access to the internet since birth. What does this mean for marketers, communicators and publishers? Basically, it means we need to step it up.

But first, let’s take a step back to think about how millennials have transformed the media landscape in a shockingly short period of time. Impatience for detail has forced disruption – rendering traditional media tactics, marketing campaigns and advertising principles nearly obsolete. To provide some context, mobile represents 69 percent of total internet usage, 39 out of the 50 top digital news sites receive most of their traffic from mobile devices and Facebook now reaches more people than free TV. Our recently published eBook outlines more interesting stats on new age media consumption if you are interested in learning more. The new normal is snippets of news (think The Skimm or OZY), video clips and Snapchat stories. My colleague Caty Dickensheets recently shared a post on the consumption patterns of millennials. Take a look.

Today, centennials are teenagers with the ability to absorb more information than ever before – especially via social networks and apps. But the way we reach centennials is going to take some serious creativity. Though it’s always challenging to predict their habits, here are a few tips to consider as centennials continue to “age up:”

  • Get social: This may seem obvious, but your social identity is what will define your brand in the eyes of centennials. Get familiar with Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and YouTube. Instagram is the most important social channel among teenagers and attracts 300 million users each month. Additionally, get to know your audience by arming yourself with social intelligence. Platforms like Brandwatch can analyze millions of online conversations and influence smarter business decisions from geotargeted research and media campaigns to customer service. As preferences shift, keeping a pulse on conversations in your space is key.
  • Tailor your content: Mobile is rapidly changing consumption—we spend roughly 2.6 hours each day using the Internet on our mobile phones. Intake is changing as well—small screens call for less text and more imagery. Make your content engaging to mobile users by trimming it down and packaging it in an accessible way.
  • Be nimble and try new things: Trends will come and go, but it will pay off to understand them and to be able take swift action if needed. Centennials will be drawn towards innovative brands that are constantly evolving with the times. Take the time to explore campaigns, social channels and content that make sense for you – and test it out!

Centennials are ready to carve out their own place in the world, particularly when it comes to engaging with content. Are you ready for the “next generation of youth?”

Topics: Facebook, Social Media, Mobile

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