Studies show that millennials are the undisputed leaders in the consumption of digital content. They spend more time on social media, watch more videos online, and surf the web more than any other generation. In other words, millennials are very much digital natives. For them, consuming content is second nature.
Despite the fact that there are only a handful of resources that advise business leaders on how to create content that resonates with their generation, there are even several articles that blame that generational cohort for killing everything. This includes home ownership, golf, beer, and many more that Business Insider even created a full list of the things the millennials have supposedly killed. But with all the claims and blame, none of them acknowledged the difference of millennials in terms of what engages them, speaks to their passions, or inspires them.
With this gap in mind, I would like to share my tips for creating compelling brand content for millennials, especially in the Philippine context. At TaskUs Philippines, I oversee the creation of all our photos, videos, posts, and campaigns which you can find on our Facebook page: all of which exclusively target the coveted millennial demographic.
Here are my five tips for creating great millennial-friendly content.
Give them a voice.
From a digital marketing perspective, this means you should actively hire millennials to be part of your team, so they can help you craft an authentic, young voice.
You’ll see this in full practice with my team at TaskUs: There are many team members in their early to late-twenties, even in positions of leadership. The results are evident in how authentic some of our best content comes across. For example, in a video we did for Heroes’ Day last year, our young team members conceptualized a short film about a TaskUs teammate, fighting through heartbreak. The video got 1.7 million video views, the bulk of which came from millennials who could relate with her story.
Throw job descriptions out the window.
Picture your standard organizational chart that illustrates how departments are arranged and who reports to whom. If you only accept content ideas from those under your designated creatives team, then you are already limiting yourself on the number of ideas you can come up with. On the other hand, if you open your content to everyone across the organization, you will generate exponentially more ideas which will give you an opportunity to find the perfect one.
This ideal begins by letting people operate outside of their job title and description, if they are inspired to do so. We experience this all the time at TaskUs. Who wrote, produced, and filmed our Heroes Day video that netted 1.7 million views, for instance? A team member who belongs to partnerships and public relations, not the creatives or social media team.
Pull, don’t push.
We believe that millennials like to be self-directed and choose which types of brands they want to interact with. As such, we have found that trying to hard sell or do any kind of push marketing just doesn’t work with them. Instead, what we should try to do is to show them TaskUs’ unique culture.
This contrast is most evident in our language wherein we avoid any pull marketing type phrases like “contact us now” or “inquire today” or “join us.” Instead, we like to tell stories both fictional and flash documentaries, that demonstrate what distinguishes TaskUs as not only a workplace, but as a culture.
Here is an example from our current campaign for Valentine’s Day. Rather than stuff the video with many different call to actions pressuring them to apply to our company, we adopted an unconventional medium to tell the story of one of our team members.
Don’t neglect the in-person element.
While you are creating digital content, your means of collaboration should not only be digital. While apps like Slack and Facebook’s @Work are beneficial for execution, you should still do the lion’s share of your brainstorming in-person, as a group.
We do this formally at TaskUs once a month through our regular huddles. Our team, which is spread out across our multiple offices in greater Metro Manila, convenes at a single location. We spend the day sharing great content, including everything from our favorite movies and series to viral articles and videos. This process is generative: through sharing and appreciating content that moves us, we are able to think of ideas that may also work well for our audience.
One example of the kind of zany but effective idea that can emerge from casual, in-person brainstorming is Freaky Friday. One of our team members suggested that we have leaders immerse themselves in another role at our company to subtly showcase our unique culture and our workspaces. The series was a hit—perhaps the most memorable episode so far is the video of our SVP of South East Asia Robert Hayes spending the day as a team member of TaskUs Titans, our very own eSports team (yes, this meant he spent the day playing DOTA for the video!)
Build your castle in the sky.
The same rule that applies to business applies to content: execution is everything. Great ideas do not mean anything unless you write, shoot, or produce them. To create an environment that emphasizes taking an idea through the full course of conceptualization, production, revision, release, and promotion, each concept must be accountable to a single person. While someone must approve their work for quality control, they are encouraged to be as creative as possible—we want them to go so far as to challenge our own brand guidelines. This notion circles back to my first point: You must not only give millennials a voice, but also the freedom to sing.
Addi Dela Cruz is the Head of Brand, Environment for Communications & Design at TaskUs, LLC.