Millennials are a hugely popular but notoriously generalized target audience.

For years, marketers have struggled to accurately define this enormous group of consumers, instead relying on the stereotypes that surround them. But with ages spanning from 21 to 34, millennials have an abundance of different life experiences, interests and behaviors that make them unique

Our latest research reveals some interesting truths for marketers to refine their targeting in 2018 and beyond.

1. They really value entertaining content.

Entertaining content is key among this group for discovering, researching and advocating brands. This desire for entertainment is evident across social media too: Millennials are now more likely to see social media as a route to entertainment than a place to share personal updates.

4 in 10 say they use social media to find funny or entertaining content.

This group also enjoys consuming entertaining content on the move, emphasising the need for a mobile-first strategy.

This creates an opportunity for brands to engage millennials as they search for entertainment, by providing video content this group finds valuable and is willing to spend time watching. One way of doing this is through influencer marketing, allowing brands to reach a more segmented audience through interest-based targeting.

2. They still respond to influencers.

Despite trends pointing to the possible demise of influencer marketing as a result of over-saturation, this tactic is still proving effective for targeting millennials.

In fact, they’re 23% more likely to discover a brand through a vlog, 23% more likely via a celebrity endorsement, and 19% more likely through an expert blogger post.

All three over-indexes point towards influencers as an essential way to reach this group.

Influencer marketing also offers brands a possible means to sidestep the ad-blocking trend that is so prevalent among this audience, but steps must be taken to ensure the authentic factor plays a key role.

3. They research products on social media.

While search engines are first choice for brand research, it’s social media that is a clear favourite for product research among this group.

In fact, search and social are the top two research channels in each region except for North America, where consumer reviews (43%) reach second place.

Despite this, only 17% of millennial Instagrammers say a buy button on any social network would motivate them to buy online, showing that social media still fits within the top category of the marketing funnel.

This means having a well-rounded and optimized social media presence is essential for brands targeting millennials, with content that will guide them through the research phase and beyond proving particularly effective.

4. They find brands through online ads.

Half of millennials have blocked ads in the past month. This widespread use of ad-blockers is mainly due to ad frustration, with nearly half of this group saying they believe there are too many ads on the internet, and that they’re annoying or irrelevant.

Despite this, almost a third have discovered brands through ads they’ve seen online.

By combining strong consumer insight with tactics like programmatic ad buying, brands can ensure they’re engaging this audience in their preferred way. This should lead to bigger success with online ads, especially from a brand discovery point of view.

5. They still prefer broadcast TV.

Netflix may be near-synonymous with the act of watching TV in some circles, but millennials are more likely to have watched broadcast TV than they are subscription services in the past month on all devices (except games consoles and media streaming devices).

In fact, this audience still averages more daily time on linear TV than online streaming, and 8 in 10 are watching live broadcast TV.

Second-screening has also come into play here, with 78% of millennials doing so on mobile, mainly to check social media.

They use their second screen as a distraction from what is on screen, rather than as an extension of it, opening up the opportunity for brands to reach them during this time.

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