Many questions about millennials can be answered by understanding the environment in which they grew up and operate in today.
Millennials have had access to technology their entire lives. As a result, they have shorter and shorter attention spans. They’re facing increasingly difficult economic and work-life boundaries, high education costs, a large aging population burden looming and a healthcare crisis. They’re under stress, constantly multi-minding, and highly web and mobile savvy.
Reaching millennials can be difficult, but it is possible to successfully engage this generation. Here are five tactics campaigns and groups can employ to drive engagement:
Engage online first and then go offline.
Millennials live much of their social life online, but prefer to have face-to-face interaction in important matters such as engagement around candidates, voting, and organizing. Trust is important to millennials. But at decision points, they need to read human responses to see how honest they are and to see if it's worth it or not for them to engage. Attract them online with effective video content first, then invite them offline.
Captivate with high-quality, short video content.
Millennials have been trained that content and news comes to them fast and will be short and to the point. This generation doesn’t wait in line or suffer boring videos. Make your videos captivating, fun, and not the typical political ad. Keep the video to less than two minutes and share your story in an authentic way.
Create a genuine message.
Know what you stand for. Honesty, transparency, and humility are the most ideal personality traits for this generation. Create a genuine brand and message by not trying to be cool but by being real. Tell your story in a vulnerable way and allow voters to connect with you through a compelling narrative. If a story is manufactured, the millennial audience can tell. Hello, reality TV.
Be more inclusive and collaborative to encourage buy-in.
Collaboration has become a critical selling point that has defined the development of new environments catered towards this generation. They want to be part of the system, consulted on policies and solutions, and learn along the way. Crowdsource tactics, solutions, and ideas and then bring those ideas into your campaign or platform. When they are part of a team and feel like they have a stake, millennials become much more engaged and ultimately your biggest advocates.
Curate social media activity and content.
Make social sharing visually compelling. For a millennial, they’re going to be posting on Snapchat and Instagram so it’s important to curate good visuals — both for in-person events and in sharable native content. At events, make sure to have a quirky and colorful step-and-repeat area. The better the image for your young supporters, the more likely it’ll appear in their feed, and get likes on social media.
Jamie Crain is the chief operating officer of NewFounders.