The talk around town as of late seems to be, “How do I engage millennials with my content”. After much research, I noticed that many of these articles written about millennials, are not in fact written by them. For some reason, those who belong to Gen X or the Baby Boomer generation seem to think they know all about the mysterious members that make up Gen Y.
Let me ask you this: Would you tell someone what their favorite meal or beverage was? Would you tell someone what their favorite pass-time was? Would you tell them what emotions they are feeling, or what their motivations are as a person? No, you wouldn’t. You might ask them for their opinion, but you can’t really speak for them because you are not them.
Starting to see where I’m getting at?
As a millennial, I still cannot speak for every millennial (because that is a generalization and all people are different) but I can share my general understanding of things with you.
In terms of this particular article, I’m going to focus on how you can create visual content geared towards millennials, or in other words, a millennial infographic
Making an Infographic for Millennials
Here’s the thing. Millennials pay for a lot more online content than you think. We might not pick up the newspaper as frequently as our parents, but over 40 percent of millennials surveyed admitted to paying for online content. In fact, the average millennial gets 74% of their news and information from online sources. For you, this is great news because it means you can wheel us in with engaging content- and infographics are great for that.
So what kind of content should you include in your infographic to really draw us in?
Focus on the issues that matter
Millennials care about social and economic issues. A lot. The top three issues that are on the minds of the majority of millennials are affordable tuition, making jobs and helping the poor. So if you can somehow integrate one of these issues and show how your business helps improve these circumstances, you might just be one step closer to winning us over.
Write in a 6th grade voice
Take a look at the content we read most frequently. We like Buzzfeed articles, we spend a lot of time on Reddit and Medium and we read a lot of blogs in general. Why? Because the language is easy to digest and means we can intake a lot more information faster. Typically, articles written at a 6th grade level receive 25% more engagement. It’s not because we can’t read academic level materials, it’s because we just want to read more and learn faster. In fact, more millennials have a college degree than any other generation, according to an economics study by the White House. So make sure the copy you include in your infographic is concise and to the point.
Additionally, speak TO your audience. Try to avoid writing in third person. Use I, me, you. We like that! It makes us feel like we’re getting to know you through your content.
Try to incorporate this into the copy of your infographics if you choose to include any text at all.
Use gifs and funny pictures
We are the generation that can have an entire conversation through emojis, gifs, and memes. Why? Because images speak louder than words. By incorporating funny memes or images that we can relate to in your infographics, you might touch our heartstrings on a deeper level.
In an infographic we made about online dating, we used emojis to convey the survey results. Here is the infographic.
Touch on trending topics
If you want millennials to notice your content, try to find a way to integrate your evergreen content with trending content. For instance, when the new Star Wars movie came out, my team created an infographic about design trends used in Star Wars which was hugely popular among millennials. Here is another example of one that we did on Game of Thrones, which got picked up by Distractify (a popular site among millennials).
The point is, find a topic that is trendy and current. Do your research or ask the millennials you work with, what they find interesting. We are online all the time, even when we get home from work. Chances are we are on Tumblr, YouTube or Facebook and getting little snippets of popular and newsworthy stories the moment they are released.
Make it look nice
We are the least likely to judge a person by their skin tone and appearance, but the most likely to judge a book by its cover. It’s not because we are pretentious and vain, it’s because we appreciate good design aesthetic. If your infographic design is overly wordy, and the theme doesn’t make sense, we will not share it. We are huge advocates for style and many of us have a natural eye for design. Make your infographic look good. Follow this guide on infographic design, or hire someone who knows what they are doing. Get a second opinion about your chosen aesthetic. What you might think looks nice could look like garbage to someone else.
It makes sense why so many publications keep talking about “How to engage millennials”. Afterall, we are the generation that spreads the most content online. We are the most likely to comment on a post, or share an infographic on Facebook. By creating targeted content for us, you have a better chance of transforming us into advocates for your brand. Ask yourself whether the infographic you are creating will strike an emotional nerve with us and get us talking. After all, why do you think Trump is getting so much press? It’s because we all think he’s either completely ridiculous or completely on point (personally I’m not sure if there is a middle ground). We give attention to that which makes us go “OMG!” or “WTF?”. If you can do that, you’re one step closer to our hearts, and two steps closer to our wallets.