It's official – social media has overtaken email as the mechanism for sharing content among millennials. That's the word in a new survey from SDL, a provider of content management, analytics, social intelligence and translation.
The global survey, "Content Finds the Customer," is the third in a series from SDL called "Five Truths for Marketers." It found that six pieces of content are now being shared through social media to every five pieces shared through email.
It is yet another piece of evidence that marketers should emphasize social when targeting content at millennials. Social networks are also now the dominant means of content discovery for that age group — over customizable newsfeeds, email and search engines.
"The knowledge that social is dominating the content landscape is key for marketers to keep in mind as they develop content," SDL Chief Marketing Officer Paige O'Neill told CMSWire.
"Shareability," of course, has become a key value for content marketers. O'Neill advises that marketers "grab the attention of their customers with content that is timely and applicable to them in order to encourage consumers to pass it along to others who may also find it intriguing."
Another takeaway from SDL is that content should be able to be quickly consumed on any device. The survey quoted a recent Forrester study (fee charged) that showed the most trusted kinds of content included peer reviews, natural search results and brand websites.
O'Neill points out that millennials are a key target demographic for brands because of their buying power — not just today, but in the future. "The preferences and behaviors of the millennial generation," she said, "are also significantly different from other demographics and are rapidly evolving, given millennial preferences for digital engagement."
Other key takeaways from the survey:
- "Hyper-targeting is the new norm," with Millennials expecting content tailored to them and their needs. This includes personalized social networks, customized news feeds or individualized music streams.
- Speed of response from a brand is important to this group, such as chat-based online tech support.
- US consumers between the ages of 18 and 36 are checking their smartphones an average of 43 times a day and if you send a Millennial an email, they likely see it that day or even the very moment you sent it. It's part of the profile of the "always connected."