If you’re struggling to find ways to connect to Millennial investors, it may be in your approach. Many of the tools you’ve used to appeal to Boomers and Gen X-ers over the past few decades no longer apply when it comes to your youngest set of investors, and relying on these standbys (or on unfounded assumptions about Millennials’ interests and investment approaches) can leave you losing readership. Read on to understand more about the attitudes and shared experiences that can drive the behavior of many Millennials to help you create investment content that better appeals to this unique and often misunderstood generation.
Are Millennials investing?
There have been a number of studies conducted on the liquid savings and 401(k) balances of the average Millennial. While these studies are often released with ominous headlines bemoaning low savings rates or even negative net worths, the conclusions reached are often of limited use due to the wide span of ages covered in this demographic.
Since most agree the first Millennials were born in the early 1980s, with the last not coming along until the turn of the millennium (hence their nickname), many of the younger members of this generation may still be in high school — unlikely to have yet amassed much in retirement investments. On the other hand, many older Millennials are facing entirely different struggles, juggling their own hefty student loan balances combined with daycare or private school fees for younger children and sometimes even healthcare costs for aging parents.
This wide range of ages and personal circumstances, as well as the diverse obligations they’ve placed on otherwise disposable income, can make the creation of appealing and actionable Millennial investment content a real challenge. However, Millennials as a group are more interested in investing and better able to balance their financial obligations with saving for retirement than the average American. In a 2014 BlackRock survey, nearly half of Millennials reported an increased interest in investing over the past five years, compared with only about one in six members of their parents’ generation, and only about a third of the Millennials surveyed reported that it was “very hard” to balance retirement savings with other financial obligations.
One of the most surprising results of this survey was the revelation that 60 percent of Millennials — one percent higher than the U.S. average — had already begun to save for retirement. Although the U.S. average may be skewed by those who are already in retirement (and therefore not adding to their balances), the Millennial average is similarly skewed by the youngest members of this generation who aren’t yet out of high school or college. This means creating investment content that appeals to Millennials is key to success as this diverse generation continues to seek financial knowledge. [Tweet it]
What should you keep in mind when creating content to appeal to Millennials?
In their efforts to understand and better market to Millennials, financial firms and service providers have come to a few conclusions with regard to how and why Millennials invest.
As expected, social media and online research tools have taken the place of the once-vaunted face-to-face meetings or regular status updates by phone between an investor and his or her advisor. Some crowdsourced advice sites have become popular among novice investors seeking advice from those with more knowledge or experience — and with readers able to rate the accuracy of the advice provided by various contributors, investors can place a great deal of trust in those offering insight.
Millennials can also find their investment attitudes influenced by the experiences of their parents, as well as events that received significant media coverage during their formative years (like the Enron scandal for older Millennials and Bernie Madoff’s fraud for younger ones). As a result, many operate by the mantra “trust, but verify,” making it crucial to offer accurate and up-to-date information on your website. A single error could be seen as a breach of trust that renders suspect the rest of the information you provide.
The more of your content that is easily accessible electronically (this means making your website mobile-friendly if you haven’t already), the more likely you are to reach Millennial eyes. Pages with lengthy blocks of text or hard-to-view font and background combinations can be an instant turnoff.
Millennials also tend to have short attention spans (shorter than a goldfish, according to one report) — although this isn’t a bad thing when it comes to taking in a wealth of data in a brief amount of time, it also means creating a one-stop shop for a variety of investment needs (or links to the needs you can’t fulfill yourself) is more appealing than a site or blog that only serves a discrete purpose.
Finally, you’ll want to make your content easily shareable by embedding icons for any applicable social media sites — from content-heavy standbys like Facebook and Twitter to more niche sites like Instagram or even Snapchat or Whisper.
Follow these guidelines to create investment content that appeals to Millennials as this diverse generation continues to seek financial knowledge.
5-star writer Mary D is a content writer of more than 2,500 backlinked 400+ word blogs, press releases, articles, and how-tos on a variety of topics from commercial heating and air conditioning to personal injury law.
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