Why Visuals Matter for Engaging Millennial Audiences

Hurry! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Ah, you missed another one. Wait. I think you’ve got another chance! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… Sorry, you missed that one too.

What’s going on?

That’s the question many brands and companies are asking themselves in an age where the average person’s attention span fails to exceed 8 seconds. Furthermore, you’d be lucky if you got 15 seconds of viewing out of every visitor to your website. The truth of the matter is that our world has gone visual. Relying on text alone to communicate a message just doesn’t work anymore. And millennials respond to visually dismal websites and other digital components the way a food critic would respond to an Arby’s roast beef sandwich. Don’t miss another millennial customer, client, or consumer. Let’s discover why this generation remains important to marketing success.

Millennial presence continues to grow

By 2020, millennials will comprise 46% of the workplace. Currently, they make up approximately one-fourth of the U.S. population. The millennial mindset of collaboration, contribution, and life-long learning has transformed workplace environments, education requirements, and much more. This group of individuals was perfectly positioned to become the earliest adopters of the world’s most successful visual platforms.

They spend their time consuming visuals

The time it takes to watch Forest Gump 2 to 4 times. That’s how long your millennial audience peruses the web. Instead of chasing millennials where none exist, play in their playgrounds – Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest – and by their rules.

Millennials share frequently

When millennials share content, it reaches a network size 4 times larger than that of your typical baby boomer. According to an infographic from SocialTimes, millennials share memes nearly 55 percent more than the generation above them. This year, maximize the value of your millennial audience by creating share-worthy visual content on the social platforms they occupy.

Quick Visual Tips

Now that you’ve opened your eyes to the gravity of the situation, here is a list of the appropriate standards to test your visuals against for optimum millennial engagement:

1. Select visuals that serve a purpose

Research shows that visuals increase retention by 42%. But take that one step farther and implement the germane load of cognitive load theory. For example, if you are giving a presentation to a room of millennials about a dog, the slide needs to have a photo of a dog on it.

2. Create dynamic content

Millennials prefer to participate in dynamic media sources. Use motion design and innovative illustrations to foster a narrative journey for your millennial audience. Face-to-face electronic communication is the preference of over 40% of millennials, so consider using a webinar to engage them.

3. Include more people

At the core of the millennial perspective on society is a desire to form connections. Join imagery and video of people with text that utilizes second-person pronouns such as “you” and “your” to resonate with millennials. To truly grasp the attention of the millennial generation, your visuals must tell a story. They must fulfill some entertainment aspect. Across all generations, millennials opt for entertainment content over any other genre.

With 65% of individuals on this planet identifying as visual learners, their inclusion in our content marketing strategies may never end. But as we move into 2017 – just 3 years shy of millennial domination in our offices and economy – brands and companies will have to shift their emphasis to visual elements with a storytelling approach. It could very well be the only way to keep this generation on the hook.

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