Content Finds the Customer: SDL Global Study Finds Social Media Drives Content Discovery with Millennials

PRESS RELEASE: Marketers have come to realise that churning out mountains of content is not a sustainable or effective way to target its millennial customers. Fortunately, volume doesn’t matter but creating the right content and delivering it consistently – wherever your customers are – does. Millennials turn to social networks for content discovery first, drastically outranking online and customisable newsfeeds, according to a new global study by SDL.

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These global survey findings are featured in SDL’s third report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series titled “Content Finds the Customer.” This report helps marketers analyse their data to discover what content has the most impact and how to best present it to their target audience. The full report can be downloaded here.

In the midst of this content explosion, digitally savvy millennials are always connected to content and information. In fact, European consumers between the ages of 18 – 36 are checking their smartphones an average of 36 times a day compared with those living in the U.S. who look at theirs an average of 43 times a day. This shows that if a brand was to send a millennial an email, it’s likely they saw it that day or even the very moment it was sent. Millennials are constantly consuming content and then discerning and sharing what they find relevant on their social channels, so it’s important that the content finds them on the right social platform and in the way they are trying to engage.

To ensure marketing content is reaching the millennial generation, below are a few study results to keep in mind:

• Millennials embrace brands on social media: Five out of six millennials surveyed said they connect with companies on social media networks.
• European markets use fewer channels to discover content: Social networks dominate content discovery amongst millennials, drastically outpacing online and customisable newsfeeds, email and search engines. Facebook is the most popular platform for content discovery in the UK (52 percent), the Netherlands (38 percent) and Germany (44 percent) followed by YouTube and Twitter.
• Social media is overtaking email: On average, millennials share six pieces of content via social media a day, which has overtaken email with five shares a day as the de facto channel for sharing content.
• Hyper-targeting is the new norm: Millennials are expecting content that is tailored to them and their needs, whether it is personalised social networks, customised news feeds or music streams that constantly adjust to their changing tastes. 71 percent of survey respondents said they are most likely to listen to hyper-targeted music streaming services like Spotify over non-targeted listening options like local radio.
• A prompt reply is a must: Millennials consider speed of response important when they engage or communicate with companies. The study showed a preference for instant gratification approaches, such as online technical support via chat.

“Today’s customers are accessing a wide range of on- and off-line channels to start, stop, rejoin and jump engagement levels, carving out highly individualised paths to purchase,” said Paige O’Neill, CMO, SDL. “Our survey shows that social is the channel of first choice for millennials, and that will have broad implications for marketing as brands seek to build trust and relationships with this important demographic. We now have the ability to create and target content in context, which means content will truly have the ability to find the customer.”

The study sampled more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18 – 36) across the globe, with more than 300 respondents in each country including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands. It was conducted between January and April, 2014. The first data set sampled more than 300 millennials in the U.S. only. The complete results of the first data set of the study can be found here.

About SDL

SDL (LSE: SDL) allows companies to optimise their customers’ experience across the entire buyer journey. Through its web content management, analytics, social intelligence, campaign management and translation services, SDL helps organisations leverage data-driven insights to understand what their customers want, orchestrate relevant content and communications, and deliver engaging and contextual experiences across languages, cultures, channels and devices.

SDL has over 1,500 enterprise customers, over 400 partners and a global infrastructure of 70 offices in 38 countries. We also work with 72 of the top 100 brands. For more information, please visit www.sdl.com.