Us millennials have grown up in a time of huge technological change and disruption – you only need to think about dial up internet and the Nokia 3310 to realise just how far we’ve come in a short time. We now hold enormous purchasing power, and there’s no doubt that most brands are constantly looking to how they can access the demographic best. Last week, I attended the Millennials Marketing Conference 2017, which brought together brands, CEOs, marketing and social media professionals to discuss the latest insights and research on millennial consumers. Here are the main tips and takeaways.

Video is king

I can vouch that I am mostly drawn in by content that looks great and is easily digested. Being visual consumers, the best way to grab our attention is through video content. Try opt for short-form videos where possible, and use motion wherever you can to bring the content to life. For example, you can make a still image more interactive with a slight bit of motion, i.e cinemagraph.

Connect emotionally

Content that pulls on the heartstrings of millennials or brings us to laughter tends to be the most compelling. At the conference, we learnt that a  useful tool to facilitate an emotion is music, which is sometimes overlooked particularly in short-form content. A study found that music was the most appealing content to millennials, with 70% stating they were engaged with this element of content. It’s also interesting to see that musicians are among the top influential figures to millennials on social, over other traditional celebrities like actors, models, television stars and athletes.

Create quality content

Gone are the days that taking a picture on your mobile phone is a reasonable option. We’re spoilt for choice and expect content to be top notch quality – we won’t bother with anything else. In order to stand out from the crowd, create content that is unique, inspiring, and even consider taking advantage of the latest gadgets such as aerial drone photography. Also, why not upgrade your mobile phone camera to a digital SLR to make your content crisper and more engaging. Try not to take the approach of “quick and dirty” as it is becoming less and less effective.

Be authentic

If there’s one thing we value the most, it is authenticity and rawness. An important lesson I learnt at the conference was to never discount your brand and stay true to your word. Stand for something, and don’t put something out you don’t believe in just because it’s on trend or fashionable to do so. We are often sceptical of ads, so try to stay clear of traditional sales messages and meet the audience in their domain to try to communicate on a personal level.

Collaborate with influencers

Collaboration in business is a huge trend this year, and influencer marketing is no exception. Influencer marketing is a useful tool to engage with millennials on a deeper, meaningful level, but only when done right. Endorsements from influencers can appear more authentic and trustworthy compared to traditional advertisements, but millennials are well aware of the relationships between companies and influencers. Ensure you engage those with real brand love and an authentic interest in what you’re selling and these relationships can be super valuable.  It’s best to view influencers as creative partners and consider collaborating to co-create content that’s unique, creative and connects with audiences in inspiring ways.