I was getting my
grey-covered hair done with my long-time stylist the other day, and I asked her a few questions. To note, she is both a publisher’s and advertiser’s prime demographic: She (prime No. 1) is a Millenial (prime No. 2), and in a fantastic income bracket (prime No. 3). She is cool, travels, and lives an alternative lifestyle.
She is all the things that make most advertisers drool – and is the owner of the eyeballs that content providers are clamoring for.
Now, it is said that great truths come from bartenders and taxi drivers. Personally, I include stylists in that statement as well.
“So how do you get your news?” I ask. Her answers lead me to realise how much we, as an industry, have to do if we want to not only keep up with her, but keep up with the people who “get” her, already have her attention, and are going to fight to keep it.
- “I have a news app that pushes alerts to me.” She shared that she doesn’t actively go and search for news, but has instead an app she likes that tells her “what’s happening.” The key here: She wants it pushed to her.
She’s asking for the basic “what happened today” information in regard to the state of the world. Her desire for information goes much further than our previous generations of newspaper readers who consumed content that was mostly focused on local.
Millennials know the world is more than their five square miles of home base – and they want to know what is happening.
Work still left for our industry: This points to an interesting phenomenon that I’ll call “the non-seekers.” If they aren’t going to search for your content, you need to make sure you create vehicles to curate the news for them, capitalising on your reputation and trustworthiness.
The app she uses is a global news app – and she chose it because it is a news source she identifies with, and she knows the quality of the information and their political slant will keep it to the news, without the views she doesn’t agree with. She is asking them to curate the happenings – in line with her views – and send it to her. Interesting. She wants the facts, but tailored to her views.
- “I watch television for my local news.” I asked her how she gets the details about what is happening locally, and she said she watches the local news each night for about 30 minutes. That catches her up on anything big locally, and “all the little news nuggets basically circulate every 30 minutes anyway,” she says.
The interesting piece here is this is also a push. She puts on the television, and it delivers the nuggets to her– she’s not seeking it out – and it is video. Again, as a non-seeker, she trusts the local news media to curate and push the information to her on what happened in her local area.
Work still left for our industry: Video is the future. We’re seeing it on Facebook, YouTube is bigger than ever before, and there are Vimeo, Vine, Quartz, and others. Video is the new medium for quick (and sometimes fun) snacks of information – and it’s designed mainly for consumption on mobile/tablet devices.
If your journalists aren’t journalistically platform agnostic — meaning they can’t write about something for print, post about it online for breaking news, tweet about it with photo/video, or video post about it in general – you need to start thinking about what they’re going to do with all that spare time writing for audiences that left you for someone who can do these things.
- “I’m mainly on Facebook and Instagram feeds. I don’t look at anybody’s page, just read my feed.” My final question to her was about what she spends most of her time doing when she is on the Internet. She spends the majority of her time on her Facebook and Instagram feeds, scrolling. Note: She doesn’t go to individuals’ pages, she’s a non-seeker.
I politely informed her that the feed isn’t showing her everything everyone is doing and that there’s a whole algorithm curating her content for her based on what she reads, looks at, etc.
Her answer: “Oh I know, and I’m okay with it.”
Work still left for our industry: There are so many curation vehicles. There will be more and more curation vehicles flooding the market. Between the new Apple News, Facebook’s new content plans, and content aggregators, the jury is still out.
What we do know is that we need to be experimenting, we need to be curating, and we need to remain a trusted source of news and partner with trusted curators (or those that properly represent the values, mission, industry, content sector, etc.) to keep your content in front of the eyeballs you seek.
So we have our work cut out for us, and the answers on how to get there are likely with the bartenders and taxi drivers. Luckily for me, I find truth in the hands of the woman who tames my mane. Insights from a Millennial and my hair has never looked better. I’ll take it.