Five tips to help brands connect with young people

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NMPi will be taking to the YMS17 stage on day 2, talking about connecting with young people via the moments that matter in their lives. Damien Bennett, Business Strategy Director at NMPi gives his top 5 tips to help brands connect with 16-24s.

A key question facing today’s marketers is how to connect with a young audience.  Increasingly research is suggesting that young people are less engaged with traditional advertising than ever before, with 20% of 16 to 24 year olds currently using ad blocking tools.  This lack of engagement with advertising runs counter to the growing influence that young people have in building and supporting brands, whether that be through the rise of the YouTube celebrity or young people’s willingness to share branded materials through social platforms

As an agency we have worked with a wide range of brands to help them re-engage with young audiences.  Through our experience running numerous campaigns we’ve established 5 tips to help brands connect with today’s youth.

  1. Focus on visuals – Younger generations favour images and video when digesting content.  The rise of image sharing platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat coupled with huge growth in video consumption have largely been driven by younger audiences.
  2. Think native – With a generation that is so adept at avoiding and ignoring ads, advertisers need to think more creatively about how they reach today’s youth.  Ads that complement the user experience, such as native, are a great way for brands to reach young audiences without being seen as a hindrance to their overall experience.
  3. Provide useful content – Young people don’t like feeling that they are being sold to.  It is therefore crucial that advertisers use content that is useful to the user and creates a tangible relationship between brand and audience.  Providing useful content is key to ensuring that the youth audience is willing to share it with their friends.
  4. Exhaust social – It is very easy for advertisers to be overly focused on Facebook as a social channel.   Whilst Facebook still plays an important role in young people’s online experience, increasingly they are using simplified image-led channels such as Instagram and Snapchat to engage with brands online.  With this in mind it is important that advertisers not only target a more exhaustive list of social channels, but ensure that the content they do create is tailor made for the channel that they are using.
  5. Be patient – It can be easy to assume that as younger audiences are targeted quicker returns can be expected.  In truth, young audiences do far more than make impulsive buys, and by targeting young people in effective ways advertisers have an opportunity to build and cement brand relationships that last well beyond adolescence and young adulthood.

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