With more young professionals, such as Millennials and Gen Zers, seeming glued to their phones and laptops, you’d think a safe assumption to make would be that these 18 to 38 year olds are consuming more of your association’s content. But is this assumption actually true or is it just that — a logical thought?
The bulk of the pageviews your marketing team is seeing are not likely coming from younger readers. Instead, most of your association’s readership is likely coming from your core membership, which tends to be comprised of Boomers and Generation Xers.
Associations produce and publish go-to, trustworthy, and credible content on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. From blog posts and newsletters to magazines and journals, the content is abundant and provides the latest insights into a respective profession, specialty, or industry. However, just because this content exists doesn’t mean that young professionals will take the time to seek it out or read it.
As a young professional, I can tell you that we need to be wowed by content or risk us scrolling over, clicking through, or choosing to ignore it altogether. While each Millennial and Gen Zer has their own preferences, consider the below tips for writing content that is sure to catch the attention of a young professional.
1. Use eye-catching headlines
With an influx of content available to read, we’ve all become prone to scanning headlines. Headlines should be short, informative, and hook the reader right away. Consider utilizing more search engine optimization (SEO) terms in your headlines to better help your content show up on “For You” pages/suggestions from apps, as well as rank higher on Google searches if readers don’t directly visit your website. Don’t forget, headlines may be the only content that shows on an RSS feed so ensure your titles make readers want to click and engage.
2. Keep content short
Young professionals are constantly on the go, literally and figuratively. Naturally, content that is around the five-minute-read mark is easier to digest than something that may take 15 minutes to hours to read. Similarly, a piece of content that can be read within minutes on one’s phone will more likely be viewed right away versus long-form content that is recommended to be read on a computer screen or via a printed PDF.
Tip: If short-read articles or newsletters aren’t your association’s norm, consider testing them out in conjunction with longer pieces of content. For example, if your association recently released a whitepaper, consider creating a companion article featuring the authors in a Q&A about the release. You not only get a second piece of content for promotional purposes, but young professionals can quickly read the Q&A and determine if the whitepaper is something they wish to pursue further within mere minutes.
3. Write informative summaries
We all know that summaries summarize what is to come. For young professionals, it may only take reading the summary to realize the content isn’t something worth reading further. To attract the attention of a young professional, your content should include a summary that will quite literally make us stop scrolling and click to read more. Similar to headlines, summaries should hook the reader within a sentence or two.
4. Consider including key takeaways
Depending on the piece of content, it may be beneficial for you to include a section of key takeaways at the top of your piece. This not only allows readers to assess what is to come but it allows them the also skip ahead to sections or pieces of content that sound interesting to them. Be sure to keep the takeaways short and only include the most prominent points from each subsection.
Tip: If possible, hyperlink the key takeaways to the individual sections in your article, newsletter, etc.
5. Pull out key information
Pull quotes, where key phrases or sentences are pulled out of the text and used elsewhere in the piece, can go a long way. Not only do they help break up chunks of text, they are also great ways to remind and emphasize key points.
Tip: If your association has a content hub or blog, consider programming social media share-out programs like ClickToTweet with your pull quotes so that readers can quickly share the quote and the piece’s URL with a premade social media post for their own channels/feeds.
This article is part of the “Musings from a Millennial” series from Monica Roselli.
Monica Roselli is in the Marketing & Communication Services unit at Smithbucklin.