From an A-list celebrity tagging his new designer duds on Instagram to your next-door neighbor raving about her favorite new meal-delivery service on Facebook, most everyone uses social media to talk about brands.
But how different generations of people create, consume, and share this type of user-generated content varies widely. To help marketers better understand the divide, earned content platform Olapic conducted a survey to find out how consumers of different ages—especially millennials and baby boomers—view UGC.
While their responses varied, one thing was widely agreed upon: “76 percent of consumers believe the content that average people share is more honest than advertising from brands,” said Olapic co-founder Pau Sabria. “That should serve as a wake-up call for brands to start exploring the use of authentic content in ads and marketing to build trust and create a more meaningful dialogue with their customers.”
Who are the heroes of today?
Today’s 20 and 30 somethings are socially conscious activists and advocates. Millennials don’t need heroes, because they are a “hero generation”.
For marketers, Millennials are difficult to reach and engage because of their fragmentation, diversity and corporate skepticism. They’re quick to run from brands, corporations and organizations that aren’t genuine or relatable. They want brands which share their values, which give them a platform to make a difference.
And here’s the opportunity for marketers. In a world where traditional institutions are crumbling, brands can fill the gap with their own citizenship and social purpose agendas. Affiliation with a cause is more important to this generation than to any previous; it’s not about what you sell, but why you sell it. And how you sell it too.