As a top editing, writing, and marketing company based out of Phoenix, Arizona, it’s our job here at Midnight Publishing to understand the ever-changing styles of readerships and how they absorb and acquire their content and information. One of the most recent shifts in reader content has been for those aptly named “Millennials”—anyone born in the 1980s to the 2000s. Millennials are currently taking over the workplace, social media and common culture with their innovative ideas of technology, information-sharing and what they find entertaining (i.e., YouTube videos of cats knocking things off counters versus a humorous satire in The New Yorker about a man and his umbrella).
After analyzing a variety of psychological reports, articles and our own experiences interacting with the current social media atmosphere and publishing industry, below are three of Midnight Publishing’s top tips on how best to reach Millennial readers today:
1. Be Interactive and Collaborative
As discussed in this article found at the Association for Psychological Science and written by Jeff Nevid, Millennials crave interaction. This age group grew up in a time of the internet, group-based video games, cell phones, texting, Facebook, and Reddit—Millennials have the ability to interact with anyone at any given time, period.
This has lent to a culture and desire for that same interaction with authors; no longer is a writer this far-off enigma who puts out a book a year and hides in their writing caves until the book signings; oh, no. Readers (and publishers!) demand social media presences by authors: Twitter profiles, Facebook pages, websites that are regularly updated with blog posts and scheduled appearances, and a persona of authenticity and approachability.
Acting fun, genuine and witty on social media is a fantastic way to build a readership and fan base with Millennials, with interactive options such as Twitter quizzes (inviting followers to answer your quiz questions), giveaways on Reddit where readers must discuss a favorite scene or character to be entered, Facebook discussion pages, or even a “choose your next scene” book. These and other interactive approaches are quite effective from a marketing standpoint.
2. Provide Smaller Chunks of Information on New Mediums
Dubbed “microlearning” in this Information Age article by Chloe Green, Millennials are notorious for their shorter attention spans. News and social media forums have evolved to cater to this, utilizing short bits of information with bullet points and descriptive titles that are tailored for “scanning” as opposed to huge blocks of content. Also, photo- and video-sharing mediums like Snapchat (look at it once and it’s gone), Vine (six-second videos) and Instagram seem to be the best ways to engage with readers, as Millennials respond to these minuscule flashes of content before moving onto something else.
The “downside” with this is that it means more work for you as an author/online personality—instead of writing one lengthy blog post that could hold readers over for a week or two, it’s more productive (and possibly time-consuming) to post Vine videos weekly or even bi-weekly, tweet regularly with topics that engage interaction, and schedule Facebook ads that invite readers to check out “book trailers” (similar to movie trailers, about a book’s premise) and free e-books/giveaways.
3. Focus on Topics of Diversity and Change
Millennials are, by nature, much more accepting of various sexualities, belief systems, and ethnicities, and many studies have found that they have a strong desire to address social, environmental and political issues for the greater good. With this in mind, consider writing books and content that include diverse characters from different races, sexualities, and religious backgrounds, with story arcs that include relevant world issues and focus on instigating change within the fictional setting.
In social media, it’s great to discuss important LGBTQ topics, equality and other political viewpoints that are “hot” at the moment. Your readers may not always agree with you, but many say that passionate engagement—positive AND negative—is better than none at all.
Contact Midnight Publishing’s award-winning team of publishing experts, editors and ghostwriters today to discuss getting your book published and receive tips on how to build your author platform. We’re based in Phoenix, Arizona, but serve clients all over the world. Midnight Publishing: trusted with over five million words since 2007.