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The do's and don'ts of reaching the most sceptic audience of all: the millennials

In this interview, Rita Orschiedt, head of branded content at German news website ze.tt, reveals how you successfully reach millennials.

 

Rita Orschiedt ()

 

Rita Orschiedt is head of branded content at ze.tt. She joined ze.tt in January 2016 after having worked both in journalism and marketing for nearly a decade. At ze.tt, she is now solely responsible for branded content.

She has written pitches for more than 100 clients and helped to make ze.tt a profitable start-up of Zeitverlag by this year. Her mission is to enable the best experience for all sites: The editorial team, the client, the marketer, the agency – and most importantly to create responsible content for their Millennial users.

***Rita Orschiedt will be among speakers from around the world at Native Advertising DAYS from 8-10 November. As a member of FIPP, you are entitled to a discount of €100 discount on the ticket purchase to the Native Advertising DAYS event by using the promo code FIPP17. Get your discounted ticket here*** 

What is the most important lesson you have learned about creating content for millennials?

You can’t fool them! Millennials are the most sceptic audience group of all. If you try to create an unauthentic story without any added value for them, you have gained nothing. The more honest, entertaining, informing or creative the better are the chances that anyone is interested in your story and buys your stuff. Which doesn’t mean that the loudest, but the most relevant and smart attempt, win. The key is to write a real story which inspires them in some way or another. Authentic is the new professional.

What is the biggest difference between the way you address millennials with your content and the way you address other audiences?

Firstly, millennials are digital natives, they see through classic media and mostly ignore it (or click on it by incident). They are most likely using ad blockers and haven’t seen any banner for years. Brands start to understand that in order to reach them, it’s not just about being present. It’s about being relevant and telling relevant stories.

The difference to other audiences might be that millennials are "mobile" and have a much shorter attention span (shorter than a goldfish). So you better get to the point as quickly as you can. They are also more used to being involved as they grew up with social media so it’s important to ask them and learn from their feedback.

What do publishers, advertisers, and brands most often get wrong in their communication with millennials?

Quite often it’s more important to them to make sure their logo is seen as often as possible within an article. They don’t think user oriented, they lack courage. Users don’t care about what the brand wants! Furthermore, social media platforms are the most important information source for the young audience. Clients want to engage with their users there – by letting interns post irrelevant content. “Being” on social media is not enough. No strategy. No creativity. No added value. No community management. That can’t work. The key is to listen to your community and to post content, you’d like and share yourself.

Where do you see publishing for young people going in the future? What role will advertising play for them – and what will it take to get their attention?

Isn’t that on us? If we make great content that convinces brands and users, more trust – and money – will be put in sponsored stories than in banner ads at some point. Otherwise, it’s quite simple: millennials read or watch what interests them. So we have to always find out what they need in which situation on which platform and create specific, shareable content. Targeting tools and ways to make ads even more relevant and personal will certainly continue to be in the spotlight.

Why should attendees at Native Advertising DAYS absolutely not miss your presentation?

We created something truly unique in our rather traditional publishing house – a branded content unit for millennials. We failed, we learned, we failed again. We are filled with pioneer spirit willing to create good ad content. You’ll certainly feel that when you hear us talk. Our presentation is certainly not about discussing if native advertising is the future. The questions are: Where and how do we tell our brand stories at the moment and what is yet to come? How can we still maintain great quality while native advertising is increasing and standardising?

At Native Advertising Days 2017, we will talk about how we are doing that at ze.tt

***Meet and hear more from Rita Orschiedt at the Native Advertising DAYS in Berlin. Register now using your FIPP member promo code FIPP17 to receive a discount of €100***

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