Mistake #25: Missing The Digital Content Connection To Millennials


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Music Festival Digital Content: A Vital Link To Millennials 

The summer music festival is a must-attend for Generation Y. So much so that in 2014 one in five millennials attended one of these events – many paying top dollar to travel significant distances for the experience. The music tour scene has become so much of a way of life for the millennial’s summer that it now dictates key markets as much as the mainstream summer fashion, television and film content and even lifestyle choices – in fact these single day to multi-day events are seen as a vacation for many.

In 2014, it was reported that 447 brands played a role in 300 music festivals worldwide. With so many brands searching for the perfect way to grab the millennial’s attention, brands need to be savvy about how they will stand out from the competition before, during and after the event. So how can these brands connect with their consumer in an already difficult, content-filled environment?


Think Digital Content


Millennials are the largest demographic of smartphone users, with 85 percent of both 18 – 25 year-olds and 25 – 34 year-olds owning mobile devices. This means that for brands and agencies looking to reach out to and engage with the millennial market, it is easier than ever.

And brands will not be alone in doing this.  According to eMarketer, brand advertisers will be spending over $100 billion worldwide in 2016, which is 51% of the overall digital market.  

As a first step, a brand needs to strategize how to get in front of the eyeballs of the millennial market. This is where digital content made specifically for smartphone devices is strong. Digital content through social media that is shared straight to the smartphone device is proving to be the most effective and well received by the millennial smartphone user.

Creating digital content for social apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat, Facebook and Pinterest is one of the most effective ways of accessing this target market. The most important thing to keep in mind when using social media platforms in advertising to reach out the millennial demographic is to focus less on selling and more on creating engaging content. It allows for brands to create visual content allowing for user experience that is authentic to the brand that can be easily repurposed, and shared to additional demographics.


Think Outside The Box

Millennials are no strangers to traditional event sponsorships, and are used to seeing the logos of the sponsoring companies plastered on stages and points of interest at events. But smartphones give the power to go beyond this, by allowing the brand to create an actual experience - often leveraging the actual artists themselves through actual or implied celebrity endorsements -  that integrates with the audience’s interests. Creating this experience that is both authentic to the brand and also relevant to the festival’s spirit proves to be the winning formula.


Presently, Snapchat is the most popular app among millennial users. With a 71 percent of users in the USA being part of the millennial demographic, the Snapchat app is proving to be head and shoulders above the other apps for marketing to millennials.  Due to this, Snapchat is reportedly charging $750 thousand dollars for a branded post (or "snap") that appears within the app's "Stories" feed.  And Snapchat doesn't even disclose user numbers!

In an effort to put its success to good use, the creative developers at Snapchat announced in January 2015 that they were going to provide a “Discover” page that brought ads to users from several well-known brands, including CNN, Yahoo News, ESPN, Cosmopolitan, and many more. The feature is designed with creative content in mind and aims to build a storytelling format that puts narrative first, and embeds advertising. By creating this feature Snapchat is allowing brands to target and reach young audiences, without overly saturating them.


Make The Content Useful And Empowering

Brands are aware that in order to stand out on the social radar it is important to truly connect with the millennial audience. Recently brands have chosen to engage with target demographics by bringing them useful content in form of mobile tools such as push notifications, and embedding information in music apps. Brands are acutely aware that they do not want to fade into the background among all the hype surrounding a music festival, and other content provided by festival apps. 


In order to connect with the target audience it is important to deliver quick content. Brands have successfully executed this in the past by way of streaming live from the event, showing behind the scenes tours, sharing ‘festival survival’ tips, sharing celebrity interviews, and the like. Heineken set a stellar example during Coachella 2014 by utilizing the Snapchat app to deliver quick content dropping hints and clues as to the talent attendees at the festival, and who would be performing in upcoming hours.

Learn about other options to keep in mind to secure celebrity endorsement such as paid celebrity tweets.


How Can A Brand Make A Festival Experience More Memorable?

Sponsoring brands which have logos plastered in specific areas at a festival are certainly generating a level of brand awareness, but this awareness doesn't always resonate with the event attendees nor does it live long past the event itself. Brands that think creatively outside of the box with their digital content strategy are generating results (and sales) within the millennial demographic. By creating digital and shareable content that engages with the consumer, the brand offers something more meaningful than just awareness and brings to life the actual festival experience for the attendee, and their hundreds of connected friends.

And don't forget that age-old tactic - give away branded items that are keepsakes, complete with your brand to be memorialized for the weeks and years ahead.

Creating And Activating The Plan

To get started with not only a music festival plan but the digital content ideation to support, consider partnering with an agency familiar with the space and with what other brands have done to succeed.  The agency should have an excellent relationship within Hollywood and the music industry - one and the same – and the knowledge of who to work with, and who to skip over. Having your hand held throughout the planning and activation process, and being provided those extras that would never even have been thought of by the brand management team, make the price of outsourcing truly worthwhile.

Also keep in mind to create a digital content creation budget, to enable the brand to extend the on site presence into the hands of young fans around the globe.

Before you spend another dollar on traditional advertising, start thinking about ways to make your marketing more engaging to consumers.  Watch our video to learn how to combat common advertising challenges marketers face daily! 

Learn solutions to 5 common advertising challenges