The fitness and nutrition publisher uses social media, video, and authentic influencers to attract a large-scale audience.
America’s 80 million millennials make up our nation’s largest generation. This population, widely described as those born between 1980 and 2000, is also LIVESTRONG.COM’s (Livestrong’s) biggest and fastest-growing segment. Recent data from comScore shows that 14 million U.S. millennials come to Livestrong every month for fitness, nutrition, and wellness advice.
So, how do we engage so many millennials and keep them coming back for more? Here are four of our tactics.
1. Hiring millennials. According to Pew Research and the U.S. Census Bureau’s data, millennials surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force last year. At Livestrong we’re committed to attracting and hiring millennials for roles in design, development, marketing, social media, and editorial. Having a culture that values millennials’ input in our editorial, product feature prioritization, and overall brand vision helps us develop content that is relevant and engaging to this audience. From running hand-lettered motivations about body positivity on our Instagram to making articles more entertaining by embedding animated GIFs, our content speaks to millennials in a voice that’s created by their cohorts. We also feature millennial fitness experts and social influencers in our Facebook Live workout videos and cooking demos whom fellow members of their generation identify with and, as the data shows, enjoy watching.
2. Being where millennials are. Livestrong’s brand presence extends into platforms and channels that, according to ComScore, are essential to people ages 16 to 36.
Take mobile, for instance. About 45% of millennials spend at least five hours a day on their smartphones, according to MFour Mobile Research. comScore’s “2016 U.S. Mobile App Report” also states that consumers between 25 and 34 years old spend, on average, about 86 hours on apps per month. This figure rises to about 94 hours among 18-to-24-year-old consumers.
Snapchat is another great example. Because Snapchat is the fastest-growing social platform for the youngest U.S. millennials, Livestrong launches daily shareable and screenshot-inspiring pieces to our Snapchat channel. Our snaps include short workouts, quick healthy recipe how-tos, and aspirational photos. By producing bi-weekly Snapchat takeovers with leading millennial fitness influencers, we grew our Livestrong Snapchat audience 10x in just over a month in August.
We also leverage Facebook Live. According to an article by Social Media Today, Facebook users spend three times longer watching live video than video that was pre-recorded. As a result, we produce two to three Facebook Live videos per week. Additionally, we created a Facebook Live Coast-to-Coast Influencer program through which we bring geographic and ethnic diversity to our audiences. For example, Miami-based fitness mentor Lisa Morales made a video on how to stay healthy and fit in fall and winter—a piece of content that received more than 400,000 views and reached more than one million people.
3. Listening to millennials and creating a personal, inspirational connection. According to a study conducted by Forbes and Elite Daily, 75% of millennials say it’s either “fairly or very important” for companies to give back to society instead of just make profits .
At Livestrong, we strive to give back by helping members of our community improve their lives. Last year, for example, our MyPlate Calorie Tracker app users lost more than 20 million combined pounds. We also offer 24/7 support forums and a dedicated Facebook Group that encourage our community members to make healthier choices. In the forums, our members voice the diet and fitness questions on their minds (such as “Which Sports Drinks Are Best Before or After a Workout?”). Our editors and writers participate in the community to provide information and advice and better understand our audience.
In addition to listening to communities, we indirectly analyze what our audience members are telling us, such as by looking at their content consumption and behavior on our site and by using data from Google Analytics, daily automated reports from our Business Insights team, and Facebook’s own insights analytics platform.
4. Making content useful, simple, relatable, and shareable.
Millennials are constantly on-the-go and seeking hacks and tips to save time and address real-life issues through search and social media. To address millennials’ needs for quick and healthy recipes, Livestrong created the ‘Simple. Healthy. Eats’ Facebook food video series. Our minute-long, fun, inventive, colorful stop motion food videos for Two-Ingredient Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes, Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Roasted Carrot Hummus, and Cauliflower Pizza Crust have more than 4.5 million views with more than 12 million people reached, primarily women aged 18-24.
By following these guidelines, Livestrong has created an authentic health and wellness brand that successfully attracts a large-scale, fast-growing and enthusiastic millennial following.
About the author:
Jess Barron is VP and GM of LIVESTRONG.COM.