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BizReport : Advertising : August 22, 2012

How to use non-traditional ads to engage

Brands: if you're having trouble engaging younger audiences, especially Millinnials, it could be the type of advertising used. And that, if unchanged, can have detrimental effects on the brand. I recently chatted with Dailybreak about ways to engage this non-traditional audience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why is advertising to college-age consumers so difficult?

John Federman, CEO, Dailybreak: Today, college-age consumers are constantly on the go and have thousands of choices of how to spend their time online. They grew up in the digital age and have been conditioned to ignore traditional advertising.

They don't like being force-fed messages or told what to do; they want to make their own choices and feel empowered. Instead of interrupting their daily lives, advertisers need to fit in and lead them to find and connect with the messaging on their own. To stand out, advertisers need to create genuine content that college-age consumers can choose to consume on their own terms. The time and effort needed to cultivate relationships is worth it. Because while they are hard to reach, once college students love a brand, they can be an extremely powerful social force.

Kristina: How can targeting be used better on this demographic?

John: Targeting the college demographic can be done by getting inside their minds and learning what makes them tick. Find out what are they reading, what drives them and influences them, what makes them go to class, why they get involved in extra-curricular activities, and what apps are they are downloading.

Once you have this information, creating a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression is much easier to do. At Dailybreak, we combine this research with user data on our platform, such as topic choice and sharing behavior. We then use this information to target messaging to the appropriate users.

This demographic really does not want to feel "targeted" by advertisers. A much better strategy is to create content and experiences around topics and issues that interest them. They are much more likely to opt-in and be exposed to your messaging if it is wrapped in something fun and interesting.

Kristina: What have you done to 'bridge the gap' between your brand and the youth marketplace?

John: Dailybreak has been able to bridge the gap between brands and the youth marketplace by speaking their language and creating fun and interesting content around topics they enjoy. Users visit Dailybreak every day to have fun and learn things. They don't feel that as though they are the target of advertising. Instead they feel they are getting something of value from the experience, learning something new, winning prizes and interacting with friends.

This model is extremely attractive to brands because they are able to reach new consumers in deeply engaging ways and drive digital social action.

Tags: ad targeting, Dailybreak, mobile marketing, non-traditional advertising, social marketing

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