Educational, truthful, and personalised content on the internet has a surprisingly strong influence on US millennials' brand loyalty and purchase behaviour, according to a study by content marketing platform provider NewsCred. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The study, entitled 'The Millennial Mind: How Content Drives Brand Loyalty', found that Millennials value quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing, and that the most important driver of brand loyalty for millennials is a great product (77%), followed closely by brand recognition and trust at 69%.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those surveyed feel that online content drives their loyalty to a brand - yet the content they're receiving is turning them off by not helping them navigate their everyday problems, being too long, sales-driven, and not tailoring messaging to individual cultural interests.

Only 12% of respondents declared their active dislike for marketing communications showing that personalised, funny, intelligent, and helpful content marketing has an open door to drive millennials' loyalty and purchase decisions.

"Millennials don't want to have to work to find the value in a sea of sales messages. Brands can earn millennials' trust, loyalty, and share of wallet with the right content - but they need to invest in being a helpful partner that respects the characteristics, interests, and qualities that make each millennial unique," said Shafqat Islam, CEO for NewsCred.

The study suggests that US millennials are especially receptive to content directly from brands, potentially even more so than content from their friends:

  • Millennials are most commonly interacting with brands via social media (49%) or a brand's owned websites (54%).
  • Social endorsements, once considered a leading driver in brand awareness and customer acquisition, were shown to have a smaller impact than expected in the NewsCred survey.
  • Only 26% of respondents said they prefer brands their friends use, while 30% shared that they like branded content their friends share and that it helps them discover new content.
  • The majority of millennials (52%) did cite content's relevance to their circle of friends as a motivator in sharing content themselves.
  • Whether seeking out information to solve a particular challenge unique to themselves or looking to access a short piece of content for a laugh, purchase decisions are predicated on content being interesting and educational (35%) as well as authentic and truthful without being 'salesy' (31%).

The full study report has been made available for free download from NewsCred's web site - click here (free registration required).