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10 commandments of audience engagement – Marketing content for millennials

The LadBible Group’s Head of Marketing, Stephen Mai, recently delivered a keynote talk detailing 10 crucial tips for millennial audience engagement. Here’s our summary!

Mai provides insights into the TheLadBible’s approach to commercial growth and discusses the inspiration of content curation for Generation Z & Y.

The LadBible are all about creating a youth brand for the next generation, giving a voice and identity to their readership that is over 40 million strong. They pride themselves on providing a fresh take on things that shape young hearts and minds and are one of the biggest media websites in the UK. They are a force in online video with over 3.3 billion views per month on their content, and celebrate universal joys and epic failures. This covers politics, mental health, and a collation of obscure and absurd online content. The LadBible Group are eclipsing media giants with their mission to become the biggest youth channel for entertainment and news.

The brand are aware of the preconceived notions of what the LadBible or the term ‘lad’ may represent, but they are creating a new narrative to prevent generalising their audience, specifically who they are and what they’re interested in. To do this, they have created a manifesto that states that being a ‘lad’ means an individual that is part of a wide community that consumes The LadBible’s content.

Why is The LadBible so successful?

They have powerful core values; authenticity, community, championing everyday heroes, and having fun. Their notion of being part serious, part humourous represents the full spectrum of what people care about by giving credit to the diverse interests of their vast audience. They are driving social change and their editorial initiatives are challenging conceived notions that young people don’t want to consume serious content. The result of change occurs by communicating in an authentic way about topics that are important to the readership, such as the destigmatisation of mental health, encouraging young people to vote and promoting awareness of climate change. They open up a discussion and encourage participation that helps people connect with the content and thus, connect with the brand. Forget what you know about your audience and try new things – no doubt you’ll be surprised by the results! Through experimenting with different formats, The LadBible have found success – they have streamed long form live music, filmed 4 ice lollies melting, and partnered on a Martin Scorcese documentary with Nat Geo… and found that the content was all successful. Why? Because it was diverse.

What have we learnt?

  1. Be a community first, and a publisher/brand second. Facilitate conversations with your audience and discover what they are interested in. Use this to inform your future decision making in content.
  2. Ask them what they think. The media often projects what they think is important but what do the audience want? Talk with your consumers to discover their priorities. The LadBible did this with their tremendously successful #UOKM8 campaign that targeted mental health in young men.
  3. The perfect video length is a myth. Content is so diverse with the offer of films, short videos, documentaries and live broadcast, the varying length of content is what makes online consumption interesting. Tailor the format to the content and if it is good, your audience will watch the whole thing.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If your competitors aren’t doing it, so what? Try it anyway to gain insight. If you fail, you learn. If you succeed, you learn.
  5. Treat every platform differently. Don’t use the same content across different channels. Platforms are evolving and a linear story that is presented differently across a range of platforms gives you the opportunity to be experimental and creative.
  6. Spark debate. Don’t be scared of confrontation or disagreement as it can educate others and is healthy. Authentic ideas from your audience can be used as a foundation for development.
  7. Gen Z & Y care deeply about helping others. Fighting for the underdog and challenging social norms gains engagement and drives reach for millennials. If not for their passion, The LadBible couldn’t have driven the engagement that they’ve had. Tap into it – it’s not going away and will be more active in a space you provide.
  8. Humour is a global language. When it’s possible, make your audience laugh because content doesn’t always have to be serious.
  9. Design content to be shared. Make things potentially viral and shareable by considering your audience. For more laid back brands, use the Pub Test – would you talk about this in the pub? If yes, then go ahead and proliferate it. If not, perhaps it isn’t relevant to your readership.
  10. Dont try to hack the Facebook algorithm. Stick to your niche and create a personalised strategy. If you need more leverage, pay to do it in a more strategic way but never compromise your brand.


By creating shareable content that is universal, relatable and centred around your community, it is more likely to be shared. Spend resources on unexpected, exciting content that aligns with your brand that people will want to share with their friends. If you follow these tips, you should see an upward trend in engagement with your brand and your content. If in doubt, be brave and be different. Nobody can say you didn’t try.