Millennials are the largest living generation that every brand wants to charm. It’s not an easy thing to gain their attention and keep it. In fact, studies show that millennials are less likely to respond to traditional advertising tactics which is one of many battles to overcome.
Lucky for you, we have cracked the code on marketing to millennials. Here are some tips on how to market to those 35 and younger.
Let Your Audience be the Main Focus
This group of consumers enjoys seeing themselves in the media they consume every day. Putting a focus on user-generated content really helps grow the brand and its story. On Instagram you can have your customers create their own posts with your products or services and use a unique hashtag that pertains to your brand. Have them submit a video or image using the hashtag for an ongoing consumer promotion… there is more power in that then you think. You can then feature all of those assets in your marketing channels. When consumers can relate to your content, your brand messaging goes a lot further.
Optimize Content for Social Media
It’s 2020… if you aren’t doing this yet, why not? Social media is the new SEO when it comes to millennials. A good amount of your market spend should be on social media to reach and connect with your audience. Optimizing the content plays a HUGE part in this role. The highest number of shares comes from short videos with a short and sweet caption that nail the first 10 seconds of the video to keep the viewer engaged. Random posting won’t cut it. Optimization means knowing your keyword strategy and for having an intentional plan for growing in key areas.
Word of Mouth
This is something that is a HUGE part in the decision-making process. Millennials are more likely to buy and try a product if it came recommended from a friend or family versus something they saw in an advertisement. Many think that word-of-mouth is something you can’t control, that it just happens. That may have been true in the past, but not any more - not with the growth of social media. Featuring customer testimonial videos, endorsements and social influencers is how you create intentional word-of-mouth advertising.
Quick or Instant Responses
Thanks to social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - millennials can usually get an answer to their concern or question within minutes. This is where the importance of a social media manager really comes in. You should have someone or a team appointed to answer any questions or concerns within a few minutes. Millennials will appreciate the fast response and will be more open to make a purchase from your brand. They expect interaction, promptness and immediate solutions. Having someone who regularly monitors your social media, Facebook messenger and even your website’s Chatbot will feed their need for immediate information and start building a relationship early.
Appeal to Their Values
One important thing to note about millennials is that they truly appreciate memorable experiences and social identities. Millennials want to support and align themselves with brands that give back to communities and are making a difference in the world. Listen to your audience and what they support and be there for them. Tell your company’s story and be sure to talk about your company’s values. Give specific examples of the difference you make in the word beyond making money. Millennials want to align themselves with something more than just making money….they know how to do that from their laptop. What they want in an employer is the opportunity to be part of something bigger...something that makes a difference.
Offer Authenticity and Diversity
Millennials have a pretty good BS radar and can see when a brand isn’t being authentic. They expect authenticity and diversity from everything in their environment. It’s not enough to just talk about it, they must be able to see it in action. Companies that have a large and highly productive millennial employee-base also have active employee teams that are charged with tasks like employee development, diversity and sustainability, company foundations and charitable contributions...even a team dedicated to fun in the workplace.
Contrary to popular belief, smartphones don't eat up all of media time spent for millennials. In fact, according to Nielsen, 9 out of 10 millennials tune into radio every week. Most may be surprised by this, but millennials are the generation that listens to AM/FM radio most. If you are not there marketing to them, that is a huge percentage of people you are failing to reach. The short and sweet answer is that radio is essential to marketing... but especially to millennials.
Reaching Millennials Locally
A great way to approach radio is by using influencer marketing. Local radio station personalities can provide an excellent source of influencers. They often have a large, targeted following that engages with them actively on social media.
When on the air, many radio personalities receive paid endorsements for companies and products through the station. This influence can easily extend to their social media presence. Through their usage of their relationships with their listeners across multiple platforms, including social media, magazine ads, and radio, brands can maximize the potential of these radio personalities to build a strong presence and get in front of their target audience.
Bottom line is that millennials are incredibly bright, socially aware and hard-working. But you can't expect them to slide into an old or outdated business model. If you want to attract them...and keep them...then you’ll have to update your business model to embrace their expectations. Your company will be better for it.