Oh, Hello Branding Group
Millennials — lovers of avocado toast, seltzers, and texting. These 25-40-year-olds make up the generation that came of age during the explosion of the internet and have experienced the largest variety of social and economic conditions thus far. And, more often than not, they’re unfortunately misunderstood.
Millennials are stereotyped as selfish, lazy, and entitled (thanks, participation trophies), but don’t let the lousy rap fool you. This generation is confident and ambitious, and it’s constantly breaking the status quo. Not to mention, millennials also are America’s largest living generation. And that’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re marketing to them correctly.
Businesses often struggle to successfully reach millennials and gain their loyalty, but don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Check out our quick tips on marketing to millennials.
1. Millennials Are the Most Lucrative Market
Student loan debt aside, millennials are big spenders. In 2019, millennials made up a quarter of the U.S. population with 72.1 million people — that's a lot of buying power. Over a trillion dollars of purchasing power, to be exact. It was estimated that millennials spent $1.4 trillion in 2020.
Millennial shoppers admit they’re also willing to pay more for trendy items or if they offer an experience. For example, Charles Schwab’s Modern Wealth Index for 2017 found that 79% of millennials would spend money on dining at a popular restaurant, compared to 66% in Generation X and 56% of baby boomers.
So don’t disregard the millennials because they’re young and in a little bit of debt — they’re willing to pay extra for the fancy coffee.
2. Millennials Love Content
Millennials go crazy for content, and they love to share it. More than 9 in 10 millennials own smartphones, so reaching them with web content is easy. Millennials also appreciate authenticity — 90% of millennials say brand authenticity is important to them, rather than something that’s “perfectly packaged together.”
Brands can’t fake authenticity, either. People can usually spot the difference between consumer-created and brand-created content, and they’ll even disconnect from brands that try to fake it. On average, 30% of millennial consumers have unfollowed brands on social media because they felt their content was inauthentic.
User-generated content is seen as the most authentic in millennials’ eyes. They're more likely to trust the opinions of friends, colleagues, and family members who have used the products. Use videos, pictures, blog posts, and testimonials from consumers to promote your brand.
You could also launch a photo contest on Instagram. Offer a reward for participation and use your branded hashtags to get your followers excited about posting their photos. The winner receives an award, and you get brand exposure. It’s a win-win.
3. Millennials Are Technology-Driven
Growing up with technology and the internet, millennials are very attracted to brands that use technology or sell it themselves. Millennials are tech-savvy trendsetters, and social media is one of the best ways to reach them. The vast majority of millennials (86%) say they use social media; it's where they spend a lot of their time. Social media is how they communicate with friends and family, and it allows them to stay connected with what’s going on in the world.
It’s crucial for your business to use various social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or TikTok. And you have to post regularly. The millennial generation grew up on social media; they connected with others and built relationships. They're looking to develop the same relationships with businesses.
Develop a social media strategy and create a posting schedule. Look at upcoming holidays and see how you could promote your brand in a fun, unique way. Create your brand’s voice and keep it consistent; your goal is to stand out and connect with your target audience. Post engaging and interactive content, collaborate with influencers, share helpful information, and answer any questions from your followers. These steps will build long-lasting relationships with your consumers.
4. Millennials Like to Try New Things
Thinking outside the box is what millennials do best. They love pushing boundaries and are open to new ideas and, more importantly, brands.
Unlike previous generations, millennials are less loyal to brands. According to a study by Daymon Worldwide, only 29% of millennials will buy the same brand, which is both good and bad news. Good, because it’s easier for newer and smaller companies to attract new customers. And bad because brands must do more to attract and keep millennial customers.
To successfully reach millennial customers, businesses need to be innovative. Ditch traditional marketing — outbound marketing methods like direct mail campaigns, magazine ads, and radio spots aren't helpful with millennials. It’s impersonal, and as we’ve learned, millennials are all about connection.
Develop personalized marketing strategies that are customer-driven. Switch your focus from your product to your users and put their needs and objectives in first place.
5. Millennials Want to Collaborate
The best way to market to millennials is to work with them. Millennials want their voices to be heard, and they want to be a part of the creating process. In fact, 42% of millennials said they are interested in helping companies develop future services and products. Usually, companies will build products and cross their fingers to reach their target audience. But now, many companies are including millennials in their product development process and are becoming more successful.
Build relationships with your customers and let them fuel their self-expression. You can do this by using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter polls. Their feedback will help you establish your brand, and trust us, the investment will pay off.
Millennials are wired for content-driven, authentic experiences that cater to who they are and what they believe in. When you offer your consumers content they would proudly share with other people, you’re building a real brand-consumer relationship.
Use these tips when marketing to millennials, and you’ll earn their loyalty in no time.
If you’re having trouble reaching millennials through your marketing efforts, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Contact us to see how we can help make sure you have a killer strategy to engage millennials with your brand!