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Millennials; although there are a lot of negative stereotypes about this generation, they are the largest living generation and cannot be ignored. Businesses usually struggle when it comes to marketing to millennials and gaining their loyalty, but we have all of the answers on how to market to this group of 24-39 year old’s.
Why Millennials are Important
Before we can get into marketing tips, you first need to understand who millennials are and why they matter.
1. The Most Lucrative Market
Millennials make up 25% of the U.S. population at 80 million people. Even though they haven’t even reached their full buying power yet, it is the most lucrative market. Their direct buying power is estimated to be over a trillion dollars. Millennials make up 21% of consumer discretionary purchases and have a huge influence on older generations. It’s important to not disregard this generation just because they are young and may have some student loan debt.
2. Millennials Consume a lot of Content
About 9 in 10 millennials have a smart phone which means they have a much higher likelihood of consuming web content. This means you can use multiple modes of marketing to reach them.
3. Millennials Use Technology
Similar to the previous point, millennials are tech-savvy. Almost 100% of millennials say they use the internet according to Pew Research. Since this generation has grown up with technology or only slightly before the internet, it’s attractive to brands who use technology to sell or sell technology themselves.
4. Millennials are Willing to Try New Brands
The older generations are more brand loyal and are less likely to switch brands. Research suggests that only 29% of millennials will buy the same brand, which is much lower than previous generations. This is good for newer or smaller companies when trying to attract new customers.
How to Market to Millennials
Marketing to millennials can be tricky since it’s a new generation in a new era, but luckily, we have compiled a list of 12 tips on how to effectively market to millennials.
Focus on Social Media
This should not come as a surprise as about 86% of millennials use social media. If you do not have social media accounts for your small business, it’s something you should do immediately. Social media is important for marketing to millennials because it’s where they spend a large portion of their time, where they go to get information, and it’s a way to easily connect with them.
It’s important to not only have social media accounts but to post regularly. Millennials grew up connecting with people on social media and building relationships. When they are looking for a business to purchase from, they are also looking to build a relationship with that business. By posting regularly with useful information, interactive posts, and answering any questions followers have will help build that relationship.
Come up with a social media plan and be sure to have a clear brand personality that is consistent.
2. Become Socially Responsible
More so compared to other generations, millennials care if businesses are socially responses. They want to know if the product was made ethically, if it’s environmentally friendly, and if your company donates to charity. If you practice any social responsibility, be sure to make it known. There are so many different ways to be socially responsible and it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money. Post about what you are doing on social media and tag any charities you are helping.
3. Have a Good Reputation
Obviously having a good reputation is important to all generations, but millennials put a lot of weight into what people say about your business. They do a lot of research before purchasing and make informed decisions.
If you already have great reviews, show them off! If you need to build up some good reviews, ask your most customers to leave some reviews. Additionally, you can add testimonials to your website so millennials can read first-hand accounts of customers who are happy with your business. Also, repost photos of customers using your product or service on social media so millennials can see you have a good reputation.
4. Make Authentic Content
Millennials crave content-driven media. They are spending hours on online and on their phones every day. They love to discover new content and like it, share it, and comment on it because they feel empowered by all of the content they discover.
90% of millennials say authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands to support and they want to share the content they feel is authentic. They also trust others who share their opinions, whether it’s friends or strangers online. If a peer is using a product and shares about it on social media, they are more likely to purchase the product because they trust their authenticity and can relate to them. Millennials believe that user-generated content is 35% more memorable than other media.
To use this information for your business, you should create content that millennials will want to share. This will create a real brand-consumer relationship. Additionally, millennials will listen when hearing or reading words that could come from their peers because they trust these messages.
5. Ditch Traditional Marketing
Outbound marketing methods like magazine ads, direct mail campaigns, and radio spots do not impress millennials. They want to feel connected and involved which traditional marketing doesn’t do. Millennials feel this type of marketing is impersonal and company focused. They want more customer-driven and personalized marketing strategies.
Millennials want to make their own choices when it comes to purchasing so seeing an ad will have little effect on deciding to purchase. This generation does a lot of research before purchasing so they can make informed decisions. They read blog posts, watch YouTube videos, and are inspired by their peers.
6. Create Informative Inbound Content
You don’t have to abandon everything in your current marketing strategy, but adding in some newer, more digitally focused strategies that appeal to millennials would be smart. Millennials want e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information which is all part of the inbound marketing strategy.
Collaborate with an influencer on social media and have them create a tutorial video with your product or write an ebook that ranks high on Google to show you are an expert in the industry.
7. Collaborate with Customers
Millennials want to have a say and are interested in becoming co-creators. 42% of millennials said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. So instead of creating products and hoping your target market will consume them, get them involved in the product development process. It builds a relationship with them, fuels their self-expression, and they will be more invested in the product. This can easily be done via social media with polls so customers can vote on which product they like more.
8. Push Convenience and Practicality
Millennials would rather use something than own it. They would rather pay full price to access an item when they need it as opposed to owning it forever. They will rent and share instead of buying.
Companies like Spotify, Airbnb, and Rent the Runway take advantage of this. It is also a trend among millennials to borrow cars instead of buying. Millennials are leasing new, tech-forward cars instead of purchasing cars they could afford. Incorporating this into your company by having more creative options in case customers aren’t ready to buy but want to try may be something you want to look in to.
9. Create an Enjoyable Browsing Experience
Online shopping is a hobby to many millennials. They crave the experience of shopping more than the purchase. Young consumers browse and research for hours before committing to a purchase. They view it as entertainment. Your company should aim to make it an enjoyable and fun experience by engaging them. Etsy, for example, show off their products on Pinterest so people can pin them and make it more social.
Millennials are the perfect generation to tap into if you are in search of new customers because they aren't loyal to big brands. Use these tips to help market to millennials and hopefully they will become loyal to you.