Millennials currently make up more than a quarter of the nation's population. Millennials (individuals born between 1982 and 2000) have captivated the attention of politicians, media outlets, and of course marketers. Recent media outlets have called millennials the "selfie generation" or the "selfish generation." Millennials have more information at their fingertips than any other generation before them and they have less patience as well. Millennials grew up in a world of choices with many options available to them at any given time. Millennials know that not just one path is available to them and they take full advantage of the opportunities this presents. Marketers must be smart when marketing to millennials. As a business owner you may believe that marketing to a millennial can be quite difficult but it's actually pretty straightforward.
Here are some tips on how your business can stay relevant to millennials with smart marketing tips.
Who Exactly Are Millennials?
Most older generations assume that millennials fit into one bucket: twenty-years-olds, un- or under-employed, living with their parents, and drowning in student loan debt. This could not be farther from the truth. For starters, the millennial generation makes up for a large chunk of the populations--77 million to be exact, surpassing even the baby boomer generation. Not understanding them puts a lot at stake.
Millennials are Hardly Ever Seduced by Advertising
While millennials born in the early 1980s may remember a time where traditional advertising ruled the market, most don't remember a time without digital. The Millennial generation believe that advertising is all spin and in no way authentic. They believe that brands are looking to seduce them and therefore, they are hardly ever swayed by an advertisement. Millennials are consumers of content and they are more trustworthy of their peers' opinion than a marketer's.
Older generations rely on consumer reports and news outlets to receive information about products they're interested in purchasing while millennials read blogs and scan social media. In order to capture their attention, brands need to use content marketing as a way to engage this generation by providing a sense of trust.
Millennials Want to Engage with Brands on Social Media
62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. Brands need to use their social media channels to promote products, answer questions, and share content created by their customers. For example, if a customer posts a photo of your product and tags you in it, a simple comment, like, or share shows the customer that you're grateful for their business. A millennial will feel that their business is appreciated and they will be more likely to buy again. This obviously means that businesses will have to consider the amount of labor that goes into this, but in order to engage with millennials this is a must-do.
Millennials Are Using More than One Tech Device
While older generations are using one or two tech devices at any given time, millennials are using several tech devices on any given day. Phones, computers, work computers, tablets, e-books and even watches are all connected to the web and are considered must-haves by millennials. Investing in custom apps or responsive design is an important strategy for any business looking to market to millennials.
Traditional Marketing Can Still Work
Millennials are moving away from traditional cable and becoming more dependent on streaming media such as Netflix or Hulu. They consider these platforms easier to access, more affordable, and since they have no commercials - more authentic. But brands should not take this to mean that millennials are abandoning television altogether. Millennials are still watching television shows but they are doing it through online platforms such as iTunes. In today's age, Millennials are posting to Twitter and Facebook while they're watching their favorite shows. Consider reaching them through a source that they are plugged into already.
Think of Millennials as a Social Group Rather than a Life Stage
Millennials are the most nontraditional generation so far. They believe "family" has many meanings and not all of them are tied to marriage. Advertisers must remember that they cannot market to millennials the same ways used with previous generations when it comes to life stages.
One of the problems with traditional "life stages," such as a purchasing a home, are not as attainable to millennials as in the past. Compound that with their questioning whether they even want to buy a home. More and more of this generation is working toward a location-free, travel-rich lifestyle. Instead of trying to market to life stages consider marketing toward social groups. Millennials are more focused on population segmentations such as those drawn to social causes and alternative lifestyles. Creating engaging content toward these segmentations will be much more appealing to a millennial.
Be Relevant and Engaging
Millennials know when a business is trying to sell them something and they do not like it. They also know when a business is being authentic and they are more likely to purchase from that brand. Millennials are focused on solving real life problems through online research. They read blogs, Yelp reviews, and ask their network about products, restaurants and more. If a brand can engage a customer within this generation, it's more likely to create brand evangelists.
Marketing to millennials doesn't have to be hard. Be authentic, pay attention to online reviews, respond to customers questions on social media and create engaging and creative content across all platforms.