3 Tips For Marketing To Millennials

October 12, 2015

9:09 am

Over 1/4th of the US population falls into the generation/sociological category of millenial. With an estimated annual buying power of $200 billion, this is a rather lucrative market that you can’t ignore. In fact, millennials are rapidly becoming the industry trend-setters and significantly influence purchasing decisions of other generations.

However, marketing to millennials is not as straightforward as it is used to be with other age groups. Here are three key approaches to speak the language of this generation.

Speak Through Their Channels

Millennials are the most tech-savvy generation driven by modern technology and wired for authentic, content-driven experiences. Send your message through the channels they are likely to utilize:

Social Media

Friends are hugely important to Millennials, especially when it comes to brands. They no longer want just logos. They want brands that have a strong personality and an ethos they can relate to. According to a recent research by Rent Seeker, landlords and rent companies who reached out to prospective renters through social media managed to gain higher retention rates, compared to those who still rely on more traditional advertising means like display ads.

Millennials love to be heard and acknowledged. Engage with them on social media, share their content and determine who your biggest brand advocates are. Partner with the biggest influencers, acknowledge them publicly and use other popular platforms among millennials e.g., Vice, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Elite Daily etc to convey your message and brand values.

Snapchat is a new big thing when it comes to millennial marketing as the platform features a young, 100% engaged audience that is not only eager to get exclusive sneak peeks from your brand, but feels flattered when their content is curated.

Encourage your millennial consumers to take an active part in a discussion involving your brand with the content, and through the channels they like.

Mobile Marketing

85 percent of millennials in the U.S. own a smartphone, so you need to offer an outstanding mobile user experience if you’d like to appeal to these consumers.

First of all, make sure your mobile website is easy-to-navigate and is not too graphics-intensive as millennials are always on the rush and need everything here and now.

Next, think of creative ways of integrating advertising into your product. Brian Wong, for instance, allowed companies to offer rewards after in-game accomplishments in his new mobile game, resulting into quick multi-million dollar sales and huge audience love.

Offer Use Instead of Ownership

Millennials, already nicknamed as the generation of renters, no longer want to buy houses. And the same stigma is often true when it comes to getting other products. According to a recent report from The Intelligence Group, 35% of respondents state they prefer to pay full price to access an item on demand, rather than owning it. Millennial shoppers would rather rent, barter or share than buy.

No wonder sharing economy is now on the rise with services like Airbnb, Lyft, Rent the Runway getting the love and preference of this generation. Capitalizing on the “sharing” mentality right now is a smart business move. Offer free trials or other more creative options, so that even if your potential clients can’t buy the product right now, they can at least try it.

Rely on Inbound Marketing

Millennials are particularly prone to expert opinions and are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs and social media, rather than any other type of advertising. For instance, a millennial makeup addict is likely to share a YouTube tutorial created by their favorite brand, rather than pass a printed add or discount code.

Millennials support brands that offer value and great content in forms of e-books, blog posts, tutorials, and other how-to information – and that’s exactly inbound marketing. They appreciate thought leadership and niche expertise, so your content strategy should be driven towards creating killer content that brings value and builds up your expertise (plus, ranks better on Google).

This audience wants to feel like your content was crafted with their interests in mind (rather than their wallets).  Being “pushy” with direct sales will bring you nowhere. But powerful, educational content that builds up brand-consumer relationships will!

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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