How to Build a Marketing Strategy for Millennials

August 1, 2016

10:21 am

Businesses are still trying to “come to grips” with the millennial generation. It is one like never before, and more than one e-commerce company is struggling to get a market share of this demographic. Content marketing is certainly the key, but knowing the what, where, and how are the keys to a successful marketing strategy. Below you will find some solid tips based on solid research into this interesting generation.

Never, Never Sell Your Product or Service Outright

In the past, you could feature your product or service, offer a discount, and get some sales. That’s known as advertising, not content marketing. Content marketing is based upon relationship-building and trust.

Millennials will not do business with a company they do not trust. Your content should entertain them, maybe inspire them, and make them want to come back to hear from you – not because you have a great product, but because you seem like a great person. If you do this, when they are ready to buy, they will come. This takes time – patience, my dear marketer.

Focus on Social Media

Unless you have a blog that is really compelling, don’t count on millennials accessing it. Go where they are – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And you can re-publish blog content on these platforms – text and visuals on Facebook, videos and other visuals on Twitter and Instagram.

Millennials love to share and they will share content with their tribes if it is funny, if it makes them look knowledgeable, or if they are inspired and want to inspire others. Make sure your social media content does that and your brand will be spread. As Ajay Paghdal, CEO of Youth Noise, states:

“Social media is the millennial communication platform. Getting your social content right can make or break you with this demographic. If you ignore customer service requests, buyers queries or simply use those channels to share links to your blog content, you are alienating a great deal of possible consumers and your entire brand reputation, in fact, might be doomed.”

Respond

No matter where your content is published, if you get comments, you must respond quickly. Mid-sized and large companies that have the staff budget usually have staff to monitor social media all day and respond quickly to any question, comment or issue. They never let anything negative stay out there. For small companies, the best method of handling this is to select only two social media platforms and to use social media monitoring software for alerts.

Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible

Millennials demand that companies demonstrate support for good causes and that they are not environmentally destructive. While they do drive cars (hybrids and high gas-mileage ones if possible), they do not like companies that ship in Styrofoam and plastic. Publicize any environmentally-conscious thing you do; and get them to pitch in with you to support a cause. They like being invited in.

Social Proof Is Important, Too

Anytime you can feature your customers, do so. This demonstrates that people and what they have to say are important to you. Let your customers be your best ambassadors and promote your brand for you.

Mobile Is a Must

Your site must be mobile friendly – meaning it must load quickly and carry the bare minimum of tasks for users to complete. Navigation must be fast and easy. Consider a one-page site that allows swiping. If you use buttons, make them big.

Experiment with New Technology

It’s not as expensive as you might think. Millennials are “into” experiences, and augmented reality can give them that. Using live streaming to give millennials a tour of your company and to meet your team, to see what goes on behind the scenes, etc. develops relationships. And those videos can be saved and posted too.

Remember these key terms – relationships, trust, value/benefit, social media, mobile, participation, and experiences. If you can accomplish this in your content marketing, you’ll get your market share.

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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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