Move over, baby boomers – the millennials now outnumber you.
They’re now the demographic every marketer needs to charm. But how? Millennials aren't a traditional audience, having grown up never knowing the pain of not having the internet, and are less “susceptible” to traditional marketing than generation x and baby boomers.
Here are some ideas for talking to the millennial generation.
Embrace social media
Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn … the list of social media platforms millennials use is long, so focus your efforts on reaching them there. They want to engage with each other, brands, and products online, so traditional outbound marketing is out.
Social media also provides social proof – people trust people more than they trust businesses. This is even more prevalent among millennials. If a millennial gets a recommendation from a friend or colleague, they’re much more likely to try/buy a product. (You can achieve social proof by providing free samples or trial offers and then asking satisfied customers for testimonials.)
Appeal to their values
Millennials don’t want things – their buying habits and brand support prioritize memorable experiences and environmental responsibility, so be a business that makes a difference. Offer recyclable products made from recycled materials. Donate x amount of profits to x charity. Etc. Millennials volunteer more than any other generation and will use their purchasing power to support companies with values similar to their own.
Millennials don't want to be sold, and they can spot an advertisement/paid endorsement from a mile away. They recognize “marketing speak” and want nothing to do with it, so your messages, videos, and other content must be real. If it looks like an ad, they’ll swipe left faster than on a Tinder profile without a picture. Figure out your authentic voice and use it to connect with – versus market to – them.
Don’t be boring
Millennials are early adopters, seeking fresh ideas, innovative approaches, original insights, and (of course) new technology. For millennials, newer is better; they thrive on testing new devices and jump at the release of a new smartphone, social media platform, video game system, etc.
The thing about millennials is that if you ask them what they want, they’ll tell you. As a marketer, every decision you make, every piece of content you produce, and every social media platform you use should be guided by what your customers tell you – and millennials make it easy. If they’re happy, they write reviews, tweet, like and follow you on Facebook, etc. so everyone knows. (Of course, they also do this when they’re unhappy, so it can be a double-edged sword.)
Pay attention to what they’re posting, what they’re buying, the experiences they’re choosing, and don’t stop asking questions!
Marketing to millennials is a hot topic right now. As a generation, they spend billions of dollars annually and stand to inherit trillions – their potential spending power is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and the correct marketing strategy is crucial to your company’s survival.