To ignore the millennial in your marketing efforts is to ignore 25-35% of the consumer population. However, many marketers find the diversity of this population segment daunting and continue to pursue basic marketing tactics, just hoping their brand catches the lucrative eye of the millennial population. Millennials are unique in many respects and marketing that appeals to baby boomers and Gen X’ers isn’t going to appeal to their generation. In order to maximize brand awareness and company profit, businesses must have at least a basic understanding of who millennials are, where they go and what they value.
Who are millennials?
Although sources debate which years bookend the millennial generation, it is widely accepted to refer to millennials as anyone born in the 80’s and 90’s. This means that today, the millennial generation is approximately 20-40 years old. 25% of millennials are parents, 33% of older millennials boast a 4-year degree and by the year 2025, it’s predicted that they will comprise 75% of the national workforce. This generation is also highly motivated. 54% of millennials are business owners or plan to start a business and they see themselves as influencers, brand creators and world changers. And they are incredibly tech- savvy. They connect digitally within 5 minutes of waking up and every 6 minutes throughout the day. Also of note: Millennials have lots (and lots!) of buying power.
What are millennials looking for as consumers?
Where the baby boomers are apt to respond to traditional advertising and read the Consumer Reports when making their purchasing decisions, millennials seek out social proof and talk to their friends. Consider channeling a big portion of your marketing efforts into compiling and displaying social proof from real people. Include photos when possible. This adds the authentic voice millennials are looking for.
When millennials want reviews, where do they go?
Because millennials are tech-savvy, they seek online reviews for everything from purchasing a new dishwasher to deciding where to go to dinner. They frequent the likes of Facebook, Google and Yelp. If you want their business, your brand must be there. This means spending time soliciting past customers for their reviews of your products or services. If asked, 71% of consumers will leave a business review. And reviews must be recent. 73% of consumers will consider a review outdated if it’s more than 3 months old. Posting and refreshing reviews on these sites is not difficult but it requires intentionality. Consider automating this process to solicit appropriately timed reviews from every single customer. For example, automating after-purchase communications can help ensure you get relevant and timely reviews after every purchase!
Where do millennials hang out?
When it comes to building your brand, you need to be where the millennials are. And where are they? Social media. 34% of millennials say social media helps them make purchasing decisions. That’s over one-third of the largest consumer group in our economy! Social media branding also helps build consumer trust. If you’re not marketing your brand across the most popular social media channels you’re shutting the door on an enormous amount of potential business. Today’s successful brands maintain a strong presence on at least a few if not all the major social media channels: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter.
Additionally, when marketing to millennials it’s helpful to maintain a strong online presence and a way for prospects to engage with you digitally before ever reaching out. You can do this through pop-ups on your website that link to helpful guides and resources. For example, each year at Wild Fig Marketing, Kari offers her Top 10 Book List for a Successful Year.
You can get yours here! http://top10booklist.wildfigmarketing.com/
What do millennials value?
A differentiator with the millennial generation is their willingness to spend a little extra money on a product or service if it means supporting a good cause or giving back to society. This altruism explains at least in part why companies like TOMS and Love Your Melon experience raging success when it comes to product sales. How does your brand give back? Be loud and proud about it! Make sure that anyone who discovers your brand knows what causes you support and how, when they support your brand, they help make the world a better place.
Also, millennials love a good real-life story and every brand has one! Share yours. For inspiration, see how Burt’s Bees does this and does it well: https://www.burtsbees.com/content/our-history/bees-Keeper-asset.html
Your story is one of many factors you can leverage to differentiate your business from your competitors, making you that much more memorable and helping keep your brand top of mind.
Millennials want to interact with your brand so…produce engaging content!
Millennials are seeking an experience with your brand. They want to interact with you and enter into a relationship with you. Surveys and polls are great platforms for forging that valuable connection and give millennials the voice and influence they desire.
Also, consider soliciting and sharing user-generated audio, video and text content to foster that personal connection your millennial subscribers are looking for. When brand-building is a collaborative experience you will attract a loyal millennial customer base.
Automation. We already touched on it and here it is again! Automating your marketing in a way that follows the customer journey is yet another great way for millennials to experience that personal connection. Consider sending out birthday coupons or a special 1-year-email-list anniversary download as a special thanks for their affiliation. This will increase brand loyalty and drive millennial conversions.
Could your business use some help with targeting the millennial generation or would you like to get started on implementing a marketing strategy for your business? Contact us to schedule your free 15 minute consultation. We’d love to help you reach your goals.