Marketing to Millennials all starts with understanding them as a consumer demographic. Millennials, also known as generation Y, consist of those who were born between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s. They are heavily influenced by digital technology, the information revolution, globalization and social media.
Whilst millennials are known for being more tolerant of others than any other generation before, they have also been criticized in the media for being entitled and narcissistic. Why? Maybe it’s the selfie culture, or maybe it’s because social media has given them a platform for each of their individual voices to be heard. Either way, it’s important to understand them as consumers and learn how to market to them, because with an annual buying power of $200billion, they have the most spending power than any other generation.
The 2008 great recession affected millennials tremendously and they’re now seen as more frugal than previous generations. But when they do decide to part ways with their money, they have distinct values, expectations and habits tied to their spending. To help you understand this consumer demographic better, we put together these 7 tips for marketing to millennials:
1. Understand Content is Key
Having an online presence is paramount when marketing to millennials. They scour websites, blogs, and social media pages to find informative and entertaining content that inspires them. If you can provide this, you have a much better chance of catching their attention and building your brand awareness. To take it to the next level and build a millennial’s trust, it’s important to post content that is both engaging and transparent. Ask them questions, respond to their comments, show them your brand personality through behind-the-scenes images and videos. Show customer-submitted images that show your product/service works in the real world. Be real and relatable with your content.
2. Create an Experience & Make it Post-worthy
Having an online presence is paramount when marketing to millennials. Millennials won’t part with their cash easily, but when they do, they’re more willing to spend their income on experiences. Look further than just the product or service you’re selling, and make their buying experience fun for them! If your business is solely e-commerce, make your checkout process personalized and unique so that they’ll see it as a form of entertainment and not a chore. To further enhance the experience, make it post-worthy. Millennials want to be able to document things to show off on their social media pages. Develop an interactive, aesthetically pleasing experience that will have their social networks buzzing and will help spread word of mouth.
3. Collaborate and work With Influencers
Millennial’s shopping behaviors are largely influenced by people they idolize and follow online, or even strangers who simply just share their interests. Millennials are always checking influencers social media pages to see what latest products or services they’re using.
Find an influencer that shares similar values to your company, follow them, engage with them and share images of them to multiply your influence. For an even better result, team up and collaborate with them. If you have the budget, pay them to be an ambassador for your business and post about your products/service for an even wider reach.
4. Manage Your Reviews
Before millennials make any kind of purchase from you, they’ve probably already checked your Facebook reviews, Google Reviews and Yelp page to name a few. If you have plenty of negative reviews that haven’t been addressed, this will most likely put them off from doing business with you. This is why the big companies of today are hiring people whose sole responsibility is to respond to complaints and negative reviews online.
The more positive reviews you have, the more trust you will build for potential customers. You can help offset the damage of a negative review by publicly addressing them and rectifying the situation.
5. Have a Functional, Mobile-Friendly Website
It is vital that your website is mobile-friendly, not only because it benefits your search engine ranking, but because more and more millennials are making purchasing decisions on their phone. If they can’t navigate through your website on a mobile, you’ll probably lose them as a customer.
Millennials live in a world of immediate gratification, so it’s also important to make sure that users are always one click away from what they need from your website. A great example of this is, Amazon’s ‘Buy now with 1-Click’ button. As well as this, it’s important to provide easy ‘contact us’ options. If you are capable of having an instant messaging platform on your website, this will also give them that immediate gratification that they crave. If not, make sure users can easily find your email address and phone number so they can choose how they can get in touch with you.
6. Focus Less on Outbound Marketing and More on Inbound Marketing
Millennials do not like being sold to. They don’t want to feel like they’re being tricked into buying something. Traditional outbound marketing methods like TV ads, radio spots and cold calls do not impress them. They see them as one-sided, impersonal and lacking real substance. This generation prefers marketing efforts that are more personalized and engaging. As mentioned in tip no.1, millennials prefer to buy from businesses that improve their lives with informative content. Instead of just listing your products and services, be sure to provide e-books, blog posts, videos and how-to information. Your inbound marketing efforts will drive traffic to your website, build consumer trust and thus, bring a return on investment.
7. Be Socially Responsible
Because of the information revolution, millennials are more aware than ever of what your company is doing behind the scenes. This generation will not tolerate brands that are solely driven by profit – they want to see what you are doing to improve lives, support the local community and help save the planet.
Establish the purpose of your business and engage in philanthropic efforts that are relevant to your company. Make it a part of your brand experience and make sure millennials know about it (post it on social media).
Embrace the au naturel look. Show that your products and services are sustainable. Be transparent. Be diverse. Help charities and nonprofits.
Follow these seven tips when marketing to millennials and watch your sales grow as this generation enters their prime spending years!
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