May 1, 2017
Millennials have become America’s largest generation and they have the wallets to match, spending $600 billion annually. As the first generation to grow up in a digital world, those born between 1980-2000 behave unlike any other generation before; traditional advertising strategies are becoming increasingly ineffective. Here are five tips to help connect to this ever-connected generation:
1. Social Media, not Self-Promotion
Shopping at brick-and-mortar stores has become a group activity among Millennials and the principle translates online as well. It’s no surprise that the generation who put “selfie” in the Oxford English Dictionary and suffers chronically from FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out) is constantly searching for peer approval. A quick glance through your Facebook feed and you can find friends in search of recommendations for restaurants, activities, and advice on how to remove a rogue child’s crayon stains from the wall. Creating posts that can easily be shared or utilizing user generated content will spark interests and organic conversation between friends on social media, and then let word-of-mouth take its course. Content that lets Millennials find you, as opposed to shameless self-promotion, is key with this group.
2. Take a Stand
Studies show that Millennials are much more civic-oriented and empathetic than their parents and grandparents. They want to make a difference in the world. That means they are more likely to support brands who are also socially minded (remember TOMS?). Simply giving back to your community can show Millennials that your company cares, which will make Millennials care about your company.
3. Experts Wanted
As important as recommendations from family and friends can be, Millennials still seek out expert opinions and reviews. Asking Facebook friends for opinions on backpacking gear for an upcoming European expedition would be less helpful than going to a forum dedicated to outdoor adventure. Make sure that your website has solid expertise or product videos available and a place where customers can easily share reviews, opinions, and insights.
4. Go Mobile but Be Seamless
Millennials sleep with their phones in their beds, so it’s no surprise that they demand apps and websites that are optimized for mobile use. However, they still enjoy going to brick-and-mortar stores. They will go into a store to look at products then groom the Internet to find the best deal or find something they love online and go buy it physically. 68% of Millennials believe that a seamless transition between digital platforms and other channels is important (for example, being able to use coupons digitally and in person) so match your online presence with your in-store experience.
5. Become a Lifestyle
There are so many brands and product that battle for Millennials’ attention, yet it seems like they pay attention to none. Don’t brand yourself as just a product or a service. Create a lifestyle brand and cater towards a specific psychographic; Millennials love brands that resonate with their core beliefs. It requires an extensive knowledge of your target audience’s values, attitudes, and behaviors but pays off in brand loyalty and awareness.
With the oldest group of Millennials headed into the prime time of adulthood, now is the perfect time to tweak your marketing strategy to generate relationships and sales with the Millennial generation.