Millennials are a demographic group consisting of people born between the 1980s and early 2000s.
They grew up during the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression, which influences their spending patterns and choices. As a result, hard-sell marketing strategies that worked on baby boomers and Generation X will not be effective on millennials.
You will have to use a different approach to attract millennials. The best way to appeal to them is by creating genuine and engaging content on platforms they frequent.
Where to reach millennials?
When trying to reach millennials, your first stop should be social media. YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, and Facebook will be important tools in your strategy. Older generations often struggle with social media, but millennials are a group that grew up with the Internet and social media.
Finding information online comes to them as naturally as reading newspapers comes to previous generations.
This means your social media marketing strategy will have to be carefully planned. The pitches you use when trying to attract millennials will have to be honest and genuine. As a generation that grew up with the Internet, they are used to doing research before making decisions.
If you are not feeling at home with social media, you should consider hiring professional help. Your attempts to appeal to this generation might come off as very awkward and “cringy” if you don’t know what you are doing.
However, that’s not the biggest mistake you can make. Using misleading content is the worst thing you can do when creating a marketing strategy for millennials. This generation has a strong sense of social responsibility. If you try to deceive them or try to fake philanthropy, you won’t only lose a potential customer, you will encounter retaliation on social media.
Millennials will leave feedback to let you and other people know about the quality of your product, and their reviews will also influence others’ decisions regarding which company to trust. You should use the valuable feedback they provide to improve your services and products. This is one of the best ways to appeal to millennials because it will earn you better feedback in the future. Once a millennial is satisfied with your services, they will praise you both on your social media profiles and in their private circles.
Finally, you should know which social networks are the best to engage millennials. Although they are the dominant group on all social networks, there are some which they frequent more than others. For example, even though 54% of Facebook users are millennials, it is still the social network with the smallest percentage of millennials compared to other popular platforms. You are more likely to reach millennials on Reddit, Instagram, and YouTube, so you should learn how those platforms work and focus on them.
Have a clear set of principles
Millennials are a group which does not support institutions; rather, they support causes. If you are thinking only about your business, it is not likely that you will reach millennials, no matter the quality of your products and service. Millennials are more likely to buy from a company that reflects their style, personality, and beliefs.
In order to attract millennials, take a stand for a cause they find important. It is important that you personally believe in that issue, as it will be noticed if your support is not genuine; instead of attracting millennials, you will come off as dishonest and greedy.
You can show your support by sharing content and backing events related to the cause. If possible, creating products and writing articles about the cause is also a good way to demonstrate that you care. Millennial investors are most likely to put their money into issues involving the advancement of human rights and environmental preservation. It takes just a little effort to give these causes your support but can go a long way in appealing to millennials.
Aim for a social group you have something in common with
Although all millennials have some things in common, they are not a homogeneous group. Millennials often don’t stay working on a same job for a long period; sometimes, they don’t even stay in the same field of work. They usually get married at a later age than people from previous generations. Marketing strategies used to attract baby boomers and Generation X are often focused on stages of life.
Such a strategy is not the best choice when trying to appeal to millennials. Instead, it is better to target social groups of people with a similar lifestyle. You should find out what TV shows the group you are targeting likes, what kind of YouTube channels they follow, who are their favorite celebrities, etc.
The next step is to consider what you have to offer to them. What do you have in common with them? How will you appeal to their tastes? If your answers to these questions don’t come naturally, you are targeting a wrong social group. Remember that millennials love those who are authentic – the best option here is to target a social group that has a lot in common with you.
What kind of content should you publish?
As previously mentioned, millennials are a group that is likely to give their feedback to a product or company. They are also a generation that is more likely to trust user-generated reviews than the official description of products. This makes them highly suspicious about sponsored content, which means advertisements won’t get you far in connecting with millennials.
Millennials value both products and content which have practical value. This means that informative and educational content is a great way to engage this group and open up space for discussion. As a generation that trusts user-generated content, discussions that arise from your informative content will help keep them engaged.
Another way to curate your content to appeal to millennials is to publish infographics, pictures, gifs, videos, and memes. Millennials are a generation that loves visual content and are more familiar with visual communication than previous generations. Informational content in the form of an infographic is one of the best tools you can use here. Additionally, this type of content is also brief – another thing millennials prefer.
In addition to being informative, brief, and visual, millennials like their content to be interactive and entertaining. If something you are publishing can be funny while also conveying the right information, you should strive to include humor. Even if it is more expensive to produce, your content should be interactive. This doesn’t mean that you should have no passive and unhumorous content, but not all your content should be serious if you want to attract millennials.
Other important factors
When browsing the internet, millennials tend to use mobile devices more than desktop devices. This means your website and content should be optimized for mobile phones and tablets. If you disregard this habit of millennials, it isn’t likely that your marketing strategy will be successful.
Fear of missing out impacts millennials more than other consumers – and you can use this to your advantage when targeting them. By creating exclusivity and demonstrating there is a demand for your services, you will greatly increase your chances of attracting millennial customers.
There are lots of stereotypes about millennials, and millennials don’t like those stereotypes. To avoid driving millennials away with your marketing strategy, you should try to understand them better. User personas can help you achieve that goal. If you are not familiar with the term, user personas are fictional characters you create to represent the different types of people that are likely to be your customers.
Millennials are a diverse group of people who like authenticity. The quality of your products alone will not be enough to attract this group. They need an additional layer to make a purchase, and that layer is your social responsibility.
This group that values purpose over product will do thorough research into your company and/or brand before they decide to use your services and will find reviews and other user-generated content more trustworthy than sponsored content and your own descriptions of your products.
To have a successful content marketing strategy, you will have to share the goals and values of the social group you are trying to attract. You will have to appeal to them with genuine and original content. You will have to show them that you believe in the same things they do, and that you have higher goals than just selling your products.
If you try to use underhanded methods to attract millennials, they will retaliate through social networks and reviews. However, millennials can be quite a rewarding group. You just need to be honest, reach out to them, and show them that you share their values and lifestyle. In return, they will become “ambassadors” of your brand. The good feedback and shares you will get from millennials on their social media when they recognize your business as praiseworthy are some of the best marketing you can get.
This is a guest post by Karen Evans.