5 Ways to Reach Millennials With Marketing
One of the most challenging parts of digital marketing is staying on top of the latest trends. At Evolve Global Marketing, we believe that a marketing strategy backed by research and a proven framework is the way to go. Unfortunately, marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and different audiences require different techniques. That’s why it’s important to do market research and target market research before launching a marketing or social media campaign. You have to know who you’re marketing to if you want to be effective.
In this blog post, we’re going to focus on one specific generation: Millennials. Millennials are those born between 1980 and 1996 (though the actual ages are debatable, this is a pretty standard view of what constitutes a millennial). They are the largest generation in American history and are now a huge part of the labor force and economy in the United States. Like every generation, millennials have certain trends, patterns, and preferences that make them a unique group to interact and engage with — including when it comes to marketing. So to give you a helping hand when it comes to marketing to millennials, we’re going to give you five creative strategies that you can try when you’re marketing to that audience.
1. Talk about causes that matter to them.
With any target audience, you’re going to want to engage them by talking about things they care about. This is especially true for millennials, as almost all of this generation is on social media and knows how to use it well, their platforms may be saturated with information they don’t care about. What this means for you as a brand is that you’re going to need to catch their attention by getting them to stop scrolling. How can you do that? Talk to them about something they care about. Lucky for you, there’s plenty of research done on this topic.
A good place to start is with Social Media Today’s research, where they found that the following are the top seven values that stand out to millennials on social media:
- Animal Rights
- Environmental Protection
- LGBT Rights
2. Don’t use “traditional” advertising techniques.
According to Forbes, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising techniques and aren’t influenced by them. You know those pushy commercials with heavy sales language? Millennials aren’t buying them. That means that you need to find ways to speak with millennials that will make them feel like your brand understands them and make them want to buy your product. Enter: Story-based marketing. While you could do this in a variety of ways, we suggest taking a look at story-based marketing, which is a way to create clear and consistent messaging that tells a story.
3. Take advantage of content marketing.
Different generations make purchasing decisions for different reasons. While some may lean more toward word-of-mouth while others may favor the most recognizable brand, 83% of millennials cite online content as a main reason they decide to make a purchase. That means that your brand needs to have a strong social media presence, effective customer service, great reviews, and online content. While you may not feel like content marketing is for your brand, we’d beg to differ — content marketing and online content are extremely diverse and there are a variety of ways that you can get involved with them. And if you’re going to attract millennials, it’s in your favor to have online content… AKA it’s time to get started on your content marketing!
RELATED READING: 4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing
4. Mobile-friendly pages are a must.
While this might seem obvious to you, you’d be surprised at how many businesses we see that don’t have mobile-friendly content and webpages. Over 90% of millennials have smartphones, which means that there’s a good chance that they’re scrolling through your webpage on their phone. If your content isn’t optimized for mobile, you can bet that they’re going to close the page and forget about you. Okay, okay, we’re being a little harsh here, but this is definitely important to keep in mind! Millennials are a technologically savvy generation, so they expect things like websites to work well and look good. If they don’t, you do run the risk of losing their business, and that’s something you want to avoid.
5. Be authentic.
As we mentioned above, millennials don’t trust traditional advertising but they do rely on online content to make their purchasing decisions. That means to buy from your business instead of another, they need to trust you and your product. According to an Accenture survey, consumers need to have an emotional connection with a brand if they’re going to buy from them. That doesn’t mean that they need to feel emotional about you, but they need to relate to you…they need to feel like you understand them. (Trust us, story-based marketing really can do it all when it comes to powerful marketing.) Not only does this require non-gimmicky content, but it also means that you need to post quality content regularly enough for your audience to know and trust you. Building a connection with a brand is hard if the only thing you can find on the brand is their website. Quality social media and content marketing are essential to help create authentic connections with your audience.
While this list definitely isn’t exhaustive, it should help you get an understanding of what the millennial audience is looking for when they’re interacting with your marketing. Understanding their trends and preferences will help you when you’re marketing to their generation. Even more, just knowing that every generation has different preferences will help improve your marketing, because now you know that you definitely need to do target market research before creating your strategy and plan.
And of course, if you ever need a helping hand, you know where to find us!