5 Tips for Marketing to Millennials
Millennial. It's a word that often stirs up negative connotations, but this generation isn't as complicated as you might think. Defined as people born between the 1980s and 1990s (and making up a sizable portion of the population), cracking how to market to this cohort is a wise business move.
Your first step toward reaching this audience is understanding them. You’ve probably read headlines blasting millennials as lazy and entitled, but scratch the surface and you’ll find plenty of redeeming traits. They’re socially conscious, tech-savvy, educated, and value authenticity. Use your marketing to tap into these traits, and you’ll be onto a winner.
1. Get the Basics Right
This generation has grown up with unprecedented access to tech. If you want your brand to reach them, you must have a strong presence where they live – online. To do this, you'll need a properly functioning website. You’d be surprised how many large companies don’t get this step right. Audit your site, paying careful attention to page load speed and user experience. Make sure there are no broken links and that the content is clearly laid out. With millennials checking their phone an average of 42 times a day, a seamless mobile experience is non-negotiable. Not only will they love you for it, but Google will too.
2. Give Them the Answers they Crave
Entering adulthood during the 2008 recession left a mark on this generation in one key way; they're frugal. It's not that they won't spend their money on your product, but they won't spend it if they can't justify the purchase. To qualify it, they do a whole host of research. In fact, a recent study shows that eight out of ten millennials don’t purchase without reading a review first. And the bigger the ticket price, the more they’ll research. For your business, this means gathering genuine customer reviews is vital. You’ll also need to be sure that FAQs are at their fingertips. Your website is also a good place to house things like search-optimised explainer guides and customer success stories.
3. Be Authentic
One of this generation’s key traits is their passion for authenticity, so it stands to reason that millennials tend to believe their friends and family over a flashy brand message. If you can think of clever ways to leverage that, you're onto a winner. For example, Uber used this insight with a referral program that offered early adopters free trips for introducing the app to a friend. Loyalty programs like this are a great way to build advocacy.
4. Get Social
Despite Facebook’s recent controversies, social media still plays an important role when marketing to millennials. But Facebook isn’t really where this audience hangs out these days. It’s all about Instagram and Snapchat. Use social media to give a behind-the-scenes look at your brand, to tell your story or to showcase your product. To resonate, make sure your tone of voice is authentic – millennials can spot fakery a mile off. Instagram offers lots of opportunities to sell your products, with things like shoppable posts and targeting which you can utilise to your advantage.
5. Have a Conscience
Finally, millennials like brands that have a conscience, as they’re highly aware of their responsibility as consumers. A Nielsen study showed that 73% of millennials are willing to pay extra for more sustainable brands. Some companies, like Everlane, even show consumers exactly how much they pay their factory workers. Showcase the ways your brand is making a difference to the world, whether that’s through an equal pay initiative, using compostable coffee cups in your restaurants or paying your workers a living wage. These things really matter to this audience.
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