Call them millennials, call them generation Y, whatever you call them, they’re the 18 - 36 year old demographic that will make up 50% of the work force by 2020. This same group will also constitute $1.4 trillion dollars in spending power by that time. Since this group represents the future of sales, they are the top target for marketers in every industry, but impressing them with your brand messaging, product, or content is no easy task.
While we already know that engaging content is the key to reaching any target audience, millennials are a breed apart when it comes to what they find engaging. The old marketing techniques and delivery methods are found sadly lacking when applied to this demographic group. Rather than hope that millennials will eventually settle into traditional patterns, marketers need to understand what compels them to buy and gear their marketing efforts in that direction.
Perhaps the most distinct difference between millennials and past generations is that digital technology has always been a large part of their lives. This digitally savvy generation wants information instantly and they want it to be interactive. Millennials want total engagement and custom tailored products and solutions.
Research how the millennials within your market operate. To know what will appeal to them, you have to understand them. This can be done through social media, surveys, online, or with the services of a third party company.
Millennials Value Transparency
One of the things that millennials look for in a brand is transparency and openness. In order to capture the business of millennials, you first must gain their trust. Generation Y tends to be somewhat suspicious of the motives of a company unless a transparent, open approach is used. One of the ways to do this is through the use of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Millennials are always connected and share content through social media an average of 6 times each day. Encourage two way conversations via these platforms. Share company news and let your customers know that they are being heard by promptly responding to their feedback. Don’t just stick to company business however; entertaining content that can be shared is a great way to get your audience involved with your company.
Millennials are very Socially Conscious
Although stereotyped as very self-absorbed and having entitlement issues, most millennials are very socially conscious and look for socially responsible companies to do business with. Make sure that your brand presents an image that is socially responsible. Let them know that your company is striving to make a difference not only in local communities, but worldwide. Feature content that touches upon social and environmental responsibility and ask for input. Again, this can be best accomplished through social media platforms as well as other media sites frequented by millennials. Make sure your posts are timely, relevant, and arouse their interest. This can be accomplished with open ended questions, invitations for comment, etc.
Engage them through their Emotions
One of the best ways to get your content shared is by posting entertaining, funny, or touching content. Millennials love to share this type of content with their friends and whether they are laughing, outraged, or saddened by the content, your message will still be shared. Don’t forget about YouTube when it comes to social media platforms. Videos engage the viewer by adding a “real life” aspect to your marketing. In addition it doesn’t just advertise a product, it advertises the feeling that you get when you wear or use the product.
Five Steps that will lead to Success
- Make use of buyer persona development and user testing to discover who your customers are.
- Take inventory of and audit the content that you already have.
- Evaluate your offline and online initiative and take steps to make sure you have cross channel alignment.
- Measure, test, and iterate.
While these tips give some insight into what millennials are thinking and what might engage them, thinking outside the box is always something that millennials will respond to. You don’t necessarily need to stick to hard and fast rules with generation Y because they are a generation of free thinking, creative individuals who will respond well to innovative thinking. The most important aspect of any marketing campaign is to deliver it to wherever your audience spends the most time and deliver it in a way that gets your message across. As the generation of millennials ages and matures, your message and methods of delivery will have to evolve along with them.
We provide you with tips, tools and educational resources designed to help you in your career.
Photo: Huffington Post