With 1.3 trillion dollars of annual buying power, millennials are now the driving force behind our economy. If you own your own business, successfully reaching and getting a response from this demographic is probably easier than you think.
1. Mobilize Your Efforts
It’s safe to say that mobile phones are no passing trend, especially amongst the younger tech-savvy generations. Smart phones have found their way into the hands of 85 percent of millennials.
This means that if you aren’t optimizing your content for smart phones, your content won’t be seen. One tip is to make sure that all emails you are sending out look great on mobile phones and computers alike.
Tip: Here’s how to design emails for small screens and short attention spans.
2. Know the Tools and When to Use Them
If you want to market to millennials, then you have to think like a millennial. This means creating a presence for your company on all the channels the millennials you want to target are frequenting (most likely Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube).
Start following and engaging with your audience where they already are.
Brand new to a social channel? Our Social Media Quickstarter has resources to help you master any major social network, from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat.
3. Content is King
The days of gaining customers by bombarding them with unwanted and manipulative ads have passed. Millennials rated advertising as the least trustworthy source of information, disliked by 85 percent.
Replacing this outdated model of marketing comes content marketing, focused on creative content your audience actually wants. Now, your audience becomes your strongest source of distribution.
Produce a worthwhile video, image, or blog post and sit back while a willing and enthusiastic audience distributes it.
4. Deliver Value
The content you create should directly provide value for your audience. For example, a farm owner may send out an email newsletter in October containing “10 Jack-O-Lantern Templates You Can Use Today!”
Creating valuable content positions your company as a trusted source of information for your audience.
5. Make it Participatory
With the rise of social media, companies no longer have a one-sided relationship with their audience.
Millennials often communicate online with the brands they love; giving shout-outs as well as voicing concerns. All of this should be encouraged and responded to.
When people feel like they can have a conversation with a brand, a once faceless entity becomes humanized and bonds between company and customer form.
6. Live and Breathe Transparency
“Companies are becoming more transparent, whether they like it or not.” –Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos
Before they ever buy your product, many millennials look up your reviews, read about your company, and decide whether or not they want to support you. Embrace transparency by being honest and upfront about the good and the bad.
7. Find Your Cause
Millennials want companies that don’t just measure their success in revenue. In fact, 91 percent of millennials prefer a brand if it is associated with a cause.
Millennials want brands that help the environment, fight for fair labor practices, save the rainforest, fund cancer research, raise awareness for illegal poaching, and countless other problems facing the world today.
While you likely lack the bandwidth and energy for all these causes, try picking one that you genuinely identify with. If your business isn’t supporting this cause, then start. If you already are, then start telling your audience about it. That’s the kind of news they want to hear and share through social media.
8. Tell a Story Worth Hearing
With so much marketing all around us, millennials are no longer drawn in by standard product pitches. Instead, they want brands to embrace storytelling.
An easy way to do this is to tell the story of your company. Think in terms of having a setup, a conflict, and a resolution that brings your company to where it is now, all while conveying your personality.
Tip: Here’s some advice for creating customer connections through storytelling.
9. Listen, Learn, and Leverage
The biggest mistake you can make when marketing to millennials is forgetting to listen to them. Hear what they’re saying and how they’re saying it.
Follow them on social media to become familiar with their patterns and the causes that matter to them.
However, do not attempt to pander using slang or gimmicks like emojis unless you’re able to make it feel completely natural. 9 times out of 10 this feels painfully contrived, and the company ends up looking like a parent trying to act hip to relate to their teenage kid.
10. Be Ready To Throw This List Away
In the time that it takes to read through this article, a new app or website may come out that redefines the millennial experience.
When dealing with a group so entrenched in new technology, one must be completely flexible and ready to create a new plan at a moment’s notice.
The most important thing is to constantly monitor the online presence of millennials by reading articles, monitoring social media, and talking to them.
If you’re simply willing to listen to millennials and adjust accordingly, your business will have no problem reaching this important demographic.