Millennials are best collectively defined as anyone born between the years 1980 and 2000, so in 2021 that's anyone from the age of 21 to 41 and this makes them the largest and most diverse group of individuals that exist in our society right now.
Millennials – you hear that word and it likely conjures images of avocado on toast eating lazy late teens or early twenties still living in their parents’ homes playing video games.
Well, what if I told you, that there’s a 33% chance you’re also a millennial?
- 1 in 3 people is currently a millennial, that’s one-third of the world’s population!
- 25% of them are parents
- 80% of them are in management roles in their careers
It also means that as a widely diverse group, they fall into the majority of companies’ target audience and they currently have the highest rates of education than any other demographic that has ever existed.
More millennials have a degree than baby boomers and not even by a short milestone, 40% of millennials have a bachelor’s degree compared to 26% of baby boomers.
How do you begin to market to such a well educated and diverse group of people?
Well, let’s address the elephant in the room and just state the fact that there’s no actual way you can hit everyone in that group with the same message and get that message to resonate with all of them.
Sorry, but it’s about time you threw away your old school marketing tactics because guess what? They don’t work on these people, in fact, millennials are less trusting of traditional online marketing than any other group before them. Why is this? Because they’re smart, online savvy, and they have been exposed to these tactics for the majority of their lives.
This makes marketing to millennials hard but there are certain things you can do to capture as much of this rich demographic as possible.
1. Be a company that stands for something more
Millennials want to change the world, they are more environmentally and socially conscious than any other generation.
Being a company that aligns with these ideals will automatically make you stand out in the marketplace. Companies that have leveraged this to their advantage have seen huge success.
Toms shoes run a one-for-one business model. This means that for every pair of shoes they sell they will donate a pair of shoes to someone in need and they haven’t stopped there. As the company has expanded into eyewear, bags & coffee they have continued this one for one model into relevant causes to those products such as sight-saving surgery, safe births worldwide & the world clean water initiative.
Another very successful company that stands for something. Ivory Ella is a company that mainly focuses its mission around animal and environmental welfare issues. They began with elephant conservation but like TOMS they have broadened their causes as their company has expanded.
2. Invest more in social media
No, I don’t mean just have a bigger Facebook ads budget. Instead, focus on social proof and influence across multiple social media platforms.
Social media is a daily habit in most millennials’ lives, they spend so much time browsing or creating content that it is the perfect place to get noticed by them.
Most millennials will be more likely to purchase something if a friend or someone they admire on social media recommends or uses it. A recent survey showed that 50% of millennials trust influencers for brand advice and a further 76% of them find out about new products from social media.
The trick is to be genuine and make it appeal to their interests because millennials see through all the marketing guff we see in typical ads.
3. Get reviews
This is often a game-changer for business’ who focus highly on it – an honest review of a product or service from a credible source will influence more additional purchases than 100 keyword-targeted ads. How do you get reviews? Well, you have to ask for them! Don’t just ask once and forget about it either.
50% of customers asked to leave a review will leave one.
Of the 50% that don’t a further 14% will leave a review if they’re asked more than once.
So ask them to leave you a review, make it as easy as possible to increase your chances of more people leaving one.
It’s important to note that your company’s reputation is one of your most valuable marketing assets and a negative reputation can have far-reaching implications for years to come so if for whatever reason you anticipate an influx of negative feedback you may wish to work on the areas of customer satisfaction that would cause that.
4. Utilise user-generated content
Millennials are original content creators, over 45% of them regularly create unique content. So what, how does that help me advertise my products? Is a probable response to that fact but try to look at it another way.
45% of them are regularly creating content that could be helping you advertise your products! Social media thrives on user-generated content, it’s in the name “social media”.
You need to engage with people in the creative ways that they like rather than just posting about a new product and its benefits.
A great example of a company that regularly does this is Starbucks coffee. For years Starbucks has run it’s various “cup” contests which require users to send in their favourite pictures of them posing with Starbucks coffee cups or designing their own cups in order to win a prize. It’s a simple and effective way to increase brand awareness and social engagement with users. It’s a win-win situation, the user gets to show off their pics and the company gets some free brand exposure.
There are other ways you can do this without a giveaway such as simple polls on Twitter and LinkedIn that encourage people to participate but they do need to be genuinely engaging.
For example, don’t ask people to vote on which one of your products they prefer as the majority of people probably haven’t purchased all of the options you’ll list. Instead, run a poll that gets them to be involved with the creation of a new product. This can be something as simple as what new colour would they like to see one of your best selling shoes in, what new flavour of smoothie would they like to see and so on.
So to sum up
Marketing to millennials isn’t easy, in fact, you need to adopt a whole new approach than what has historically worked before but the main thing that thankfully has not changed is that appealing to your audience’s emotions and interests in their own chosen methods is more likely to get you sales.
Remember relevance always beats reach!
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