How to Market to Millennials

Millennials are a different breed, and your marketing should reflect that. Keep reading for 10 tips for marketing to millennials.

Millennials love to shop, and their shopping habits have considerable implications for online and offline businesses. So, knowing how to market to millennials, or those born from approximately 1980 to 1995, is undeniably one of the most critical things a company can do.

Millennials are a massive market for many industries. Now 72.1 million strong and counting, millennials in the U.S. are an enormous part of the labor force and are gravitating towards the peak of their purchasing power.

The generation spends about $600 billion every year. This figure will grow further as more and more people in this segment enter the labor force and gain stable careers. With enormous buying power and brand loyalty, it makes perfect sense that many brands want to target them.

How do you do it? Below are essential points that you should focus on if you want to market to millennials.

Market to Millennials: 10 Tips

1. Create Quality, Engaging Content  

Millennials live and thrive on social media platforms, so targeting them can be easy and, at the same time, tricky. These people consume tons of content each day, making it hard for new brands to stand out. Master your content marketing game to set your business apart from the rest. Capture their attention effectively by providing something unique and of great value.

Among different types of content, videos and photos prove to be the most magical aspects of content marketing. It’s always better to settle with visual content, as photos and videos get 94% more views than all-text content. They also get 100% more engagement than traditional marketing methods.

Consistently creating engaging content helps generate more leads, improve engagement, cultivate loyal fans, and position your brand as an authority in your industry. 

2. Lean into Influencer Marketing

Research conducted by the McCarthy Group found that 84% of millennials don't trust traditional marketing methods. These people quickly dismiss sponsored content, even if it caters to their own needs and preferences. However, another study by Defy Media states that 58% wouldn't mind watching ads featuring their favorite online stars. This points to the importance of influencer marketing when learning how to market to millennials.

Working with influencers offers a massive opportunity to reach a wider millennial audience. Each has a dedicated fanbase. Once they post about your products or services, you'll most likely see new followers and a higher level of reach and engagement.

The big challenge here is choosing the right influencer to collaborate with. Take your time in finding the right influencers that will help you grow your brand. If you end up with the wrong choices, you may deliver inauthentic content and damage your brand reputation. Instead, collaborate with influencers who have a relevant audience and whose brand values align with yours.

millennial friends

3. Prioritize Authenticity

Brand authenticity is vital if you want to market to millennials. 90% of them prefer organic content, not scripted, seemingly perfect sponsored posts. They want to see relatable experiences, ideas that match their values, and inspiring stories that they can share with their loved ones.

Since they grew up exposed to the hustle and bustle of the digital landscape, they are not easily tricked by brands that try too hard (and fail) to be authentic. 30% of millennials have said that they unfollowed a brand on social media because their content just felt fake.

Stop trying to create content for content's sake. Instead, find your voice and create consistent campaigns across several channels. Market your offerings by telling your brand story in an authentic, creative manner. Strike the emotional chord by encouraging them to interact with you and share their own stories. Interactive content can soon result in better brand recall and customer retention.

4. Encourage User-Generated Content  

User-generated content, also called consumer-generated content or simply UGC, is unsponsored content posted by people who want to share information about a specific product or service. It may come in the form of a social media post, podcast, YouTube video, or any other type of content. Considering that social media heavily influences millennials, UGC can effectively spark curiosity and capture the attention of more people in this segment.

Millennials say that the details they get from user-generated content are 50% more trusted than those received from other media sources. This explains that organic content like UGC is most likely to influence their buying decisions. Moreover, 51% say that user-generated content from strangers is more likely to affect their buying decisions than recommendations from loved ones and acquaintances.

If UGC is positive and authentic, it can improve your brand's traction with millennial consumers. Share UGC on your website and social media channels to help improve conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment rates.

5. Don’t Forget Social Media

Every successful content marketing plan for millennials starts with a robust social media strategy. Sprout Social reports that 75% of millennials interact with businesses through social media platforms. Furthermore, 47% state that social media influences their buying decisions. 

Social media plays an instrumental role in helping you connect with potential and current customers, but only if you know what to do. Millennials mostly use Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, though it's still crucial to consider your company's brand personality and your industry.

Once you have figured out the best platforms for your business, it's time to move towards consistent content creation and customer engagement. Be proactive on your social media channels. Constantly captivate your audience by responding to their messages in a friendly tone. Use emojis when answering questions to demonstrate that you are fun, approachable, and communicative.

6. Promote Causes That Make a Difference

Millennials aspire to make a difference, and it shows in their shopping habits. They love buying from brands that align well with their beliefs and values. 50% of millennial shoppers say they enjoy buying products from businesses that support causes. In addition, 75% are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.

millennial women

So, what do millennials care about? Among other causes, they care about climate change, healthcare reform, and racial discrimination. One case study other companies can learn from is Starbucks’ decision to eliminate plastic straws globally, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability. 

The thing is, any brand can post about supporting causes online. However, if it doesn’t feel authentic for millennials, then it won’t be effective. Take your time in choosing a cause that is highly relevant to your brand identity or something that feels personal for your team. Don’t do it solely for publicity, as posting inauthentic content can damage your brand image. 

7. Utilize a Multi-Platform Strategy

Take advantage of the reach the digital landscape can give by implementing a multi-platform marketing strategy. Explore different techniques. It may include Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, and newsletters. Whichever channels you consider, make sure the content is shareable, relatable, and easy to digest.

Working on different platforms creates multiple touchpoints between potential customers and your brand. Millennials are more than just social media users, and it's possible to target them even with email marketing. Adestra's 2016 Consumer Adoption and Usage study shows that almost 73% of millennials choose to communicate business matters via email. Moreover, more than half depend on their emails to buy things online. 

A multi-platform strategy can help deliver consistent messaging, increase brand visibility, and improve conversion rates when executed properly. 

8. Mobile Optimization Matters

63% of millennials now shop on their mobile phones every day. This is why websites, including eCommerce sites, must be fully optimized for mobile use. And this practice doesn't only involve websites. From your emails and landing pages to social media content, every part of your digital strategy must look great from a mobile perspective. 

Millennials love attention-grabbing images that provide clear information, even on smaller screens. So, producing visual content for mobile use is serious business. When you optimize your pages based on mobile standards, you're more likely to keep audiences for extended periods. 

Millennials are also fond of multitasking using multiple devices. Thus, it's best to keep everything simple. Get to the point quickly. That way, they can absorb content in any way they want.

millennial man texting on phone

9. Make it Personal

Personalization is the act of using personal data to create or modify individualized content for potential and current customers. It's a good strategy for attracting more millennial audiences, as they love curating and customizing their platforms. 

Millennials are constantly looking for offerings that match their aesthetics and lifestyle. And they need help to make the experience more convenient. They are willing to give their personal details just to have a tailored browsing experience. In addition, half of them would share information to join reward programs. 36% would also do so for website access.  

For business owners, this is not only about sharing product recommendations. To efficiently learn how to market to millennials, you need to provide tailored offerings from suitable locations and customer information. 

10. Track Your Data Analytics

Without analytics, your digital marketing efforts may go to waste. Therefore, it's essential to continuously monitor your strategy and optimize your future campaigns depending on what was successful. How do you do this? First, analyze social media engagement, website traffic, and customer retention rate.

Then, study the data you have gathered to determine different patterns in consumer behavior, creative preferences, and conversions. What went wrong? What factors contributed to a campaign's success? Point out your brand's strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, catch patterns, trends, and insights that can help you in the future. 

Market to Millennials to Target the Future 

Millennials are people of varying ages, personalities, and ever-changing emotions. And marketers and business owners need to constantly appeal to them through quality content and brand offerings. Look for the best combination of campaigns, content, ads, and techniques for the specific millennials you are targeting. 

There is no single formula to target such a vast market. As much as possible, learn from what the most successful brands have accomplished. Learn how they were able to embrace the digital way of living as a means to target millennials and as part of their brands’ future. 

Initially, it may feel like being trapped in an endless trial and error process just to see what your potential millennial customers respond to. But soon, you’ll realize that it’s worth it! Brands that find the most creative, digitally innovative path towards the millennials they are targeting are the ones enjoying long-term success.

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