Marketing for millennials requires tact, authenticity, and increasing perceived value. They tend to be more anti-corporation and care more about ethics than their parents did. And with a buying power of $200 billion and making up a quarter of the population – it’s time to pay attention to what works with millennials.
Millennials have been exposed to the most sophisticated marketing techniques for 2–3 decades now. This means the salesy marketing tactics of the past are just that…. of the past. To effectively reach the generation that will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, your marketing strategy needs to be thoughtfully planned and curated to match their values.
1. Inbound Marketing
We live in an age of information. Your new audience expects you to prove your worth through high-quality and consistent information.
Inbound marketing techniques such as blogging is no longer a bonus in your marketing strategy, it’s a necessity. In fact, 33% of millennials said they read blogs before they make a purchase.
Not only does your blog create authority and earn the respect of your clients, it is a huge help with SEO. Search engines are smarter than ever and if you aren’t producing quality and original content, they pick up that viewers aren’t sticking around to read through your articles. Then, all that mediocre work was for nothing – and could actually end up hurting you rather than helping you.
2. Branding & Authentic Storytelling
Millennials want to know who they are buying from and what you stand for. They are interested in backstories, motives, and originality. They also have a keen sense of smell for bullshit, so share carefully. With unprecedented access to information, everyone with Internet is able to double-check your information for fallacies or exaggerations.
If you don’t have a good background story that naturally hits the heartstrings, don’t dare make one up. That would be millennial marketing suicide. Instead brainstorm your brand carefully and don’t be afraid to share vulnerabilities. Brands that openly share tough times they’ve experienced even on a personal level are met with acceptance and admiration.
The key to excellent branding is being unique and genuine. Don’t hide behind a logo or company name – slap your personal picture on the, “About Me” page and tell your audience a little about yourself. And not just your qualifications or successes – include your hobbies or unusual quirks like how you collect James Bond memorabilia (It’s cool, Elon Musk does too).
3. Social Media
By now everyone knows the importance of social media to your marketing strategy, but the real question is – are you using it effectively? You need to know which social media platform is best for your product and how to use it.
Here’s a quick look at examples of industries, their ideal social media platform, and how they should use that platform to reach customers best.
4. Excellent Web Design
Today, just having a website doesn’t gain the respect of your customers. Your website needs to be functional, professional, and optimized for multiple devices. Without a professional website, you are scaring away potential customers and hurting your credibility.
Here are the elements of a great website that millennials actually want to visit:
- Straightforward, Conversational Web Content – Every web page should be carefully crafted with both your user and SEO in mind. This means pages are at least 900 words, grammar and spelling are perfect, and it’s easy to read (and for goodness sake – don’t keyword stuff!).
- High-Quality Images – The images on your site immediately communicate your professionalism to your viewers, if you aren’t using high-quality images this hurts your integrity.
- Videos – Photos capture your viewer’s attention better than text, but video rules all. Our brains are hardwired to notice movement, so using a video on your homepage is the most engaging element you could employ.
- Effective Formatting – Most people skim pages for exactly what they need – this means you need to use formatting effectively. Incorporate headlines, bulleted and numbered lists, hyperlinks, and an inverted writing style (leading with your conclusion).
- Functionality – Nothing makes a user click away faster than websites that load slowly or have a confusing layout. Your website should be fast and logically organized.
- Optimization for Multiple Devices – Millennials check-out websites on a variety of devices more than ever, meaning your website must look great across PCs, laptops, tablets, and especially on phones.
5. Mobile Marketing is a Must
Over 85% of millennials in the U.S. own a smartphone and 8 out of 10 Internet users globally visit their preferred social media platforms with their phones. People are moving away from computer screens and onto their smartphones.
With 1.66 billion mobile users on Facebook in 2016, advertisers are noticing that their Facebook ads are being clicked through on smartphones at a significantly higher rate than on computers. Moz recently said that every business should spend at least $1 in Facebook advertising a day, which will put you in front of “4,000 people who wouldn’t see you otherwise.” If you are advertising on Facebook (and you should be) then your ads need to be optimized for mobile devices.
6. Email Marketing
The quieter, less flashy stepsister of marketing techniques – email marketing is a proven tactic that works through steadfast, insightful content. And your emails target a relevant audience that willingly signed up to learn more. In fact, 72% of consumers say they prefer that businesses communicate with them through email over any other platform.
Email marketing is a way for you to stay connected with your customers, increase loyalty, and sales. Through a steady stream of emails, most marketers find it has a higher ROI compared to other techniques. In the U.S., 7 out of 10 adults have made a purchased influenced by a company email. Needless to say, if you don’t already have an email marketing campaign set up you should look into incorporating one into your overall marketing strategy – and stat.
Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy
Honestly, marketing to the millennial is a lot of fun. You get to be creative, think outside the box, and don’t have to follow what big corporations are doing. Personality and authenticity go further than posturing. So find your voice, be yourself, and watch business boom.