5 Tips for Marketing to Millennials

Everywhere you look, there are millennials. They’re infiltrating the workplace, instigating social change, and opening their wallets like never before. From a business perspective, you must respect the buying power and influence these young consumers have. That means reevaluating your marketing strategies and tailoring them to millennial needs and preferences. Where’s the best place to start, you may ask? Try the following five tips.

1. Seek a Genuine Connection

Out with the old and in with the new – that’s what the millennial generation wants. “The cheesy marketing tricks of the past are no good on millennials. They’re always digitally connected and more likely to be swayed by clever, humorous marketing schemes than flashy signs and lists of amenities,” mentions Green Residential, a Houston-based property management firm. “They want to feel connected to the marketer, whether through social media or through the personality that’s used in advertisements.”

This is why you’ve seen an increase in the use of brand characters in recent years – especially in the insurance space where Allstate has Mayhem, Progressive has Flo, and Aflac has The Duck. Brands realize that storytelling on a persona level is the key to securing a genuine connection with this savvy demographic.

2. Mobile Marketing is a Must

As mentioned, millennials are always connected to their devices. As such, mobile marketing is extremely important. Through SMS marketing, email marketing, and native app advertising, brands can literally reach their target market at all times. However, it’s important to identify which mediums work best and throw out the ones that don’t. Some brands will have little success with SMS marketing, while others will discover it’s their highest returning resource. The moral of the story? Test everything.

3. Streamline the Purchase Process

One problem modern businesses often have when trying to target millennials is that they forget to close the gap between marketing and sales. While there used to be a sizeable delay between marketing exposure and the actual point of sale, the internet has dissolved such boundaries. If you want to maximize your marketing efforts, be prepared to close the sale in the same step.

“We have no reservations, whatsoever, about purchasing online; in fact, we prefer it,” writes millennial Ryan Donegan. “And with extensive services like Amazon Prime, our online purchasing expectations have been set pretty high. If your business has been lucky enough to capture our short attention spans, then you should make purchasing online as easy as possible, or we will move on to a company that does.”

4. Understand Who Millennials Trust

Millennials don’t trust traditional advertisements. You should gravitate towards influencer marketing instead. According to one report, influencer marketing campaigns actually bring in $6.85 for every $1.00 of paid media. In other words, it’s almost seven times more effective. This means your time is better spent developing relationships with industry influencers, as opposed to securing meetings with advertising partners.

5. Have a Conversation

Millennials want to engage with brands. They prefer a two-way street, as opposed to the traditional marketing tactics that speak at consumers. The best way to have a conversation with millennial consumers is obviously through social media.

In the coming months, look for live streaming social media to take off. With platforms like Meerkat and Periscope, you can fundamentally transform the way you market your products and services by actually communicating with customers in real time. It’ll be interesting to see how this aspect of social media marketing continues to evolve.

Make Millennials a Priority

While you don’t want to alienate other demographics, it’s imperative that you begin shifting your focus towards the millennial segment of the marketplace. They currently represent a large percentage of the national buying power and it would be a shame to hinder your marketing efforts.

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