Marketing to Millennials: Dos and Don’ts
Welcome to the new age of marketing to millennials.This digital-savvy generation has the most spending power in the country at just over $200 billionand that number is expected to rise in the years to come. Unless you’re in the business of helping people prepare for retirement, the bulk of your marketing strategy should be targeted towards millennials if you hope to stay in business over the next 10 to 20 years. Millennials will continue to shape marketing and buying trends across nearly every industry. Learn more about how to market to millennials, including how to create shareable content, create an authentic brand and hone in on a specific target audience.
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Do: Create Content That Provides Value to the Viewer
You’ve probably seen countless blog posts about the value and importance of content marketing, or the idea of creating content as a way of marketing your products and services. Instead of outright telling people what they should buy, you can use this content to educate consumers about the benefits of your products and services. Whether it’s a blog post, a video on YouTube or shareable content on social media, your marketing dollars should be focused on creating content that resonates with your target audience. You can use statistics and personal narratives to give your content more value.
Social media was designed for sharing content and it tends to be one of the best avenues for reaching millennials. In fact, millennials are 56 percent more likely to discover marketing content on social media than websearch or email. According to the same study, five out of six millennials connect with brands on social media.
Don’t: Rely on Overly Promotional Ads with Zero Credibility
The old way of promoting content, such as TV and radio spots, magazine ads and billboards, is going the way of the dinosaur. Millennials tend to turn away from overly promotional ads that seem like they’re just out to make money. These consumers expect to gain something from your content, whether it’s a quick laugh, an awe-inspiring image or learning about something new.
Do: Show Your Authenticity
Millennials want to engage with brands that seem authentic. This means you need to make your consumers feel as if they’re engaging with real human beings, not just a bunch of ad men sitting around the conference table. Statistics show that43 percent of millennials value authenticity over the content itself and there are few things more authentic than live content. Millennials trust user-generated content more than any other type of media. This illustrates why so many companies are reaching out to social media influencers for content collaborations and sponsorship opportunities.
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If you want to make inroads with millennials, you can try posting a live video that shows people what’s happening behind the scenes at your company, featuring user-generated content on your website or social media. Also, make everyday consumers the face of your company by reaching out to influencers.
Don’t: Be a Faceless Corporation
If millennials value authenticity, your company needs to have an identity that consumers can relate to. You can talk about social causes that resonate with your company and employees, how your company plans on making a positive impact on society or why you went into business in the first place. It’s all about creating real relationships between human beings, not consumers and a faceless corporation.
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Do: Find Your Niche
Social media and the internet allow us to connect with people who share our interests and world view. You can find all kinds of niche communities online where real people are sharing stories and content, making friends and discovering new products and services that relate to their niche. Every business owner should understand the importance of finding their target audience, but social media and big data have taken this trend to the next level. Narrowing in on a select group of consumers helps you make the most of marketing dollars by only appealing to the kinds of people who are interested in your products and services.
Regardless of what you’re trying to sell, there’s a good chance that there’s already an online community out there just waiting to discover your company. From fishing gear to cooking supplies and video games, every company needs to find out where their niche is spending time online. You can learn more about where your niche hangs out by finding similar accounts on social media. You can see what kinds of people tend to follow these accounts and what kinds of posts tend to be the most popular with this group of consumers. You can then work on becoming an accepted member of this community by sharing relevant content, commenting on and liking other people’s content and sharing valuable information such as tips and tricks, statistics and personal stories.
Don’t: Cast a Wide Net
Finding your niche helps you avoid certain pitfalls when marketing your products and services to the public. Millennials will be hesitant to engage with your brand if it feels like you’re trying to reach everyone at once. These types of consumers want to feel like they are a part of a community or movement by purchasing goods and services from a company that cares about them and their interests. While you might think that watering down the look of your company, including your logo, product labels or content marketing materials, will help you appeal to a wider swath of consumers, creating wholly unique and original marketing materials can actually help you stand out amid the competition. Millennials will see your brand as authentic and bold, giving you a foothold in the market.
When marketing to millennials, don’t be afraid to be bold. Focus on carving out a niche in the marketplace and reel in new consumers by creating valuable content that’s not overly promotional in nature. Talk to your consumers like they’re real people who can distinguish between a salesy tagline and an authentic, positive message.