They instinctively tune-out traditional advertising. They trust the opinions of their friends and family over branded marketing. They expect quick, efficient solutions to their problems, and will settle for nothing less.
Sounds like an advertiser’s worst nightmare, right?
Millennials are now the largest generation in both America and Canada. As the first generation to have had consistent access to internet-based technology throughout their lives, they’re also heavily studied by researchers and marketing teams alike.
And it’s true – a new generation of digital denizens requires a different marketing approach. However, doing so doesn’t have to be a guessing game.
With the right tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be able to gear your products and services towards millennials in an effective and cost-reductive way.
Here are some sure-fire marketing strategies that have proven tried-and-true across businesses of all kinds!
Millennials Love Mobile, Your Business Should, Too
You’ve likely already heard this one before – but it’s still overwhelmingly true: 98% of millennials own and rely heavily on their smartphones in the US alone.
And whether they’re flipping through their Instagram stories or booking an appointment online via services like Yocale, for millennials, interface is key. Millennials expect user-friendly, responsive sites and apps that are consistent with their desktop counterparts.
This means that it’s crucial to ensure that your company’s mobile web interface is easy-to-use. If your platform or service can solve problems quickly, millennials will flock to your business. If not, they’ll likely go elsewhere.
Emphasize Your Social Media Presence
In order to reach millennials, advertisers have had to lean more towards online advertising efforts. However, this often takes some ingenuity, as millennials have learned to avoid and block out advertising, even online.
For example, 67% of surveyed millennials have stated that they never click on sponsored Instagram stories. Despite this, millennials are still engaging with businesses online – just on their own terms.
A reported 64-66% of millennials will follow a brand or business online in anticipation of receiving a coupon or discount. This highlights the importance of having a dedicated online presence for your brand – in fact, you might even call it essential.
Which brings us to our next tip…
Incentivize And Promote “Social Proof”
As we’ve established, millennials do not respond well to traditional advertising. Having been plagued with TV and radio ads their entire lives, they’ve become resistant and even distrusting of businesses that utilize this strategy.
So how do you sell to a demographic that isn’t willing to hear your sales pitch?
As it turns out, millennials are willing to listen – they’re just less likely to listen to advertisers directly. Instead, they’re more reliant on the opinions of their peers, which is why influencer marketing is such a hot trend.
Some marketers refer to this phenomenon as “social proof” – meaning, millennials prefer to see evidence from friends, family, and online peers that a business has value to offer them.
In fact, 7 in 10 millennials believe it is their responsibility to share feedback with brands when they have a good or bad experience.
You can take advantage of this by incentivizing and making it easy for millennials to share their experience with your brand or service. Try generating an online buzz for your products or services with support from a prominent, catchy hashtag to reinforce brand visibility further.
From here, award participants who share their story with the hashtag with a chance to win a discount code or free service. You’ll likely be surprised by how eager millennials are to share their story, especially when they’re incentivized to do so!
Optimize Your Online Content
With millennials, time is of the essence. Because millennials are well-versed with digital technology, they’re accustomed to receiving information quickly and efficiently.
As Emerson Spartz – an entrepreneur and millennial himself – has found, you’ll have to base your marketing on this philosophy in order to maximize your results:
“Social is the new SEO, especially when it comes to Millennials. Focus your marketing on reaching them via social platforms. These drive the most significant traffic back to brands and publishers. Optimizing the content is also key. We see the highest shares on short, captioned videos that nail the first ten seconds of content to hook the viewer. Keep it brief and don’t assume Millennials are waiting around to watch long videos with the sound on.”
Focus On Providing Quality Service
We know millennials are driven to buy and purchase by peer recommendations, and that they love sharing their experiences with others, too.
But as evidence shows, word-of-mouth is an even bigger purchasing influencer for millennials than it is for the baby boomer generation. In this way, perhaps millennials are old-fashioned after all!
Katrina Barry – managing director for Australian-based tour service Contiki – highlighted the importance of word-of-mouth in an interview with Bandt:
“Millennials now have access to first-hand, real-life experiences and they’re able to form specific and trusted expectations because of this. There’s a clear reason why they want to see what they’re getting or getting them themselves into – it’s because they can – so as a brand, we need to accommodate this.”
The takeaway? Focus on providing above-average service, and you can bet that your beyond-satisfied millennial clients will eagerly spread the word.
Millennials may be an enigmatic generation – but with the right strategies in mind, marketing to them can be relatively straightforward. As an always-on, interconnected generation, they thwart common advertising tactics – but some core advertising principles still apply.
For one, quality products and upstanding service are still king – and that’s practically half the battle.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this post! For more on business strategy, online and off – keep up with us here, five days a week at the Yocale blog!