Marketing to millennials is not as cut-and-dried as you may think. They are not simply the generation of the 80s and 90s that you can market to with one strategy. They’re a multi-layered generation that requires adjusted marketing tactics for each layer, and some well-thought-out, creative innovation.
Before you hurl your existing millennial marketing strategy in the direction of the bin, consider these multi-layered millennials as multiple opportunities to make this collective trillion-dollar buying-power segment fall in love with your awesome brand!
And we’ve got some really powerful tools to help you do this! Here are some millennial marketing strategies and tips that you can use to gain the love, trust, and spend of your millennial target audience.
Who Are Millenials?
Millennials are individuals born between 1981 and 1996. This is a unique generation that is in its prime spending years – making it a very lucrative audience to market to.
What makes this generation unique, however, is that millennials grew up in the digital age. Be it at the introduction of computers, mobile devices, and the internet to society or slap-bang in the middle of the very fast digital evolution.
So, a millennial’s expectations of a brand and how it communicates with them are founded on extreme ease of access to information, a bombardment of marketing and advertising messages, and trust that needs to be earned authentically.
Sounds Like A Tough Crowd?
Not really, because millennials love trying and experiencing new things. And this makes them an exciting audience to market to (not to mention the buying power being very attractive!)
But you do need to be aware of their peer-to-peer communication styles and platforms and which stage of their lives they are in. You also need to think about what their values and priorities are. This is how you connect with them.
What Do They Look For In A Brand?
Millennials are all about authenticity. They want the brands that they choose to be “real” about what they are promoting, why they are promoting it, and why millennials should buy into it.
This generation can smell BS a mile away. So, if your brand is being disingenuous in its messaging, how it communicates, and the values that your brand holds, you’ll be dropped like hot potatoes.
What millennials want is a brand whose values and priorities resonate with their own. A brand that truly understands the challenges they face, the things that make them happy, and what gets them excited in life.
7 Effective Tips For Marketing To Millenials
So let’s get into the meaty stuff. What are the secrets to millennial marketing?
Create Authentic Content
Millennials have been exposed to massive information overload and thousands of brands’ marketing messages. They are very “turned off” by blatant promotion thrown in their faces.
Thus, millennials want content that is meaningful and authentic – content that is created with their specific lifestyles, values, needs, and desires at the heart of it. They also want content that is transparent in its messaging and its goals.
When creating content, it’s incredibly valuable to have a millennial in the midst of your content creation team. It’s helpful to have someone who understands the drive and emotive fuel of a millennial – someone who talks the lingo, uses the slang, and who can infuse this knowledge into your brand’s marketing messages.
Tap Into Their Tech Savviness
Aside from being the most lucrative market with very high buying power, millennials are incredibly tech savvy. They use smart devices to browse the net for information and entertainment and do a lot of online purchasing.
The online world offers the convenience that is so attractive to millennials. As such, marketing on social media platforms – where you’ll most often find millennials – is a clever way to connect with this audience.
The Experience Economy
Unlike their preceding generations, millennials are less interested in “owning” stuff than they are in experiencing things. This opens a whole new door of marketing – where brands have the entire shopping experience to connect with their customers.
Millennials like the journey and the experiences that happen along the way. So, focus on making your customers’ entire journeys – from discovery to after-sales support – memorable, fun, exciting, rewarding, and interesting.
This can really make your brand stand out from your competitors.
Speak With Them, Not To Them
Hard-sell marketing lingo isn’t going to work with a millennial. These guys do not like to be boxed and labeled and have brands speaking to them.
Millennials want to feel like they are part of a brand’s journey. They want to be a part of the developing story of a brand that is threaded through all of its messaging, from social media posts to blogs.
And this is a superpower that brands have if they choose to realize and utilize it. Have conversations with your target audience in comments, share their content, and engage with them on a personal level as opposed to seeing them as just a cash-cow.
The benefits of this are huge! When millennials feel close to your brand, they will want to spread their love. They will talk about your brand in posts, share reviews of your products, and tell their friends about you.
It’s really putting the butterfly effect of authentic marketing into action.
Understand Their Need For Purpose
The millennial generation has a deep-seated need for purpose and giving back. Brands that subscribe to those same values will capture their attention.
Sourcing local, having a charity or animal organization that a brand supports, using environmentally friendly products – all of these aspects talk to this generation’s sense of purpose. Like knowing that a brand’s products are made using earth-friendly ingredients. Or that for every $100 spent, a percentage goes to the local animal shelter.
Embrace Convenience And Practicality
As mentioned, this generation truly values convenience and practicality. That is why social commerce is such a powerful tool.
The online buying process, through a website, for example, can have many steps that eventually irritate the millennial customer and lead to cart abandonment.
This is where social commerce becomes so valuable. Being able to purchase a product directly from a brand’s Instagram shop is so quick and easy. So, if you sell or promote physical products, making sure your Instagram marketing points directly to your Instagram shop is a must!
Get Savvy With Entertainment
As the name suggests, this is a combination of entertainment and commerce. If a millennial customer finds the browsing and exploration experience entertaining, they are psychologically put into a buying frame of mind. You want to link that entertainment experience directly to buying.
Instagram Reels and Live are very powerful here. IG Live Shopping gives you a huge opportunity to “sell” products directly from a live broadcast. This plugs into the authenticity vibe too. You can chat directly to your audience about the product, answer their questions, and really connect with them. In turn, this will drive sales up!
The millennial generation is such a fun audience to market to. Their different view of the world, their values, and their experiential drive allow you to get creative and innovative with your marketing. This, in turn, helps you to stand out against your competitors by being unique – which millennials will want to be a part of.
When doing millennial marketing, feel free to step way out of the box in your ideas. Keep the points we mentioned in mind when doing so, and remember to always look at the life stage that your primary target audience is at.
Then have fun with it!