The “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Marketing to Millennials

Often stereotyped as bearded, social-media obsessed, avocado-eaters; millennials in fact make up the largest proportion of our workforce and therefore have huge buying power in today’s market. The exact definition of a millennial is anyone born between 1981-1996, (aged 23 to 37). For many businesses these consumers would make up a large percentage of their ideal client. However, many companies struggle to market to this audience because their buying habits are very different to the generations that came before them.

Below we have created a few ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ when it comes to marketing to millennials to help you access such an important generation.

DO NOT hard sell.
DO create a trustworthy brand.
Millennials do not like to be sold to but they do like to buy. So how do you entice them to your business? The best way to encourage millennials to spend money with you is to prove that you are a trustworthy brand. Millennials rely heavily on peer-reviews when assessing which brands to spend money with. Business owner’s should be focusing on encouraging user generated content wherever possible. For example you could reward customers who share photos of their purchases or visits to your business as this creates reviews and images that you can use across your own sites as proof that you are indeed “a trustworthy brand”. Collaborations with trusted influencers and micro-influencers are another effective way brands convertmillennials into purchasers.

DO use social media.
DO NOT obsess over the latest platforms and technology
It is common knowledge that millennials are tech-savvy but unlike Generation Z, they are not as interested in the newest and most advanced platforms. Even though snapchat is seen as “the place to be” by most youngsters, millennials are likely to spend more time on Instagram and Facebook. They also still use laptops and desktops to surf the web, alongside their smartphones, therefore it is important that your sites are compatible for both.

DO create video content.
DO NOT forget to add to subtitles, use the “live” channels and evoke emotion.
A well known fact is that most millennials now watch more video content online than on their TV and this is only going to get more popular. In fact, it is believed that by 2020, 80% of all consumer internet traffic will be from online videos (Cisco). Another thought to consider is that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, so it is worth including subtitles on your videos. Facebook and Instagram live videos are heavily encouraged by the platforms and use of the “live” button on each of the channels can positively impact your reach. Lastly consider the subject of your videos;those that evoke emotion in the viewer are much more effective than purely informative videos.

DO have a great online presence
DO NOT forget to check what appears when your brand is searched online.
Millennials are also known as the “research generation” and because they are used to having a huge amount of knowledge at their fingertips, it is likely they will research your brand well before making a purchase with you. This is why it is important to ensure your brand is broadly represented online, having a great PR company who can help you appear positively and regularly throughout online and offline publications is a huge help. Also check you are appearing on the first page of google and that all information displayed is correct (opening hours, contact information, pricing etc.). Ask for outdated information to be removed and check that you have responded to all reviews (good and bad) left on sites such as google reviews or tripadvisor, to be sure that anyone reading them can see you care about the relationship with your customers.

DO think about your company’s values.
DO NOT pick a cause that you are not genuinely interested in.
Millennials are often very in tune with the latest social, economical and political issues. They want to buy from brands that support their beliefs and they have respect for companies that have an ethical conscience – think of the popularity of plastic-free, organic or plant-based products within this age group. They have spent their whole lives listening about global concerns and they want to buy from brands that are doing something about these issues. It is very clear however when a company has latched on to the latest buzz-word, rather than truly believing that they are able to support a worthwhile cause or problem. Therefore make sure whatever you decide to add as a company value is also important to you and isn’t purely seen as a marketing tactic by consumers.

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