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July 25, 2019
How to Market to Millennials
“Millennials” has been a buzz word for almost a decade now, and it’s one of the largest generations in the United States. So it’s hard to dismiss them – especially if you’ve done your work on developing personas and found that 18- to 34-year-olds are your target audience.
Facts about Millennials
- Millennials are the fastest-growing group of consumers. Born between 1982 and 2004, they number about 83 million.
- They’re highly educated. Almost half of all millennials went to or are going to a college or technical school.
- They make up the largest part of the workforce. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials comprised 35% of the U.S. workforce.
- They are the most racially diverse generation. Inc.com reports that only 56 percent of millennials are white. They are twice as likely to be Hispanic as older generations and more likely to be African American and Asian.
How to Market to Millennials
Marketing to millennials is a tricky task. Traditional marketing doesn’t work with this group; you have to be creative and interactive. Here are some things to remember:
- Mobile is king. 92% of millennials own a smartphone, and they use it as their primary means of using the Internet and social media. In fact, almost half use them in stores to compare prices, read reviews, and find coupons. Make sure your site works well and loads fast on a mobile phone. If they don’t have a good experience on your website or have trouble loading it, they’ll move on.
- Video works. An Animoto study found that 80 percent of millennials use videos to conduct research before buying something. This means having video on your site, having your own YouTube channel, and creating lots of videos.
- Social media still rules. 85% of millennials have some type of social media profile. They tend to use the newer social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. Before you create your own accounts on these networks, make sure you have the content that is relevant.
- Be authentic. Millennials are more cynical than other generations and tend to know when they’re being marketed to. The key is to give them information – white papers, testimonials and free e-books – that explain your product or service and how it can help them. Reviews on sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List and Google Business also influence millennials, so stay on top of customer service. Word of mouth has always worked. Now millennials now have a megaphone with social media and will shout your praises – or faults – in a heartbeat.
- Respond quickly. “The Millennial generation possesses a very strong BS detector,” says Michael Malinsky, co-founder of WUNDER2. “Authenticity is worth its weight in gold.” If you don’t respond to their questions – whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, or text – they’ll see you as unprofessional and untrustworthy and will go somewhere else.
- Use different marketing methods. In the “old” days, print ads, direct mail and TV ads took most of the advertising budgets of companies. That doesn’t work anymore; millennials see them as impersonal fluff. You need to market to millennials with testimonials, experts, influencers and reviews. Use email marketing to get in touch with people, engage with your customers on social media and make sure your website is educational, providing impartial information that helps them make a decision.
- Use coupons that can be shared. This is the time to use social media. Millennials love a deal, and they love to share a deal with their friends. Putting coupons up on social media guarantees that people will share it, giving you more business. If you’re scared that you’ll lose money, remember that millennials are very loyal once they select a business or service.
- Be charitable. Millennials are interested in social causes and appreciate businesses who do the same. Support a cause – whether it’s donating part of your sales to an nonprofit or partnering with them on a project. Millennials will see you as an authentic, caring business.
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