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How to Market to Millennials: The Ultimate Guide

As of 2019, there are around 73 million millennials in America. That’s well over one-fifth of the entire population of the country. Indeed, millennials have officially overtaken the baby-boomers as the largest adult population in the US. And the number’s only going up. Generational change has a significant impact on society all-round. The implications stretch into all facets of life. One of them is marketing. The rise of the millennial has a direct impact on the life of a marketer. The question of the day is no longer ‘how to market to baby boomers?’ It’s ‘how to market to millennials?’

Here for answers? Keep reading.

What’s a Millennial?

Successful millennial marketing begins with understanding your audience. Marketers have to get into the millennial mind. It’s the best way to learn how to tap into the $200 billion of annual buying power millennials represent.

Let’s consider what, and who, millennials are.

The What

At its simplest, ‘millennial’ is the generational term given to anyone born after Generation X (these guys came after the so-called ‘baby boomers’), and before Generation Z. As you can probably surmise, millennials are also known as Generation Y. Go figure. Anyway, the millennial ‘window’ of years changes depending on who you ask. That said, it’s roughly between 1981 (or 1982) and 1996. If you’re born in these years, well, congratulations, you’re officially a millennial.

The Who

Now let’s turn to the ‘who’. This is of utmost marketing importance. Remember, we’re all a product of the life and times we grew up in. The world a generation grows up in is largely responsible for how it turns out. For millennials, in general, that’s created a sect of society who are highly-educated, hard-working, ambitious, tech-savvy, family-oriented, and achievement-oriented. All good qualities. However, they can also be attention-seeking, entitled, job-hopping, pampered, and wary of authority. That makes for an eclectic and diverse range of people! Marketing to millennials can be tough going. Read on to learn how to do it.

How to Market to Millennials: 7 Crucial Methods

Okay, we know who they are. Now, let’s go through what they want to see in your marketing endeavors.

1. Make it Authentic

Authenticity is the key to your marketing success. It’s the number one thing millennials want to see. They’re tired of being sold to. Tired of advertisements. Tired of being manipulated by corporate interests. Tired of having products and services shoved down their throats at every turn.

Instead, they want something real!

They want to know who you are. They want a face to the name. They want a front row seat and a backstage pass to your company. They need to see reality and get genuine value provided from you.Want their trust? You have to earn it first.

2. Traditional Ads Don’t Work

Old-fashioned advertising is dead. Millennials just don’t trust it. They will not buy from a banner-ad, pop-up, or anything else. These ads are deemed untrustworthy and are unlikely to stimulate clicks. You’re more likely to succeed from reviews and recommendations. That can come with social proof (testimonials work well) and solid brand identity. Focus on developing both to be successful in your marketing.

3. Leverage Influencers

We’ve just seen how social proof and recommendations make a difference. That’s the power of an influencer. Trusted people with large followings will help sway the audience you’re trying to tap into. Remember, millennials are tech-savvy. They’re online, on their devices, for hours every day. Social media is awash with millennial activity. The internet is alight with millennial traffic. Influencers have a captive audience. Work with the influencer, access their audience.

4. Make it Personal

Millennials are unimpressed by outbound marketing. Bad news 1980s marketing man. Your magazine ads, direct mail, and radio spots aren’t gonna work anymore. Millennials want more. They want genuine substance in the form of customer-focused, personalized marketing. Here’s the basic idea: this is about them, not you. Make a millennial feel important and they’ll love you for it. Invest in personalized marketing capabilities. Your ads, emails, and content should all be specific to the person you’re targeting.

5. Content is Still King

Content marketing isn’t dead. In fact, more content is being produced and consumed than ever before. People still rely on it in their lives and use it to inform their decision-making. However, the type of content is changing with the times. There’s still room for a good old-fashioned blog post. But video content is becoming increasingly important to marketing success. Likewise, all content should be optimized for mobile consumption. Then you have the development of virtual and augmented reality to think about too.

6. Have a Worthy Cause

Millennials are interested in ethics. They want to know you’re a worthy company. They want to feel good about purchasing from you. They will pay attention to your company morals and judge you according to what they see. Indeed, millennials are more likely to use your product or service when they know they’re contributing to a good cause, or actively tackling a world issue, etc by giving you their hard-earned money. Does your company work with a charity? Does it donate to good causes? Does it lend its hand to a world issue? If it doesn’t, then consider doing so now. It’s in your direct financial interest to make millennials feel good about buying from you.

You get to feel better about yourself in the process!

7. Get Social

Social media marketing is a major asset to anyone marketing to millennials. For instance, 87% of millennials use Facebook. That’s more than any other generation. And the same goes for other platforms too. Millennials love their smartphones. They love scrolling, liking, sharing, and watching. Any marketer worth their salt must be utilizing social media in their efforts.

Time to Get Marketing

There you have it: how to market to millennials in 7 essential ways. Millennials now make up a major part of the adult population in the US. And that comes with serious purchasing power. Marketers need to tap into this audience. However, this is an enormously diverse bunch of people, who won’t fall for old-fashioned practices. Marketers need to adapt to the times and learn what these millennials want to see. Hopefully, the information above has been enlightening!

Looking for help with your millennial marketing campaign? Contact us today to learn more about our creative advertising approaches.

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