Marketing to Millennials; The Art of Shared Authenticity

 

With a spending power that exceeds $200 billion annually, businesses and non-profits are searching for ways to effectively engage millennials. Truth be told, it’s not about learning new tricks, but more so, engaging in a much more casual and authentic way about what you do and why.

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Embrace the Millennial Mindset

As with any marketing endeavor, you must first get to know your target audience. And this has never been truer than when marketing to millennials. Who are these unique gems? Where do they live and thrive? Do I need Babbel to learn their language?

A few things to consider about the millennial consumer:

Creatures of the Internet, Millennials spend on average up to 25 hours a week online.
Extremely social, they share, pin and forward their greatest finds and interests with friends and acquaintances…often!
The opinions of others (preferably other millenials) matter more than any other factor in a purchase.

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Authenticity in Word and Deed

The millennial shopper/influencer turns first to others …those they know or can relate to with similar interests, including strangers found on the social networks. Have they used your product? Would they recommend it? Do others trust you?

Because they are already ‘search savvy’ they likely already know what they want and now seek the best provider of that product or service. It’s not simply what you offer, but why. What’s the bigger picture or purpose behind what you do?

If reaching out to Millennials is an important part of your business or organizational growth plan, here are some key factors to keep in mind:

 

If you’re not on Yelp or Google My Business where young shoppers can easily find reviews of your product or services, you need to be.

See our recent blog post about Google My Business.

 

Consider targeted ads on Instagram (#1 for millennials) and/or Facebook that boast a testimonial from a millennial …or one that features empowering words or a more personalized message. Millennials prefer to be inspired by their peers or more authentic content.

Say it with Testimonials

 

Pop up ads should contain a sense of community, belonging or purpose beyond a simple promotional opportunity that they didn’t choose to see. Why should it matter to them?

 

Millennials prefer to be inspired by authentic content that has been shared by other millennials. What content could you create that could be easily shared on the social platforms they use? Think about content for a helpful Infographic or photography with an overlay message that appeals to the issues they relate to, such as the environment, animals, education, or personal/professional empowerment.

Step outside your business and share a little fun!

 

Be an expert they can trust — videos, eBooks or how-to information that supports their personal or professional growth is sharing gold. They are 247% more likely to be influenced by information shared on social platforms (again, think Instagram first, then YouTube then FB.).

Hint: If you’ve created a great eBook about how your product, service or organization can help them, post a simple, engaging video telling them how, linking to your website landing page for easy download! Go outside the box and shoot your short video someplace fun (in front of the monkeys at the zoo!) or your favorite restaurant, bar or park!

Create value with your own ‘how to’ content.

 

Speaking of video, 60% of Millennials upload and share videos, so YouTube is a great place for content. Given that authentic content rules, your how-to or topical short doesn’t have to be a high-end production. Adding a quick video weekly to your blog (that also lives on YouTube) is a great way to begin building an audience. The more personal you can make it the better! If your own story reflects some of the challenges that young adults are facing today, weave that into your message.

Keep it personal and authentic.

Above all, Millennials want to know that you care about them and their interests more than wanting to sell them something.

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Embrace the Millennial Mindset

Millennials are very open to suggesting ways in which your business or organization can capture the interest of more in their community. Find a way to bring this vital audience into your product or service research and development sector. Ask for videos of how they currently use your product or service, or how your organization could play a bigger role in their community. Make sure you respond to all submissions with gratitude and honesty. Post them to your own social platform and watch the shares grow!

 

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