4 Steps to Becoming a Millennial Marketing Master

Christina Millennial Blog
Christina Giusti
November 20, 2015

While they may be known for their Netflix binge-watching and hipster aesthetic, millennials make up a group of emerging consumers that your advertising campaign should pay attention to.  If you’re one of many business owners asking yourself how to reach these seemingly apathetic, traditional-advertising-hating young folk, then you’ve come to the right place.  Check out these four steps to help you target millennials and take advantage of their formidable buying power.

 

But Wait–Who Are These “Millennials” Anyway?

Over a quarter of the American population can be categorized as millennials. Millennials include anyone who was born roughly between 1980 and 2000.  Overall, this demographic is hitting major life events much later than previous generations.  Accordingly, millennials are more likely to be financially dependent on their parents, and over 18% still live at home.  Furthermore, millennials spend much of their twenties paying off large amounts of student loan debt. 

Despite these seemingly negative financial figures, millennial purchasing power is still a force to be reckoned with.  In actuality, millennials spend nearly $200 billion per year.  Even better, millennials are a tremendous source of word of mouth advertising.  Over 65 percent of millennials reportedly ask friends and family for advice before making a purchase.  Reach one millennial and you can potentially reach their entire contact list on their smartphone.

Now that we know more about the spending power of the millennial generation, let’s explore best practices for tapping into their purchasing habits.

 

1) Advertise Where Millennials Are Looking: On Mobile Devices

Millennials check their smartphones over forty times a day.  Is it any surprise then that this demographic prefers to browse for services on their mobile devices? In order to impress millennials, make sure your websites are optimized for mobile viewing.  It’d be a shame if a twenty-something clicked on your website or ad and wasn’t able to transact immediately on their phone.  If you’re running a Bing or Google Adwords campaign, it’d be wise to stay on top of your Devices Report and increase mobile bids to get in front of millennials who may be searching.  Even better, if your services lend well to a mobile app, develop it—STAT!

 

2) Engage with Millennials on Social Media

Forbes recently reported that 62% of millennials are more likely to purchase a product or a service if a brand engages with them via social platforms.  Millennials are tech-savvy and therefore present on nearly every social media channel.  While social media advertising is an obvious choice for reaching this demographic, I propose going the extra mile with your social media pages. 

Post authentic, well-written content that shies away from traditional advertising hooks or call-to-actions.  Millennials will value your authenticity and feel like you aren’t overtly trying to sell them something.  Even better, find your biggest millennial advocates on social media and engage with their posts.  Learn more about influencer marketing here.

If you need an example of a brand that is doing this well, take a look at Taco Bell.  Taco Bell is successfully engaging millennials with unique content on Instagram and Snapchat.  That being said, if you’re going to model your millennial marketing strategy after Taco Bell, don’t go beating up any Uber drivers in the process, please.

 

3) Embrace Testimonials

Many small business owners view testimonials as either a friend or foe.  Whether or not you like what people have to say about your product on Yelp or Amazon, you need to recognize the value in embracing these reviews.  Studies show that over 90 percent of millennials will read testimonial sites before making a purchase.  Furthermore, over 80 percent of millennials trust customer reviews more so than claims from a business itself.  

In order to tap into this millennial purchasing mindset, be sure to pay attention to your online reviews, and make the most of the free tools that sites like Yelp or Yellow Pages have to offer.  It will show that you care about your customer experience, good and bad, and will make your business even more trustworthy.

Check out what else Perfect Search has to say about the importance of testimonials in this recent blog post.

 

4) Offer Utility

Remember how many millennials still live at home or depend on their family for some type of financial support?  It’s safe to say that this demographic is in more of a “rent” not “buy” mindset.  Why have websites like Airbnb taken off with the millennial generation?  Because millennials would rather share a space than pay full price for a hotel. 

While this purchasing habit might make you nervous, there is a simple way to encourage millennials to eventually pay full price for your service.  Can you give a free trial?  Can you offer discounts for referrals? Allow millennials to first try your products, and then feel rewarded once they become a paying customer.

 

Enjoy the Sweet Smell of Success

The millennial generation is made up of a dynamic group of individuals who will appreciate your authentic means of engaging with them.  There’s no better time than now to build relationships with millennials who will hopefully continue to remain brand loyal into adulthood.  These tips are a great start to your millennial marketing endeavors but don’t forget to revisit mobile and social media trends to continue to make the most out of your campaign.

 

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Like what you’ve read but still not sure how to employ these steps? Check out how Perfect Search Media can help you achieve your social media and mobile advertising goals.

Do you have any thoughts on targeting millennials? Any new Netflix show recommendations? Email us at info@perfectsearchmedia.com or tweet us @Perfect_Search.

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