If your product or service is geared towards those born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, you’ve got some millennials to market to. This generation is defined by Pew Research Center as the first one to come of age in the new millennium. They’re tech-savvy, they were the first cohort to use social media Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc, and most of them have grown up with smartphones in their hands.
Since millennials are almost to the point of overtaking Baby Boomers at the country’s largest living adult generation, you’ll probably need to market to them at some point, if not now. Here are five best practices for marketing to millennials who may dictate the future of your business.
1. Put Your Products Online
If you haven’t created an ecommerce store yet, you’re missing out on millennial buying potential. Millennials make more than half their purchases online today, according to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report.
Even when millennials shop in stores, nearly all millennials research products online first, according to the eMarketer US Millennial Shoppers 2017 report. Optimize how you showcase your products to millennials online by:
- Adding testimonials to product pages – social proof that pulls from their own contacts, like showing which of their Facebook friends purchased the product, is even better
- Enabling purchasing and easy navigation of your online store on mobile
- Implementing a digital loyalty program, since 95 percent of millennials appreciate marketing materials like personalized coupons and discounts
Analyze purchasing demographics to determine which products millennials purchase most, and feature those types on social media and in targeted email marketing campaigns.
2. Think Mobile First
Smartphones are millennials’ best friends – literally. A study by Bank of America found nearly 40 percent of millennials interact with their smartphones more than they do those they’re in a relationship with, friends, coworkers, parents or children. Millennials have the highest rate of ownership of smartphones of all generations.
Capture their attention by creating a mobile app for your brand, or, at the very least, a website that is mobile-friendly. Make sure your site loads quickly and is easy to navigate on a small screen.
Millennials shop on their phones and use their phones while they’re shopping in stores, too. While in stores, 84 percent of millennials use their phones for shopping assistance, Retail Dive reports. If you operate a brick and mortar, devise ways to enhance the millennial shopping experience in stores, whether it’s through creating QR codes on physical products that allow millennials to learn more about them, or by using beacon technology to give special relevant offers.
3. Get Social
Millennials use social media more than any generation. Pew Research Center reports 88 percent of those ages 18 to 29 use at least one social media site, and 78 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds use social. More than 60 percent of millennials say purchasing decisions are influenced by social media, Entrepreneur reports.
Get your brand on behemoths like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and consider creating profiles on Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat, too. Share company news, ask followers for their opinions on new products, give away coupons, and provide customer service on social media.
Show support for millennial customers on social media by re-posting their content, too. Forming relationships with millennial social media users requires engaging with them by responding to comments and questions and highlighting their relevant content to your own users.
4. Use Influencers
Because millennials are on their phones so much, and often on social media, influencer marketing is a crucial strategy when trying to reach millennials. Nielsen reports more than 40 percent of millennials use ad blockers. By putting your product or service into the hands of those millennials are following, you gain organic reach that won’t be blocked.
For millennials, user-generated content trumps advertising. Gartner reports 84 percent of millennials are likely to be influenced by a purchase that is featured through user-generated content. Search for influencers who have strong engagement with your target millennial customers. Offer them free products or the ability to preview a product launch so they can share your brand with their followers.
5. Give Back
Millennials don’t just want great products and services. They want to do business with brands that are positively impacting the world. Three-fourths of millennials say that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society, Forbes reports. This makes them as shoppers feel like they’re contributing positively with their purchases, too.
Convey your positive footprint to millennials by:
- Donating a percentage from every sale to a nonprofit
- Implementing a give-back campaign, where a purchase results in the giving of the same good to someone in need (think TOMS shoes)
- Highlighting community service work your company does on your website and throughout social media
- Listing partners you donate to on your website
- Creating a marketing or product campaign that directly benefits a nonprofit
Weave in how you – and your customers – are impacting those in need throughout your marketing materials.
Need Help Marketing to Millennials?
If you’re new to marketing to millennials, AlphaMind Studios can help. We create custom inbound marketing strategies to make sure the businesses we work with reach all their target customers. Get a free website consultation here, or contact us at (303) 832-8193 for information.