We’ve all heard the jokes about Millennials, and the entire generation has been blamed for events ranging from the closing of Applebee’s restaurants to the declining birth rate. However, the truth behind these lighthearted complaints is that Millennials are becoming a powerful consumer force, accounting for one-fourth of the entire population. You definitely don’t want to overlook them as they come of age.
On the other hand, marketing to Millennials may require some changes in your strategy. Remember that this is the first generation to grow up with Internet, which means 24-7 access to the sum of human knowledge. Millennials often make up their minds about a brand or company before stepping out of their living rooms. How does one market to a savvy, research-based generation?
Integrate your communications strategy.
Millennials are the digitally-adept generation, and prefer to choose their own channels of consuming content. When you produce one piece of content, your next step is to publish it across various platforms in order to reach the widest audience possible. For example, a blog can be published on your website, linked on social media channels, and emailed directly to your contacts.
As a bonus, using an integrated communications strategy means you get the most bang for each marketing buck. You’ve already produced that content, so use it to its full advantage.
Maintain a social media presence.
This is an absolute must if you want to market to millennials, who rely upon social media twice as much as other consumers. Set up a complete profile on Facebook, include photos and accurate descriptions of your business, and post relevant content on a regular schedule.
Facebook offers invaluable marketing tools, because the platform allows you to boost posts or create ads targeting a very specific audience (based on data that they have already gathered and stored). Take advantage of these opportunities to reach out directly to the Millennial demographic.
Provide resources and education.
After coming of age during the Great Recession, most millennials have become cost-conscious consumers and do-it-yourselfers. They will value content that offers education on their topics of interest. Offer that information and gain their respect, and who do you think they will call when a project or problem requires professional assistance?
If possible, open yourself up to reviews.
Clearly, if compliance restricts you from publishing reviews, you won’t be able to use this strategy. However, if you are allowed to post reviews and testimonials, this is a key element to attracting new clients. Having come of age in the digital era, researching professionals and reading reviews is not just a bonus for Millennials, it’s something they do for almost any business transaction – from choosing a physician to selecting a restaurant.
Don’t worry about the occasional bad review; these actually serve as valuable learning experiences and offer opportunity for improvement. In fact, reaching out to a disgruntled reviewer to rectify the situation actually earns you brownie points, and shows that there is a real person behind the company name. Millennials are shrewd readers of reviews, and can easily spot the signs of an honest and reputable business.
Millennials now comprise 35 percent of the workforce, and that percentage will continue to grow as Baby Boomers retire.
For more information on updating your marketing strategy to appeal to this growing crowd of trendsetters, contact us for personalized help. We can guide you as you evaluate your current strategies and make the necessary changes to stay relevant in this changing economic landscape.