Marketing to an Ever-Evolving Generation
The term “millennials” refers to the generation of individuals who are currently between the ages of 18 and 34.
With over 80 million millennials in the U.S., they are the largest generation in American history as well as the most lucrative market for advertisers today. Millennials are the first generation of consumers to grow up while experiencing the rapid rise of digital marketing and technologies.
Marketing to millennials requires dynamic, up-to-date strategies and technologies because they are always on-the go and connected across many devices.
Here are some tips to keep up with today’s tech-savvy millennials.
Where: Smartphones and Social Media
Millennials are Mobile
Marketing is shifting its focus to mobile devices, thus increasing the ad spend devoted to mobile advertising. More specifically, 85% of millennials in the U.S. owns smartphones – serving as an essential target audience for all of your mobile marketing efforts.
Finding ways to integrate your native ads into popular mobile applications is a great way to reach millennials where they are engaging most.
Especially if the ad appears during a positive moment, such as when a user completes a workout in a fitness app or wins a level in a mobile gaming app, they are more likely to respond positively to the ad and accept it as a seamless part of the application.
In-app ads also have an impact on positive brand experience and even purchase behavior.
Opt-in apps allow for geofenced campaigns – delivering relevant ads to users based on their specific geographic location. This way, ads can powerfully drive in-store traffic by sending offers for specific retail locations straight to millennials’ fingertips.
Social Media Branding
Out of all popular mobile apps, millennials are engaged most on social media – constantly taking in the messages of fellow peers and the brands who stand out on their feeds.
More than anything, millennials base their purchases on brand perception. How a brand is perceived is a major motivating factor for how consumers respond to or engage with a company and its products.
We live in a consumer-centric era where, if you’re anything like myself (a fellow Millennial), your friends’ feedback, other consumers’ reviews and social media brand engagement are all major influences toward your purchasing decisions.
According to Statista, Facebook is the preferred social media network for millennials, spending an average of 25.7 hours per month on the Facebook app. Facebook, with its ad retargeting services and endless brand-consumer engagement, is the new hub for online retail and e-commerce.
In fact, adults between the ages of 18 and 34 were more than twice as likely to credit Facebook as a resource for gift ideas for the holiday season.
Social media is a powerful way to positively engage your brand to millennials and drive sales. By understanding how consumers interact on social media and optimizing your marketing accordingly, your brand can evoke a strong positive image as well as customer engagement.
What: Authentic Content
With all of the noise across endless digital platforms, millennials are much more likely to tune out irrelevant ads and only respond to content that they feel is most relevant to their own interests.
According to Forbes, 43 percent of Millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming news.
Today’s users are much more influenced by people that they know or those who share their interests on social media – especially in terms of trusting opinions about which products and brands to which they can relate.
For example, a millennial who is highly interested in fitness will follow a certain fitness influencer who is active on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram.
The individual is much more likely to trust this person’s relevant, authentic opinion about a certain training product than he or she is to be influenced by a banner ad that shows up randomly from time to time.
In fact, 84% of millennials expressed that user-generated content has at least some influence on what they purchase, and 73% say they value reading others’ opinions online before buying anything.
It’s no longer effective to just send interruptive ads across as many platforms as possible. Rather, build authentic content that is relevant and helpful to your ideal consumer – and the millennials will surely take notice.
Who: It’s All About the People Behind the Screen
Millennials are not only dynamic across different media platforms but also extremely unique in their individual interests, behaviors and media preferences.
The traditional demographic-based approach to advertising will not successfully translate to today’s consumers.
By learning to understand millennials through the media platforms they are using most – mobile and social media – marketers can create more valuable and resonating content. With relevant content comes more engagement, and with more engagement comes a more lasting relationship with your consumers.
Reach out to millennials who demonstrate a likelihood to respond on certain media and have specific interests to build people-based marketing campaigns that put your consumers at the center of your advertising efforts.