How to market to the millennials…

Whether you like it or not, millennials are becoming one of the fastest-growing demographics in the US. They will be your future customers and your future workers. With new demographics comes new ways of doing things.

Millennials have gotten a bad rep. They’re lazy, they’re narcissistic, they’re entitled, and they’re the “me generation.” They’re addicted to technology and can’t put down their smartphones. They believe that everyone deserves equal recognition, regardless of how much work they put in.

So, how should companies adapt to this new demographic? What do millennials want from brands? Here are a few things they look for:

Authenticity

Millennials want brands to be real and authentic. A study by Concentric Marketing found that 49% of millennials return to what they know and trust. Many millennials see companies as nameless and faceless corporations. Social media is a great way for such companies to engage with millennials and show their authenticity.

Social influence

Millennials are very receptive to content on social media websites, particularly if that content is shared by trusted friends and family. The Concentric Marketing study found that 55% of millennials find out about products from friends, 40% of millennials buy from brands recommended by friends and family, and 85% of millennials tell friends about products they enjoy.

Social causes

Millennials want to change the world for the better. In fact, 2014 Millennial Impact Report found that 87% of millennials gave donations to at least one nonprofit organization in 2013. Millennials support companies that give to charities and want their donations to be spent wisely and transparently. A great way to do this is to promise to give a certain fraction of your profits to various charities and causes. Use social media to advertise your company’s humanitarian efforts and millennials will notice.

Purpose

Millennials are much more likely to buy products if the brand’s values match their own. This requires more than just a good marketing campaign or a catchy slogan. It involves transparency for how the products are created and how companies operate. Branding must be consistent across all social media platforms to keep the message strong and consistent.

Engagement

Millennials want to engage with brands. They want to have dialogues rather than monologues. They want to listen and they want to be listened to.

Brands should engage with millennials. Find ways to allow them to participate and share their thoughts and opinions. Internet contests and open Q&A sessions are two great ways that companies can reach out to their audience. Brands who invite millennials to be a part of the experience will ultimately succeed at capturing their attention and winning their hearts.

Conclusion

Millennials represent the largest growing demographic and most brands must appeal to them one way or another. A 2016 study from Statista found that Americans aged 25-34 spent more time on the internet than any other age group. In fact, that group spent an overage of 2,891 minutes on the internet via PC every single month! Add this to the popularity of smartphone and tablet apps and you have an internet-addicted generation.

Your company’s internet presence can give them what they need: authenticity, social influence, social causes, purpose, and engagement. You can interact with your audience members, build a loyal fan base, ask for their feedback, and tailor your strategy accordingly.

Ask yourself how your company upholds these values on social media and study your marketing metrics to see how engaged millennials are with your company. You may find that your internet marketing needs to be updated to become more appealing to millennials.

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