By 2019, Millennials will officially overtake Baby Boomers as the largest population demographic in the U.S. As things stand now, there are more than 72 million Millennials living, working, earning and spending their money on the internet—making them one of the most lucrative groups to go after for any marketer or brand.
However, this is also a group that has become extremely tech savvy and largely desensitized when it comes to advertising and marketing gimmicks. To market to this group, you need to think outside the box and connect with them at a level that they consider worthy of their attention. This often means:
- Supporting a select cause
- Offering exclusivity
- Purveying individuality
The list goes on and it is about as diverse as the target demographic itself. Here are some excellent tips on how to market to Millennials today:
1. Meet them where they live—online
Today, old-school marketing methods will not work with Millennials. They won’t respond to your phone calls, they will not look at your mailers, and door-to-door marketing is clearly out of the question. What they do like, however, is social media. If you can make your product “Instagram-worthy“, create Facebook shareable content around it and engage them on their favorite platforms, you can capture their attention and their business.
2. Word of mouth still works
Although this is an oldie, it is still gold even in this day and age. People tend to trust the word of a friend or family member over anything they see in an ad. Focus on making sure that your product is so good that people will want to talk about it or recommend it. The major difference now is that with this new digital age, there is a slight adjustment to the way word of mouth advertising works. Nowadays, we have people called “social media influencers,” who are highly effective when it comes to marketing to their followers, who are mostly Millennials.
Whatever these people recommend gets a lot of traction and is often sought out by the millions of people who follow them on various social platforms. Depending on how popular they are or how big their following is, social influencers typically charge a fee to advertise or recommend products on their feeds. The fee is often well worth it considering the kind of free word of mouth marketing that will come after the initial promotion.
3. Appeal to their values
Almost every single Millennial has one cause or another that they support. Whether it be animal rights or saving the environment, there is always something with which they want to be associated. They take that commitment further by using their purchasing power to support companies that have the same views and support the same causes. You therefore have to appeal to their values if you want to capture and retain their business.
4. Always focus on FOMO
For some reason, maybe it is the fact that social media has made it so easy for people to show off, Millennials have a crippling “fear of missing out” (FOMO). Whether it’s a new fad or a new cause, they want to be show their friends and the world that they are in the loop. They do this through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
You can easily tap into this “fear” by making your products limited. Once people realize that there is a limited edition of anything, they will immediately be interested in finding out what it’s all about. Should they find that the product (as well as the brand producing it) appeals to their values, then they will climb over each other to buy and post that fact on social media. This achieves two things: it gets you their business and accords you valuable word of mouth marketing in the form of social media updates and discussions.
5. Reviews matter—make sure you get good ones
This is something that every business selling on platforms like Amazon understands; reviews matter. In fact, the more reviews you have, the better—and the paradox of this statement is that it is better to have negative reviews than no reviews at all. This is mostly because negative reviews achieve two things:
- It means that people are talking about your product
- It gives you a chance to engage with your clients and solve their problems
Millennials love to be heard. They give themselves a voice through their reviews and whether those reviews are negative or positive, your brand has a chance to engage with them and, in the process, gain their trust and return business.
It is not easy selling to a group of people who have so many choices nowadays. However, if you can find a way to tap into their fears, appeal to their values and make your products social media-worthy, then you can easily capture this market and even get them to refer more of their friends through word of mouth.