Ageing from 22 to 37 this year, Generation Y — popularly referred to as millennials — have become part of our workforce and make up a vast majority of the consumers in the market. They are the third largest generation in the UK following baby boomers and people under their 20’s (generation Z).

When it comes to marketing, this is an important — if not the most important — thing to take into consideration. One has to wonder, should our efforts change?

Millennials have a bad reputation but let us think of them in a brighter light. Perhaps, give them a chance and see how we can work with some of their stronger points. For one, they have known technology since they were born, hence a high level of literacy in this field that is new to markets.

This means that businesses need to be online but that is only the beginning. While it may be the surest way to millennials’ hearts, a brand that rests on a static digital presence will soon be left behind.

Millennial Marketing

Millennials are far different than any other generation. This includes how they behave online. Even though they share a lot with other generations, millennials have many more trigger points thanks to growing up in the age of the internet. What is intuitive to them is not necessarily for older age groups.

Far away from their lazy and entitled reputation, studies have shown that millennials are one of the best-educated young adults to come forth in a while. They are described as go-getters and intelligently hungry for success.

Then how do we connect with these complex generation? How do we market to a group of people that are tired of the traditional channels? Here are a few ideas of how millennials gravitate towards our ever-changing, ever-growing marketing world.

Authentic Content Empowers Them

If you are trying to reach consumers that are not necessarily familiar with your products or services, branded content has proven to be an effective way. Millennials respond very well to authentic marketing efforts. They value original material that has been created specifically for them. Content that hasn’t been posted elsewhere and was created just for the consumers of a certain brand.

This strategy has the potential to reach more people that are likely to engage in what you have to offer. Research, experience, and show pictures to prove; these three things can put you a step ahead of your competitors when personalising your content.

Outbound Marketing is out, Inbound Marketing is in

Traditional marketing, also known as outbound marketing is fading fast in the day of digital marketing. Its channels include television, radio, print, telemarketing, and snail mail. Essentially, It was designed to interrupt whatever screen you were looking at or station you were listening to. New marketing trends tend to avoid these kinds of interruptions.

According to the ‘State of Inbound 2018’ report by Hubspot, inbound marketing can produce up to 50-percent more leads than outbound marketing. Not to mention that when it comes to costs, it is much less expensive per lead.

When it comes to Generation Y, engaging is more effective than any outbound or hard selling technique. With inbound marketing, your leads are more likely to become paying customers.


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Appeal to Their Values: Invest in Understanding Them

Taking the time to understand how millennials respond to marketing tactics can be vital in the survival of your business. Generation Y may adverse to traditional marketing tactics but it is not an impossible task to get their attention. For example, they love a good cause. When done well, it can act as an incentive to show interest in a product.

The price of a product could even get overlooked based on whether it supports a cause. Millennials will be more willing to purchase a more expensive item just because it supports a cause that they believe in. Being charitable will not only have a positive impact on the cause chosen but will also make you more attractive to this sector of the population.

Forbes has reported many times that millennials are very responsive to companies that love to give back to their communities and have a good philanthropic spirit. If your company loves to give back, then make sure to share your efforts on your social media sites.

Optimise Content for Social Media

Social media is used by most companies to increase their brand awareness online. It is a direct connection with consumers, especially millennials because — as we already mentioned — feel at home in the digital world. When optimising content for social, there are two schools of thought, original and curated. Generation Y tends to like original content, for they feel it is more valuable and relatable to them.

There are several ways to keep readers interested in social media content, such as testing headlines, using images and hashtags. Also, timing your social media post can be crucial for the consumers that it is able to reach. Do your research, know when the heightened time for engagement is to determine when you need to make your post visible.

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Make Your Content Scannable

This tip goes hand-in-hand with the minimalist tip. Millennials don’t want to be bogged down or waste their time trying to read through your website or social media posts in order to find the information they are looking for. This age group is used to shortcuts and instant gratification.

You will want to make sure your information and site content is very easy to scan through so that you can keep their attention long enough to sell them on your products and services. Ways to do this can include the following:

  • Use numbered lists, bullet points and other ‘breaks’ in your formatting.
  • Use header tags to make scanning important points quicker and easier.
  • Use shorter paragraphs and sentences.
  • Use more images and less writing copy to help convey your message quickly.

‘customers aren’t looking for brands to define their journeys, they want brands to design experiences that help them create their own journeys.’

Interactive Experiences

According to Jeriad Zoghby, ‘customers aren’t looking for brands to define their journeys, they want brands to design experiences that help them create their own journeys.’ This statement could not be truer when it comes to millennials.

Two-way interaction between a business and consumer can be the key to why consumers buy what they buy, instead of just going off of their past preferences. Responding to feedback responses from consumers can open the door to determine what trends are holding true and even predict what consumers might do next. This method creates personalisation, trust, and more information bonding between business and consumer.


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Be Transparent and Be Relevant

Transparency and relevance go hand-in-hand. Transparency has proven to show substantial benefits in the consumer market. Think in the terms of ‘why’ consumers choose what they do is all for a reason. Pinpoint this reason and you have targeted an audience to appeal and reach out to. Steve Jobs said it best, ‘A brand is simply trust.’

Millennials have held this statement true in their buying trends. It’s is not enough to support a good cause, companies must follow through with their promises in order to retain this elusive age group. Transparency fosters brand loyalty which pushes consumers to try other products.

Reviews Matter

A study has proven that most millennials only buy items with online reviews. Before they leave their home to try a new restaurant or a shop that just opened, they will evaluate the reviews on search engines. Online purchases provide comparisons of products and prices.

Candid comments on an item are more likely to persuade a member of generation Y over a well-written product description. Again, reviews matter but so do responses. A business should attempt to stay on top of the product comments and make timely responses to both positive and negative messages. This will show that you are engaged in what your customers think and create a conversation between the two.

Loyalty is something that you cannot buy or sell. However, when you sell to millennials and get their loyalty, they will share it with everyone they know. Your focus should be on individuals. Make them happy and they will bring you more customers and clients.

Text: Hannah Moses a contributing author for HigherVisibility.

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