Five Ways to Engage Millennials
Born between the years 1981 and 1997, millennials make up one of the first generations to spend their formative years online. This “information age” has caused millennials to change the way the world operates in a lot of ways. From a marketing perspective, this generation is the first to demand engagement in the presence of continuously evolving tech industries.
Companies now have the constant challenge of keeping current and upcoming generations engaged in new ways. Because of this, millennials have become a blueprint in navigating digital advertising and engagement. Currently, millennials account for nearly a quarter of America’s population and are serving as one of the largest living generations. Millennials also like to spend. Collectively, millennial shoppers have been found to spend more than $600 billion in the U.S. per year. Ranging from 22-37 years of age, they also are heavy smartphone users and devote a large portion of their time.
With all of these statements being thrown out, wouldn’t the simple answer be to target millennials through their smart devices using various social media platforms? From this perspective, yes, but the answer is not always so transparent. With social media reigning more prevalent than ever, there are many tips and tricks to stop your target generation mid-scroll and draw them into your business.
Know what a millennial wants
Millennials value flexibility, convenience, and usefulness. According to a research study conducted by Accenture, millennials are community-focused and socially accountable. Interestingly, millennials also value word-of-mouth far more than the usual approaches to branding and marketing. Because of this, companies with savvy use of social media have leverage in reaching millennials through “influencers.” Asking popular social media users in a targeted audience to mention their brand of product to fans has become a key source of relatively budget-friendly promotion. This helps to increase your brand’s visibility while also satisfying the millennial need for personal recommendations.
It is imperative to consistently post on social media to stay relevant in a millennial’s mind. According to Globe News Wire, this age group is on their phone an average of almost five hours per day. They see a lot of information. The more they can recognize your brand in their feed, the more likely they will be drawn to interact. The whole point of social media is to communicate, and millennials are using some of the most popular platforms to engage with others. Creating a two-way form of communication that they can count on speaks volumes. When creating an advertising campaign, ensure you put consistency into account and always incorporate a “call-to-action” to prompt consumer response. In a campaign, posts that inspire millennials to think, feel, and act will push them to develop brand loyalty.
Challenge their creativity
Millennials are a talented, energized, and creative generation. According to The Holmes Report, millennials are one of the most educated age groups to date and have similar expectations of their world. With their intuitive sense of creativity, brands need to deliver a similar concept if they want to keep up with them. Creating advertising campaigns that ignite interaction and emotion resonate with a millennial because they stem from the desire for innovation and forward-thinking. In an article written by Ryan Jenkins, he expressed that millennials are often challenged to think about a unique message, they are more prone to discuss it and feel an urge to become involved. Being different and standing out in advertising is not always a bad thing and could greatly benefit a millennial-centered audience.
Although millennials appear to be “philosophers” of the informational age, they do have their downfalls. A New York Times article called, The Me Me Me Generation, reflects that millennials prove to be more impatient, more entitled and have shorter attention spans than previous generations. While millennials are looking to engage with others, brands still have to take that one step further and come to them. Millennials have high expectations from their most followed brands, and if they don’t see you, they likely aren’t thinking about you. It’s an unfortunate creation that comes from how social media operates. It is equal parts informative as it is rapid. Accessibility is why it is so vital to stay on top of your messaging and branding. Your brand needs to be one that is seen online and easy to reach. A successful brand needs to juggle brevity of messaging to keep millennials and other young generations interested, while also staying visible.
Create experiences that add value post branding
To a millennial, branding is more than an advertisement – it is a passion. As studied by Sadran Lundrum from Forbes Magazine, Millennials want to identify with the companies that they are buying from. Once a brand has reeled them in, that individual wants to feel like it is are enhancing their way of life and will want to share it with others. Similar to baby boomers, millennials are deal hunters, and if you make them feel like they are receiving the best deal, they aren’t shy from sharing it. However, because millennials also want brands with integrity and a lifestyle they can identify with, you need to sell more than just the merchandise. To get brand loyalty, you have to sell yourself. Digital advertising campaigns paired with interactive pop-up events with social media influencers (like we mentioned earlier) are great ways to engage with this generation. This kind of engagement lets consumers get to know their preferred brands on a more interpersonal level and promote a lasting relationship.
Identifying a millennial is not a difficult task, but they can be challenging to catch. However, focusing key messages on social media with the millennial lifestyle in mind is a great first step. Keeping a millennial engaged is a lot of work. It requires time, understanding, and dedication. These key messages open up unlimited possibilities for tapping into your target audience and for structuring the way you market your brand.