No wonder marketing people are so obsessed with them.
But to tap into that market may not be so easy. Millennials, whom we define as 16 to 34-year olds, in 2017 have different tastes, values, and expectations of life and work.
This means a lot of the old-school marketing approaches will not be as efficient as you’d expect. For millennial marketing, different rules apply. Here’s a brief guide.
1. Content over advertising
In a recent survey by Elite Daily, only one percent of millennials said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more.
This is consistent with the fact that the use of ad blockers is skyrocketing. There are over 250 million Adblock users, most of whom are millennials.
On the other hand, the AdAge study shows that millennials spend over 25-hours a week consuming online media such as websites, blogs, and social media, as they feel empowered by the amount of remarkable content that’s out there.
When it comes to what kind of content works, authenticity stands out. 43% of surveyed millennials prefer content that’s authentic. That means, for example, content that uses their language and is relatable.
2. Social media and user-generated content
Millennials are the generation of social media. It’s what transformed how they make buying choices and interact with brands. In fact, social media is likely the most powerful factor influencing their buying choices.
For 84% of millennials, user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy. 73% believe it’s important to read reviews and get their peers’ opinions before purchasing.
According to a study by Nielsen, they actually trust recommendations from people they know more than any other advertising channel. Moreover, the vast majority feel a responsibility to share their brand experience, whether it’s positive or negative.
This allows you to tap into your user’s social network by promoting content sharing features, referrals, and user-generated content; in fact, these are the most powerful ways to connect with them.
3. Email is still in play
As millennials are viewed as a social media generation, email marketing may come across as an obsolete way to connect with them. But data shows the opposite.
According to an Epsilon study, 43% have been responding to emails over the past six months; more than any other demographic.
In fact, the majority prefer interacting with brands over email than any other channel. In an Adobe study, 58% of millennials consider email their preferred method of communication with brands.
Mapp Digital found that Millennials frequently share content from marketing emails on social media. 44% said they were likely to do so in 2016 – a big jump from 19% in 2015.
This means whatever your marketing funnel looks like, email marketing should play a big role in your millennial customer journey.
4. Video is huge
Video as a trend has always been growing, but these days, it’s skyrocketing. Snapchat has reached 100 million daily active users and Periscope is at over 200 million broadcasts.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, live videos on Facebook have seen a 4x increase in use since May 2016. Instagram has just made a big shift introducing both live video and a ‘stories’ feature this year.
Millennials are a big driver behind the changing landscape. They spend 48% more time watching online videos than the average internet user.
In other words, your content strategy should include some video content, such as engaging informative videos and tutorials.
5. You certainly want to go mobile-centric
Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time, while the desktop is becoming a “secondary touch point,” according to a new study by comScore.
Nearly 40% of millennials say they interact more with their smartphones than they do with their significant others, parents, friends, children, or co-workers, according to a 2016 survey by Bank of America.
According to Experian, “Millennials spend so much time on their smartphones that they account for 41% of the total time that Americans spend using smartphones, despite making up just 29% of the population.”
With that in mind, if you’re looking to win millennial customers, it’s just about the right time to shift your marketing strategy from mobile-friendly to mobile-centric.
They’re growing, are you adapting?
As millennials are becoming the dominant consumer force, marketers need to adapt. Learn what they respond to and adapt to their wants and needs. Doing well in the millennial market can not only attract other demographics, it can prove to be a business breakthrough for your company too.