Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers in size and are now the largest living generation in the US. Their collective annual purchasing power is expected to reach a staggering $24 trillion by next year.
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 2019 have different tastes, values, and expectations of life and work. And while millennials may be the victim of a lot of baseless stereotyping, their consumer behavior is measurable.
This means that we can comfortably say 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, one study found that millennials spend a staggering 69 minutes a day on Facebook, and 52 minutes on Instagram. That’s a big window of opportunity if you have the right content.
When it comes to what kind of content works, authenticity stands out. In fact, millennials have become the flag-bearers of the consumer demand for authenticity. That means, for example, content that uses their language and is relatable.
Also see our exclusive interview: Marketing to the “Woke” Generation.
2. Social media and user generated content
Millennials are the generation of social media – the natural-born “‘digital natives”. 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.
That is especially true of user generated content, which millennials are particularly open to. In fact, one study found they regard UGC to be 35% more memorable than other content, and 50% more trustworthy.
And get this:
Another study found they spend 18 hours a day interacting with media, with 30% of that time is spent viewing UGC. 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.
For more on user generated content marketing tips and tricks, see the 7 Best Examples of UGC From Brands on Facebook.
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.
The reality is that millennials spend more time on the medium than any other generation.
In fact, the majority prefer interacting with brands over email than any other channel: 73% prefer business communications to come via email.
This means whatever your marketing funnel looks like, email marketing should play a big role in your millennial customer journey. You would do well to look into your email marketing automation strategies, here are some tips for how to do it.
4. Video is only getting bigger
Video as a trend has always been growing, but these days, it’s skyrocketing.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, live videos on Facebook have seen a 4x increase in use since May 2016.
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.
Get some practical tips on video advertising with 8 Awesome Video Types You Need to Try in 2019.
5. You certainly want to go mobile-centric
This is a trend that spans the generations, but it goes double with millennials.
This is partly driven by the fact that millennials differ from older generations in trusting that the information on desktop and mobile are the same (66% compared to 43% in the over 35 bracket).
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.