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How to Market Your 'Non-Millennial' Business to Millennials

Adrian Fisher
Adrian Fisher

With the right strategies, you can appeal to Generation Y, even if your industry doesn't.

Millennials are growing up. Most definitions place this generation (also known as Generation Y) as being born between the mid-80s to the late '90s or very early 2000s. There is plenty of advice on how to appeal to millennials and many businesses see them at the core of their demographic. What should you do, though, if your business is traditionally non-millennial?

Real estate, for example, may not appeal to millennials in the same way an eco-friendly yoga mat brand might. After all, this generation has the least amount of assets and most debt than any previous generation. However, these headlines shouldn’t make you discount millennials altogether, because general statistics do not reveal the individuals who might be interested in your product or service. Businesses in non-millennial industries should not count this market out, but instead use a tactical marketing strategy. Here’s how.

Diversify your channels

Having a video strategy is one thing, but having the correct video strategy for millennials is better. Live video could greatly enhance the experience for your followers. Interview local experts or host Q&A sessions that give your audience the kinds of tips and tricks they want and can use. Millennials are strongly motivated by trust, and live video can help put a face to a name, and break down the barrier of mistrust.

As a real estate agent, for instance, you can show off a great neighborhood by hosting a live video tour of it and demonstrating just how good it is. A live open house takes that idea even further. Live videos give anyone access to the property, allowing many more people to see what there is on offer virtually than it would do physically.

Instagram Stories has 250 million daily users, and a substantial portion of these are millennials. Create short, snappy, visual content that gives your audience a chance to engage with the brand. Stories are also another great way to give a human side to your business. Show off your staff, your offices, your daily routines, and you can engage millennials as a human being on social media rather than an old-fashioned company trying the hard sell.

There are options outside of video as well. Recent LinkedIn studies have shown that 42 percent of 2,700 LinkedIn members under 35 listen to podcasts. Podcasts could be the perfect way to tap into your millennial audience. You could answer specific questions, show off a particular aspect of your business, interview clients, record testimonials, and create a fantastic series of content for millennials to consume.

Getting started in live video, Stories, or podcasting isn’t as simple as just owning a smartphone, but it is worth the investment.

Mobile is a must

A recent Comscore study revealed that 69 percent of people spend their "internet time" on mobile. Mobile is the place to capture millennials, and optimizing your content for mobile is essential to your marketing strategy.

Mobile is an important aspect to tackle at all levels of your marketing. Start with your website: Make sure it is mobile responsive and easy to navigate. Research shows that 185.8 million adults in the U.S. use the internet on a second-screen device while watching TV. If millennials are searching for your product, there is a strong chance they are doing so on their phones while watching television. This means that your website needs to be as clear and accessible as possible to reach this audience.

Speak the right way

Millennials are not fans of the hard sell. They enjoy two-way conversations, rather than a one-way pitch. They enjoy collaborations. They trust brands that are referred by friends and others in their online space. They want fast responses to their queries. All of these behaviors need to be at the core of your messaging if you want to attract millennials.

Think about the way you present your content. If you tend to go for the hard sell in your online channels, don’t know how you would monitor questions across social media and haven’t discovered how to diversify your content, you will struggle to attract millennials to your business.

Millennials do think differently to other generations, and that means that they require an adaptation of your marketing strategy. This does not mean ignoring your existing audience in other generations. It also doesn’t mean that you should just be "millennial-friendly" in case some millennials happen to discover your business; instead, be attractive to them from the offset, and try to bring them into your audience.

Remember that this is a generation that will age into markets like real estate just as others have – only perhaps later, at a different rate and with different behaviors. By attracting them early on, rather than simply tolerating them, you can add a key demographic to your real estate portfolio.

Adrian Fisher
Adrian Fisher,
business.com Writer
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Founder and CEO of PropertySimple, a real estate technology company that allows agents to take control of their personal brand by automating social media posting.