If your business has yet to create a strategy that markets to millennial customers, then it's neglecting a major component of its audience. Millennials make up the second-largest generation in the U.S. after baby boomers. They're expected to soon surpass the older generation and make up the majority of the buyer's market.
As the number of millennials in the workforce increases, so does their buying power. The more you know about this demographic, the easier it'll be to market to them and give them what they want so your business succeeds.
Millennial consumers differ from the generations before them because they grew up with technology, go further in their education and encourage diversity. Their buying practices more closely align with their connection to a brand and its reputation rather than just choosing the first option.
Since there are so many cultural, economic and technological differences between millennials and the generations prior to them, it's crucial for businesses to market with these differences in mind. If you plan on marketing to a millennial customer in the same way you'd sell to a baby boomer, for example, you won't have many of them shopping with you.
Since millennials make up a large portion of the buying market, your business must learn more about them if it's going to generate sales, build brand awareness, collect leads and much more.
There are five ways your business can market to millennials more effectively:
- Being active on social media
- Connecting through email
- Featuring user-generated content
- Providing stellar customer support
- Implementing higher values
Here is more detail on each tactic you should be using to attract more millennial customers.
1. Be active on social media.
If you're going to reach millennial consumers, then you need to be active on social media. Wherever they hang out is where you want to be, and since 98% of millennials own a smartphone, it's the perfect way to market to them effectively.
For your marketing efforts to be successful, you first need to cultivate trust toward your brand with this demographic. Without it, you can't convince them to engage with your brand, purchase your products or join your email list. With so many options, millennials are picky about who they buy from, so you need to persuade them to choose you.
It's important not to spread your business too thin and try to manage every social media account out there. As long as you're on the channels where they're active, you're good to go. If you want to grab their attention, you must create marketing strategies that appeal to them.
Outbound marketing practices don't work on this generation, as they prefer to build relationships with the brands they invest in. You can start building relationships through social media. Respond to posts they tag you in. Follow relevant industry hashtags to keep up with the latest conversations surrounding your brand. Post consistently to increase brand recognition.
2. Connect via email.
Most businesses already use email marketing to engage with subscribers and give them content, but this channel is an especially effective means of communication for millennials. Around 73% of millennials prefer to communicate with businesses by email. Since it's important to give consumers what they want, you need to use it.
You can use email marketing for multiple reasons, including to ...
Build brand recognition.
Cultivate strong customer relationships.
Drive traffic to your website.
Promote discounts and special offers.
Regardless of your end goal, you can use email to reach your millennial subscribers. Personalize your content so they feel like more than a number to your business. Consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that personalizes the experience, such as by using their name.
Stay consistent in your branding so they recognize you in their inbox. Too often, branding goes amiss in emails, which causes subscribers to delete them or send them to spam. That's the last thing you want if you're trying to reach your audience through email.
3. Feature user-generated content.
Millennial consumers want to know that their purchases are practical and loved by others like them. Without reassurance, they feel unsure about buying something they may not like or use. They're more likely to trust the recommendations of friends, family and even strangers above the brand itself. That's why adding user-generated content to your marketing strategy works when marketing to millennials.
User-generated content is anything produced by customers themselves that shows them using or enjoying your products and services. When posted online, it helps to spread the word and convince others in your target audience to check out your business.
If you want your audience to produce and promote content for your brand, bring the idea to life through different channels. Use social media, your website, and email to ask customers to create user-generated content and tag you when they post it. You can take it a step further and create a branded hashtag that makes it easy for users to see all the content under one specific keyword.
4. Provide flawless customer support.
When millennials face an issue with your business, they want speedy support that provides solutions. At the very least, they want to know you'll hear them out and care about them as more than just their customers. Millennial consumers proactively look to spend money on brands that treat them well. If you expect them to keep coming back, you must offer stellar, fast customer support.
Wherever they leave questions, concerns or comments, it's your duty to reply promptly. The average response time from companies is 12 hours, which is much longer than the one-hour timeframe that customers expect. If you don't deliver according to their expectations, you won't bring in as many conversions.
You can improve your customer support by doing the following:
Speeding up response times
Using email autoresponders
Implementing live chat and chatbots into your strategy
Outsourcing customer service
Collecting and analyzing customer feedback
Addressing customers by name
5. Implement higher values.
With e-commerce marketing and the emergence of new businesses across the globe, millennials have more than enough options. In today's marketing world, a quality product alone isn't enough to grab their attention and navigate them through the sales funnel. If you're going to successfully convert them into customers, your business needs to have values.
Give millennial consumers a good reason why they should do business with you over your competitors. The additional incentive solidifies their decision and makes them more comfortable going through the checkout.
Around 50% of millennials would purchase from a brand to support a good cause. They want to build relationships with businesses that care about significant issues and use their resources for the greater good. With more focus on climate change, hunger and conserving resources, millennials look to buy from brands that give back to their communities and promote positive change.
There are several things to consider when marketing to millennial consumers. They're different from the generations before them, and it's important to market to them the way they want to be marketed to. With so many options readily available to them, you need to give them reasons why they should choose you. If you express higher values, offer quality customer support and actively engage with them on social platforms, you're sure to catch their attention and turn them into paying customers.