7 best practices for marketing to millennials

It is no secret that millennials are a unique audience. For businesses interested in marketing specifically to this tech-friendly consumer base, methods can be tricky and the results down-right frustrating. To help your marketing efforts get moving in the right direction with the younger crowd, we compiled seven tips for marketing to millennials.
Young couple shopping at market

1. Ditch traditional marketing

Commercials and other interruptive marketing techniques are outdated when it comes to millennial consumers. Consider some of the brands that have been driven by these younger audiences, such as Netflix and Spotify. So how do brands reach this audience? Short answer: by ditching traditional marketing methods and embracing inbound, interactive, consumer-driven campaign strategies. To reach millennials, incorporate these methods into your marketing strategy as well.

2. Provide resources that offer solutions

Millennials are research-driven shoppers, who enjoy the process of shopping online, even when they don't end up making a purchase. Content marketing—like blog articles, planning templates, and video tutorials—are very effective as campaign materials. Content marketing is just one component of inbound marketing, a marketing method that has increased dramatically in recent years. "Millennials are driving the shift. The 18-34 age group is now making 54% of its purchases online, up from 51% last year," USA Today reported in August 2016.
Learn more about generating leads on your website with content offers.

3. Sell your experience, not your product

Marketers have the most success with millennials when they create campaigns based around moods and experiences. For example an airline is more likely to reach millennials with campaigns about adventures and new experiences rather than ads about how great their customer service is.
"Destination marketing organisations (DMOs) need to get away from promoting the destination to a mass market and relying on an outdated distribution system, and instead engage the customer to ensure they effectively promote and provide the experience they are wanting."—John King, Managing Direct of Global Tourism & Leisure
Airbnb marketing example
Airbnb is often cited as a leader for how to reach a millennial audience with your marketing.

4. Use reviews + ratings to your advantage

We have discussed the importance of reviews on this blog before, but they are particularly important for the millennial audience. Recent trends show that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands (Nielsen). With rating systems being integrated into many platforms, like Facebook and Google for Business, savvy consumers can access a variety of reviews for everything from doctors' offices to coffee shops. Develop a strategy for soliciting and monitoring online reviews to see greater success with a millennial audience.

5. Implement a mobile-friendly website

Millennials check emails, social media, and surf the web on their smart phones. On average, millennials spend one full day per week on their phones, according to TNS. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, it is unlikely to perform well with millennial users.
When a website has a responsive site design that means it was coded to render well on different screen sizes, browsers, and operating systems. For example, this website that TBH Creative designed for Growing Grins Pediatric Dentistry was customized to be easy-to-use and attractive whether the user is on their phone, tablet, and laptop.

6. Use authenticity in messaging

Millennial users have a tendency to not trust brands and companies on digital platforms, and part of that may be due to the cold, stilted language many brands use in advertising to promote their products or services. Successful marketing campaigns targeting millennials have started incorporating more casual language, including emojis, mimicking the casual tone many individuals use when sharing information with family or friends.

7. Invest in social media marketing

One of the oldest "tricks" in the marketing book is to meet your audience where they're at—and for millennials that means social media. 87% of millennials use Facebook, and 53% use Instagram (Pew). If your company targets a millennial audience, it is crucial to develop a social media marketing strategy and invest in social platforms.
Learn more about how much time, budget, and ROI to allocate to social media marketing.
Are you ready to strategically target a millennial audience for your business? Allow TBH Creative to help you research and plan your target personas and make your website more successful. Find out more about our web strategy services or contact us today to get started.
Sarah

About the author | Sarah Matlock

Sarah is the marketing manager at TBH Creative, specializing in social media management and data analysis. She likes to blog about social media strategy, the latest trends in the industry, and how to engage the online community more effectively.

View more posts by Sarah

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