Millennials are a force to be reckoned with. Let’s look at the facts: millennials currently make up a solid one-fourth of the total population in the U.S. Catering to this group – whose annual buying power is approximately $200 billion – requires familiarizing yourself with the relevant outlets and creating an authentic, human voice that shines through your content.
As millennial-aged students at the Fashion Institute of Technology put it recently: “Brands in the future must win the hearts, minds and now most importantly, the trust of their consumers.”
Fostering this kind of relationship is easier than you think. Let us guide you through a few key concepts to make sure your company’s brand is as fashionable as ever.
DON’T BE PUSHY – FAVOR INBOUND OVER OUTBOUND
Did you know that a whopping 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising? Millennials are well aware that marketers are trying to rein them in – and they downright resent it. So, how do you get around this?
For starters, forget about outbound marketing that includes intrusive advertisements or generic messaging. Millennials know what they want and they know how to get it, thanks to their savvy digital skills. Before a millennial invests in a product, a service, a vacation deal – you name it – they’re doing their research on blogs, forums, Facebook groups, customer review sites and more.
What does this mean for your content marketing strategy? It means you have to be relevant and easily accessible. Focus on inbound marketing to create valuable information for your millennial consumer before he buys – in the form of e-books, whitepapers, educational blog posts, and other concise “how-to” information. Bonus points if you add entertaining visuals.
LET’S GET PERSONAL
Millennials value individuality. They are interested in brands that speak personally to their needs. According to Forbes magazine, millennials exhibit early adoption tendencies and will develop strong loyalty to a brand they can trust.
If you want to get personal, do your research. Conduct thorough market sub-segmentation and then understand your targets’ personalities, interests, desires, hobbies, and whatever else gets their attention.
Millennials love to support a cause and will integrate their core beliefs into their brands. Sixty-six percent of millennials say they prefer to buy brands that reflect their personal style – and much of their style is what they believe in.
LET’S GET REAL
In an increasingly fast-paced digital world, millennials are hard-wired for authentic content. They look for honest voices they can trust, and platforms on which they can share their own voices. With this dynamic in mind, it’s best for companies to build loyalty through collaboration.
The Internet offers an endless array of networks. Most millennials belong to several different groups within these networks. Consider collaborating with influential bloggers (i.e. thought leaders) who can share your brand in a meaningful way with their millennial audience. Focus on humanizing your brand by creating transparency and community, because at the end of the day millennials value the experience surrounding your product almost as much as the product itself.
LET’S TALK SOCIAL MEDIA
It goes without saying that a strong social media presence is a must for this generation of digital natives. But make no mistake: a static presence is not enough. For your social media campaign to make a real impact, you must create an environment of interaction and empowerment.
Sharing, snapping, tweeting, liking, pinning and forwarding. This is what millennial consumers enjoy doing with the average 25 hours per week they spend online. Social media is an essential conduit for millennials to express brand loyalty and share their experiences with a brand with their peers. Do social media the right way and you’ll have an army of brand ambassadors at your fingertips.
The bottom line of marketing to millennials is the human connection. Start a conversation around a brand with an authentic voice. Cater your content to the individual. Make yourself accessible as a company to create a space where millennials want to interact.
It’s a win-win situation that will stay “in fashion” for years to come if you do it right.