The boom is over. Millennials now make up the largest age demographic in the United States. Currently more than 75 million strong, the millennial generation is expected to peak in about 10 years at over 81 million.
There are now more millennials in the workforce than baby boomers. We are the fastest-growing marketing segment, and your business should be paying attention to these changes. No company can afford to miss out on these powerful purchasing trends. In this blog I will highlight different strategies for marketing to millennials and what you need to know to adapt.
The Mobile Millennial
We’re a diverse generation that was born into the information age. We’ve grown up with computer screens and use technology on a regular basis. We’re the trophy generation that loves to be rewarded, we don’t like debt, and we marry much later in life. We comprise nearly one-fourth of the total U.S. population and we bring a buying power of around $200 billion. We are the most lucrative market for your business. So what drives us to buy?
A key element that dominates the marketplace of a millennial is mobile. The massive migration to mobile lends itself to a couple marketing challenges every leader must consider.
- Your website must be mobile-friendly. A millennial will dismiss a business altogether if the site is not mobile-optimized. Today, marketers are designing websites with “mobile-first” concerns at the forefront. A great tool to test your mobile-friendliness is Google Webmaster Tools Mobile-Friendly test.
- Your content must be mobile-responsive. Writers and editors should be distributing content with mobile in mind. Begin with a powerful headline that draws in a specific audience. The most important information should be first and prominent. Millennials also love images. Be succinct and always remember to double check your mobile layout. You may be shocked when you look at your content from a mobile perspective. Use the tool MobileTest.Me before you publish.
- Don’t be slow! You might have a mobile website, but it’s awfully slow. Poor site performance might be even worse than a site that isn’t mobile-friendly. To decrease your load time, use Google’s PageSpeed tool and make sure you’re scoring in the green.
Inbound is in, Outbound is out
The 2014 Engaging Millennials: Trust and Attention survey reveals that 84 percent of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Is it that surprising? We want to feel connected to our brands, and impersonal, old-school advertising tactics don’t compare when we’ve already experienced fine-tuned inbound marketing tactics. We demand more customer-driven, personalized marketing. We know what we want, and because we’re digitally savvy, we know how to find just about anything online. Millennials will do a lot of research in blogs, YouTube and discussion forums. We feel empowered to make our own online choices, which are usually inspired by peers or authentic content.
Inbound marketing consists of e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, videos and other how-to information that is easily digestible and downloadable. A millennial is 247 percent more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites than traditional advertising platforms. We appreciate helpful guidance, and when a company takes the time to provide it, the brand builds trust and authority with both search engines and millennials.
Sharing is Caring
With technology at our fingertips from a young age, we’re used to being connected and we’re always sharing information. It’s common to find a millennial using multiple devices at the same time. Brands should take advantage of this habit and join this connected community.
Companies like Spotify and Airbnb have taken it to the next level by providing leasing services of music and vacation rentals. Fashion companies like Stitch Fix have built businesses around this crucial opportunity. Try to capitalize your business on the “sharing” mentality, especially if you’re targeting millennials. Offer creative options that would allow consumers who can’t yet buy to at least try your product or service. Once you have them on top of your buying funnel you can work on converting them through other marketing campaigns.
There are many other ways to adapt your marketing towards millennials. What are you favorite millennial marketing strategies? Leave them in the comments below!