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More than 50% of the worldâs population is under the age of 30. That makes Millennials the biggest generation currently walking (and spending on) the planet.
In terms of buying power, theyâre still just behind Boomers, but thatâs set to change. And soon.
Itâs estimated that next year U.S. Millennials will spend $200 billion. Collectively over their lifetime, that same group is expected to spend about $10 trillion.
Unless your products are aimed at the silver surfer market, those Millennials are currently, or soon will be, your target audience.
This is a demographic that has grown up with the internet. Those at the younger end wonât remember a world without it.
What inspires them, who influences them, and who they trust, as well as the media they consume and how they consume it, all might differ greatly from what you know and are used to.
Television, for one, is fast falling out of fashion.
Meanwhile, consumption of print media is plummeting.
Millennials canât be reached using traditional channels; at least, not as effectively. So how can you reach them? Many ways, thankfully. Read on for five of the best.
1. Prioritize mobile
You probably wonât be surprised to learn that Millennials have the highest mobile usage of all generations â nearly 97% of them report using a mobile device to consume digital content. In fact, one in five access the internet exclusively through mobile devices.
This means that if you want your campaigns to be effective at reaching a Millennial audience, they have to look good on mobile.
2. Leverage influencers
One in three Millennials consider blogs a âtop media sourceâ when researching a purchase, while YouTubers are more influential to the average U.S. teenager than âmainstreamâ celebrities.
Do you want to reach Millennials? Then get your product into the hands of online influencers.
Mattress brand Leesa did this. Between June 2014 and March 2016, the company sponsored a number of YouTube channels, reached out to multiple social media influencers, and provided them with mattresses to review. The result was more than 100,000 clicks to its website, and 400 sales.
Going viral with a recipe video isnât easy, so it makes sense to leverage someone elseâs audience if your budget will allow for it.
Better yet, influencer marketing isnât only useful for promoting tangible products â itâs a very effective way to drive your content forward, too.
DrumUp discovered this when super-influencer Guy Kawasaki tweeted one of its blog posts. An average post from DrumUp would be shared about 20 times. After Kawasakiâs tweet, the post in question saw more than 1300 shares. The tweetâs impact didnât stop there, either. While the post was going viral, sign-ups for DrumUpâs app increased 600%.
To get started with influencer marketing, identify influencers in your niche youâd like to work with and begin reaching out to them. Some will want money for their time; some will be happy simply to receive a free product to review. You wonât find out unless you ask.
You can get more detailed insight into how to leverage influencers for your brand here.
3. Be social
Okay, I know what youâre thinking â thereâs nothing revolutionary about suggesting you use social media to reach Millennials â but stick with me. I do have a point, I promise.
Social is a pretty effective tool for reaching all generations. By 2014, 63% of U.S. online adults aged 50-64, and 56% of those over the age of 65, were using Facebook.
Thatâs huge, and goes to show how marketing has changed regardless of who weâre targeting.
The difference, when we want to reach Millennials, is in the platforms we use.
Use of Facebook is falling, especially among younger Millennials. At the same time, use of Snapchat and Instagram have grown. As you can see in the chart below, Snapchat is now the most-used social media channel among 12 to 24 year olds in the U.S.
So whatâs my point?
The trick to targeting Millennials through social media is to be an early adopter of new platforms. If Millennials start flocking somewhere, join them. Donât wait to find out just how big that platformâs going to be; by then it might be too late. Get there early, and it will be far easier to make your mark on the platform and its users.
4. Be where Millennials are
While weâre on the topic of social media, letâs talk about Snapchat and Instagram. Facebook consistently tops the polls when it comes to overall users, and while itâs still crazy valuable, if you want to reach Millennials, Snapchat and Instagram are where you need to be.
On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds in the United States.
Whatâs more, while I have no hard stats on this, common sense tells us that there are far fewer brands using Snapchat and Instagram than Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Twitter.
For anyone whoâs been living under a rock the last few years, Instagram is a visual platform based on photographs. Not just any photographs, however. The idea is that you use one of the appâs many âfiltersâ to make your snaps more beautiful.
You donât even have to take your own photos to leverage the platform in your marketing. You can instead take advantage of user generated content by reposting your customerâs photos.
Urban Outfitters does this on its UOCommunity page.
As explained on the Shopify blog, the page âpulls together customer photos and sorts them into different feeds using hashtags like #UOOnYou, #UOMens, etc. Customer photos are then linked to relevant product pages, letting customers easily shop for the outfits that theyâre seeing.â
Snapchat is another visual platform based around photos and videos. Unlike Instagram, however, which helps people show off their âbestâ side, Snapchat is about sharing raw, real, âin the momentâ content.
Unfortunately you canât leverage UGC on Snapchat in the same way you can on Instagram. While you can share content from the appâs discover feature, if you try to share another userâs content without their permission, you could land yourself in trouble.
That means that in order to use Snapchat in your marketing, youâre going to have to create your own content. If that sounds like a lot of effort, donât worry â it really isnât.
Snapchat isnât about sharing perfectly touched-up photos or edited videos. Itâs about âsnappingâ something, and sharing it right then and there. Thatâs a big part of its appeal, along with the fact that it doesnât take any real skill to join in.
5. Retarget on social media
That makes sense. Retargeting ads âstalkâ consumers with advertisements for products or services theyâve viewed recently. If youâve already looked at a product, youâre probably interested in it. That makes you a warm lead, and much more likely to convert than someone whoâs shown an ad based on data Google has collected.
In short: retargeting is crazy effective.
Retargeting ads can appear all over the web, and if you use a platform like AdWords, you have little control over where your ads appear. If youâre more selective about where you choose to spend your advertising budget, you can choose for your ads to appear only in certain locations. Facebook and Instagram are two examples â excellent examples, in fact â if youâre targeting Millennials.
Better yet, you can target both sites with a single ad, using Facebookâs Power Editor. You can even reduce the legwork involved in maintaining your campaign with a tool like Audience Push, which automatically updates your Facebook Audience each time you gain a new customer.
For a detailed step-by-step explanation of how to create retargeting ads on Facebook and Instagram, head over here.
Do you have any other tips or ideas for targeting Millennials with your marketing? Donât forget to share them using the comments below.
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