Millennials represent 1/4 of the population and an estimated $200 billion in buying power. With such a large portion of today's consumers, brands everywhere are trying to find a way to connect with these consumers. Unfortunately for many companies, Millennials are unlike many buying groups we have seen in the past.
As a certified Millennial, I have put together a quick list of things you should avoid when trying to engage your younger audiences
1) Using the Phrase 'Millennial"
But Laura, you just used the word Millennial 3 times in the intro of this blog post! You are correct, but that was to get your attention and possibly for SEO purposes.
The word Millennial comes with a host of negative connotations. If I had a dollar for every time I was blamed for killing an industry that no longer adapted to serve my generation's needs, I would have at least 12 dollars. You don't use the phrase "Baby Boomers" when trying to connect with people who were born between 1946 and 1964. In the same way, you should find more appropriate (and less condescending) ways to engage your target customers.
2) Being Disingenuous With Your Marketing
As a general rule, my generation is pretty tech-savvy. We also value authenticity and genuine interactions. If the person creating your content does not understand or respect the things we value, we will know it, and we will not be impressed.
Authenticity is the new currency in marketing these days. If you're not sure how to make that happen for your brand then you need to find someone who is. You will not be able to grow your customer base or even maintain your current standard of customers without nurturing genuine interactions.
3) Ignoring Interactions on Social Networks
A study by Forbes and Elite Daily shows that 62% of millennials are likely to become loyal customers if brands engage with them on social media. This is fairly easy to accomplish without breaking the bank by working with a community manager. My generation likes to interact with people over brands.
4) Trying to Integrate Memes into Your Marketing
I know this one may sound VERY silly. However, unless you are fully-ingrained in meme culture and have a brand-appropriate and fitting meme, it's best to leave the memes to Reddit.
If you have no idea what a meme is, keep it that way.
If you try and fail, to share memes with your audience, your younger audience will make fun of you, but it will not make them any more likely to purchase your products or services. It is pretty rare that a meme would make sense for any business, so unless you are 100% confident, it's best to leave them off your content calendar.
5) Ignoring the Needs of Your Community
My generation tends to be fairly concerned with the issues affecting their community. In fact, 75% of millennials believe it's important that a company give back instead of focusing on simply generating a profit. In fact, they're more likely to purchase from a company that is making a positive impact on the world.
This does not have to be an expensive venture for your company. Supporting local youth teams, in-kind donations and volunteering as a group are all cost-effective ways to make an impact. You don't need to make a political statement with your community support either. Finding a bi-partisan issue will resonate with your audience without fear of alienating anyone on either side of the aisle.
Millennials are a unique demographic with needs and values that differ greatly from other generations that came before. By avoiding the things listed above, you will be able to differentiate yourself in the market and creating meaningful interactions with the group that has the largest purchasing power in America today.
If you're ready to engage Millennials but still aren't sure how to do that - we're here to help! Contact us today to get started.