What are Millennials? You’ve probably heard this term many times but you’re unable to place a finger on it (without cross-referencing to Google). Millennials are people who are born in the early 1980’s to 2000 and are between the ages of 18-34. As digital marketing is moving rapidly in conjunction with advancing technologies, so are people’s expectations. People expect things to be simpler (or delivered on a silver platter). In this day and age, quality, strategy and adaptability are the keys to progressing forward in reaching out to customers. Digital marketing is evolving to cater to millennials and better retain this age group as their primary customers.
Let’s put it into perspective; the marketing landscape has dramatically shifted from 20 years ago. Granted, traditional marketing is still in use but it may not be as effective as it was back in the days. Today, many businesses shift to the online platform to gain a strong, social presence. It is essential for businesses to have accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus as a means to reach out and retain. Why does it matter to millennials? It matters a lot more than you think. A large chunk of the world’s population is made up of millennials and as a business, it’s imperative to ask: How do you adapt your business model to cater to this group? What do you have to do to gain their attention? How can you reach out to them to purchase your services and products?
Time and Performance Matters
First, one must understand the needs and demands of millennials. According to a post by Advanced Television, they are extremely sensitive to timely matters and performance. Use this as a key tip into designing your website; your website (regardless of platform) should not take more than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, when coming up with a website design, consider the available options: Will you be using HTML5? Are you considering Flash or Java? Will your website be responsive? Are you putting value in your text or images? Will there be video content?
Brands That Stick
Secondly, millennials are extremely brand-loyal. Traditional marketing fails in this aspect because you simply cannot ‘push’ your marketing message to the audience. Millennials will only consume the brand and product information when they need to. Billboard, radio and television ads just don’t achieve the same amount of effect as it did years ago. Since this age group is technologically glued to smart devices, it is imperative to adapt your business ideology for these devices. If your brand stands out from the rest, chances are millennials will stick with your brand. According to The Huffington Post, 63% of Americans stay updated with brands on influencer social networks. If that’s not enough to solidify the impact of social networking, 41% of the group has claimed to have made a purchase by using their smartphones.
Thirdly, the importance of socializing cannot be stressed further enough. It’s almost like, ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ idea. Traditional advertising was about you, you, and you. Since the marketing platform shifted, it’s all about them, them and them. One of the best ways to reach out to the audience is through conversation, as identified by social networks.
This is what you can do to further engage with people:
Facebook: Appropriately time your status updates and posts. Perform research to determine the best time to post to achieve the favorable results through engagement. Many millennials love to read things that evoke emotion. The status or post does not need to be 100% relevant to your brand (but a little relevancy will be good too). Or maybe you can try something new altogether: Post memes. People love funny things and funny things shared by brands make brands memorable.
Twitter: Use this mode of communication to announce something important or start a trend. As you are limited to 140 characters, the tweet has to be strong enough to communicate with your point across. Use hashtags to get recognized. Before using hashtags, please perform proper research on the hashtag as it may be used for something… unconventional.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn may not seem like the ideal place to advertise but it is a good way to find customers. HubSpot used LinkedIn as its main source to attract new customers as well as gain and overall performance boost by engaging with the audience. Since this is a professional network, there are ways to optimize maximum engagement: LinkedIn Company Pages, personal accounts and groups. Monitor what type to content generates the most activity according to the groups and define what type of posts lead to high click-through rates and conversions on the parent website.
Pinterest or Instagram: If your brand is about something visual e.g. clothing, accessories or decorations, post them here. Millennials love pictures. They love visuals and again, things that are visually saturate are more appealing and memorable.
Keep in mind you shouldn’t just post and just leave it as-is; reply to questions and inquiries and build up on the idea that you care for your customers.
The main point about millennials is that they will come to you when they want to. The will perform extensive research before committing to buy. They will read reviews about products and services before deciding if the product or service fulfills their needs. They will not hesitate to speak their minds and identify a product or brand at fault for failed services. They will rather talk with someone through Facebook messenger or Google’s Hangout rather than face-to-face.
In conclusion, millennials are the group you want to target to successfully establish a strong, dependable and reliable relationship with for years to come.