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The 2 pm coffee is a ritual in the BirdBrain office. Several of us BirdBrains crowd into the kitchen for our afternoon caffeine hit and a quick catch up about our days, what we’re working on and, often, what marketing campaigns we’ve seen lately.
While talking about a major campaign we had recently seen, I realised how cynical of marketing we are. We can spot it a mile away and resent it to the point we have become so desensitised that we simply miss the message.
And marketing is what we’re passionate about. Imagine the pain felt by the average audience.
In our work, we’re increasingly seeing how traditional marketing methods fall on deaf ears when trying to reach millennials.
But, how to overcome this challenge? It got me thinking. Cue a quick brainstorm and chat with my fellow BirdBrains… and “tada”, six basic tips to help you market to a millennial.
1. Be authentic and transparent
Organic and inspiring content is what will engage a millennial. A millennial doesn’t want to hear the hard sell. To us, it is a major turn-off. Save it for the baby boomers.
We don’t buy into traditional marketing. We want discussion and relationships. We have a deep need for connection. Your brand and the personalities within your brand are more important than ever.
So, ditch the old-school techniques and get real with your audience!
- Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% being social, 20% promoting or communicating your services or product
- Showcase your brand personality and your team
- Be organic and raw. It’s ok not have a perfect, polished corporate edge. It will make your company feel human, natural and relatable
- Don’t be afraid to have fun and showcase the everyday life of your company. We know there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes… we want to see it!
2. Know your audience
You can’t “blanket target” an age group or demographic anymore. Millennials are not a traditional generation. Typically, we aren’t getting married in our early 20’s, popping out a few kids, settling in the suburbs and spending weekends at the park with the family dog.
We are not the same as our parents or grandparents. We are diverse and need to be marketed to in a specific way.
To reach a millennial, you need to get specific and develop an acute approach to audience targeting.
- Target by life and/ or career stage – age is irrelevant
- Invest in persona mapping
- Define your audiences, then redefine them again a few months later. And then again. Keep up-to-date with the trends. Know how your audience is using technology and communicating. This might sound like an endless money-pit, but you invest sustainably. Your investment will be worth it!
3. Get social and collaborative
Millennials are always connected and wanting to share. With technology at our fingertips, sharing is easier than ever and it is second nature for us to snap, live stream and post what we’re up to. We also tag companies (this might be a restaurant, a clothing brand, technology provider, a club… even the local grocer!) in our images.
In return for sharing our lives, we love to see what our friends and loved brands are up to, whether it is through Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or one of the other countless platforms. Plus – we LOVE receiving comments, likes and engagement. Vain? Probably. Marketing opportunity? Definitely.
Getting connected with your audience means more than just sharing your latest offering or a cool photo – it’s two-way, mutual discussion and relationship building.
- If your business is on Instagram or Facebook, “like” the comments from your followers
- When a follower reposts your image or tags you in an image (particularly with Instagram), give them a like and a cheeky comment. It can be something as simple as “thanks for sharing! J “ or “Great pic!”
- Share images of your clients. This curated content is majorly cost effective, chances are the pictures are fab AND you will engage your audience because you’re demonstrating that you care about them and their experience. You’re even letting them contribute to your brand and your socials. Everyone is winning!
4. Don’t be afraid of emotion
Videos are emotional rollercoasters. They can be fun, adventurous, raw, engaging, upsetting, uplifting… They can be highly produced, they can be in the moment. Plus, they receive next-level engagement.
The opportunity presented through the use of video content is unlimited and often unrealised by many companies.
- Ask for help! Outsourcing video content is a perfect way to ensure your videos are on point
- It’s ok to start small and find your feet with video content, you don’t have to outlay a $20k investment in a whizz-bang, highly produced video straight off the mark. Whether you’re handling the video in-house or engaging a professional, you can start small to test the water
- Don’t be afraid to get creative! Even a short snippet of the office Christmas party can make an engaging video
- Get brave and use Instagram stories and live Facebook videos. They’re real and imperfect… in other words, captivating!
5. Maximise your mobile
Millennials use their mobiles ALL the time! Research shows that a whopping 47% of millennials can’t bear to live without their smartphones. So, no, it isn’t your imagination: we are addicted to our phones!
What does this mean for marketers? If you’re not mobile friendly, you’re probably missing out.
- Consider the basics, such as if your landing pages are optimised for mobile?
- Do your images load quickly?
- Are any social media ads you engage in optimised for mobile?
6. Loyalty is hard to win… and needs to be rewarded
Millennials live fast, trust few and change often. The average millennial is constantly on the look-out for new opportunities. Unfortunately for many businesses, this can result in a constantly shifting customer base.
This can be combated! How?
- You want your audience to fall in love with your brand through a feeling of connection. Sounds mushy. It probably is. But, your company’s brand, values, personality and team are more important than ever. Make the most of them!
- Build your digital presence through brilliant content, engagement and accurate targeting. Retain your audience by following through with a positive experience. There is no use having an Instagram following of over 100K people who don’t want to use your website because it isn’t mobile friendly, has countless barriers for conversion and isn’t consistent with your brand. A smooth, easy and efficient experience will keep your audience coming back for more. Old-school customer service has a place in the “Digital Age”, it just looks different!
- There is a time and place for deals. Figure out what works with your audience and reward them for their loyalty.
Do you need help creating a millennial-friendly a content strategy? Let’s chat. We can’t wait to meet you.