How to Make Your Millennial Marketing Strategy More Engaging
Millennials have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials, the age group between approximately 18-34 now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69).
With an annual buying power of $200 billion, marketers must pay attention to this demographic and adapt their marketing strategies to engage this audience.
Millennials Stats That Will Make You Reconsider Your Marketing
We know millennials are technically savvy, socially inclined, and always connected. But when it comes to marketing your products and services, here are some great stats to keep in mind.
- 89% of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand. –Kissmetrics
- Nearly half (44%) of millennials are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards. –Aimia
- 84% of millennials report that user generated content on company websites at least somewhat influences what they buy. – Bazaarvoice
- 77% of millennials participate in loyalty reward programs. –Aimia
- 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. –The McCarthy Group
- Millennials account for more than seven in ten Snapchat users. –eMarketer
- Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts, who happen to be strangers, than advertisements and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites. –Hubspot
- 63% of millennials search social media for coupons. – eMarketer
- Five out of six millennials in the US connect with companies on social media networks. –SDL
- Millennials in the US are seven times more likely to give their personal information to a trusted brand than to any other brand. – SDL
- 66% of millennials in the US follow a company or brand on Twitter and 64% like a company or brand on Facebook to score a coupon or discount. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
- 56% of millennials in the US would share their location with companies to receive coupons or deals for nearby businesses. – USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future
- 73% of millennials prefer to contact brands via email. – Adestra
Armed with these stats, here are some great ways to make your marketing millennial-friendly.
Grab Their Attention Through Email
The top reasons this generation signs up to receive brand emails is to receive discounts, get product and service updates, and because they simply love the brand.
Despite their preference in email as a communication channel, nearly 60% feel they get too many promotional emails. As with all generations, be sure to personalize your communications and focus on design elements that will appeal to this age group. For example, many marketers are using emojis in subject lines to grab attention. This generation is highly visual, so emails must include more imagery and less copy. And be sure that every email communication you send out is optimized for mobile since this is the most likely way in which this group will be engaging with your email campaigns.
Remember those stats that revealed their love of coupons and discounts? Use this to your advantage – send discounts and coupons that can be redeemed through mobile. Millennials are increasingly interested in mobile coupons, with nearly half of millennial coupon users in the US using more mobile coupons in Q3 2015 than a year earlier (Valassis).
Focus on Influencer and Peer-to-Peer Marketing
Because millennials have such a high distrust for mass brand advertisements, marketers need to focus on alternate ways to win the loyalty of this generation. Millennials are highly influenced by their friends, family, and peer recommendations. Consumers today love to share their experiences, interact with brands, and are in fact are our best advocates and marketers. Consumers want an experience that is personal and relevant—and content created by fellow shoppers can be a huge factor when deciding which brand they will choose to purchase from. This is especially true for millennials.
Brands should focus on sharing User or Consumer-Generated Content (CGC) to win the hearts of this generation. Some additional stats to consider include:
- 59% of millennials say they use CGC to inform their purchase decisions about major electronics. That’s followed by cars (54%), major appliances (53%), mobile phones (46%), hotels (45%), and travel plans (40%). (Crowdtap)
- 65% of social media users from ages 18 to 24 consider information that’s shared on social networks when making a purchasing decision. (eMarketer)
- Consumers who are between the ages of 25 and 54 are the biggest content drivers—contributing 70% of all CGC. (SparkReel)
- 86% of millennials say that consumer-generated content is generally a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service. (Bazaarvoice)
Some ways to use consumer-generated content is by by encouraging consumers to take photos of themselves or share their own stories in exchange for an entry into a contest. Contests are a great way to encourage consumer-generated content and which has benefits for both you and your fans. By offering awards of cash, merchandise, free service and even recognition, you can encourage your brand followers to help you generate original content that will help you as well as deliver value to your visitors. Encourage users to leave reviews. Up to 70% of consumers place unbiased “peer” recommendations and reviews above professionally written, brand-controlled content, while 81% of online shoppers use online reviews to make their ultimate purchase decision.
Use Social Media to Engage on a Personal Level
While consumers across generations use social media to engage with brands, younger generations such as millennials have a particular affinity for social media platforms. Millennials identify with brands more personally and emotionally than older generations do and social platforms offer a great platform to showcase a brand’s human side. According to a BCG survey, 50% of U.S. Millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38% of those ages 25 to 34 agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.”
To build brand loyalty among millennials, brands must also engage this generation on a more personal level, using storytelling, visuals, and authenticity. Millennials appreciate being able to interact with brands and to be listened to anywhere and anytime about their concerns and experiences. A brand’s availability 24-7 is significantly more important to millennials than other generations, making social platforms an ideal channel to engage with the always-on, connected millennial consumer.
Forty-eight percent of millennials also reported that they “try to use brands of companies that are active in supporting social causes.” When asked whether “brands should help those in need,” more millennials than the U.S. average agreed that they are more likely to buy a product if they know that the company is “mindful of its social responsibilities” and that they buy from companies that “show concern for the environment and sustainability.”
Understanding the role of social media in determining and influencing consumers’ attitudes, motivations and behaviors is more important than ever when targeting millennial consumers.
Millennials are ready to spend money and to advocate for your brand – if you step up to the plate and take the time to understand them and communicate with them according to their values and preferences.
Download our Omnichannel Marketing Success Kit for tips, strategies and best practices on how to target the right person, across the right channels, and at the right time to maximize your ROI.