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Top Considerations for Marketing to Millennials

When they’re not eating avocado toast or taking selfies, chances are, Millennials serve as your No. 1 customer. The Millennial generation, or those born between 1977 and 1995, now make up most of the workforce and likely have a big say in business decisions. According to Forbes, this generation will spend $10 trillion dollars over their lifetime as consumers. Here are five considerations you can apply to your Millennial marketing strategy.

1. Millennials Look to Friends First

When it comes to sources they can trust, Millennials look to their peers. Within the past month, research shows that Millennials read more reviews—and are more likely to write reviews. In fact, 77 percent of millennials have shared a recommendation to someone else and are 50 percent more likely to make a recommendation to a peer than any other generation. Furthermore, BrightLocal found that 97 percent of Millennials read online reviews before selecting a business, and 89 percent trust those reviews.

Look to online review platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, Facebook, and even Glassdoor. Consider adding customer testimonials and reviews to your site for greater brand transparency to earn Millennials’ trust. Additionally, find ways to encourage positive word-of-mouth by responding to reviews—good or bad—to show Millennials that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, appreciate their positive feedback, and are available to remedy any negative experiences.

2. Millennials Value Authenticity

Along with building trust, Millennials value brands for their authenticity. More than any other generation, an overwhelming 90 percent of Millennials say authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands they support.

Consider your sales funnel as it relates to the customer journey. If you’re only available when the customer is ready to buy, you’ll miss out on the key opportunities with passive customers and those in the discovery phase of the buyer journey, while sending a red flag that you may not have the customer’s best interest in mind.

It's important for brands to establish themselves as a trusted source in their industry in order to be considered by the Millennial buyer. This means that picture-perfect ads and repeated, generic messaging won’t work. Rather, nurture your Millennial customers through emotional storytelling, user-generated content, and thought leadership. Leverage inbound marketing tactics, such as blog posts, e-books, social media, and videos that can establish your brand as a thought leader in your marketplace and better relate to your audience and their needs.

3. Millennials Care About Social Issues

Millennials have strong feelings about social and environmental issues, and many make decisions based on those feelings. According to Cone Communications, 70 percent of Millennials are willing to pay for a product that makes an impact about an issue they care about.

Think TOMS and Warby Parker. The “buy one, give one” model is a great example of how Millennials put their purchase power where their cause is. Many brands have started to see the advantages of taking a stance. For example, Starbucks’ Ethical Sourcing policy gives customers a sentimental reason to choose their coffee over competitors, even though it may come at a higher price.

This is just the beginning of the socially conscious business model. Whether it's the appeal of organic and fair-trade ingredients or knowing an organization gives back to the community, it’s clear that taking a socially conscious mindset can further promote brand authenticity and influence a Millennial's decision-making.

4. Millennials Crave 24/7 Attention

In an age of smartphones and social media, Millennials live in a world of constant connectivity. In fact, the amount of time Millennials are on their devices is unbelievably high, with one in four Millennials spending more than five hours per day on their phone.

If you want to get through to your Millennial audience, you need to be reaching out and available around-the-clock. Many customers expect companies to respond to social media mentions within one hour—even on nights and weekends. Social media monitoring tools like HootSuite and Sendible can help automate the process of searching for mentions of a brand name to help shorten response times and provide the 24/7 attention Millennials crave.

5. Millennials Want Personalization

Millennials share, and they overshare. They tell the world what they’re eating, drinking, and doing in real time from the palm of their hands. The line between what is private and can be made public is nearly nonexistent with this group. In fact, 70 percent of Millennials are willing to let brands track their browsing and shopping behaviors in exchange for a better experience.

Referred to as the “me generation,” it should come as little surprise that brands need to personalize their marketing efforts for their Millennials audience. Leverage social media platforms and web analytics to learn about your audience, what they like, and what they’re interested in, and what they buy. Use this data to target your audience on your website and via paid digital advertising to provide personalized recommendations based on the products they have searched for in the past or websites they have visited. You can further tailor your social media strategy to channels like Facebook and Instagram, where Millennials are most engaged. It's not the "spray and pray" method of the past; this is intentional and targeted marketing to Millennials.

Market to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials is easier with these five points in mind. Need help reaching Millennials? Aztek has the web design and digital marketing expertise to provide innovative ways to improve your Millennial exposure. Check out our comprehensive digital marketing services, including social media, digital advertising, and SEO, to see how we can help generate more qualified leads to your business from this generation.