How You Can Market Your Business to Millennials

A couple weeks back at Sage Summit, I attended a really interesting workshop by Chelsea Krost, who is a millennial spokesperson (she’s 24), and works with businesses to help them to create marketing campaigns that connect to that generation.

Image of @chelseakrost by @sandyabrams
Image of @chelseakrost by @sandyabrams

First up; let’s define what a millennial actually is, and why we, as businesses, should care about them.

Millennials are currently ages 18-35, and the biggest generation currently, even bigger than the baby boomers. There are 80 Million in the US alone.

So why should we care? Many millennials still live at home. While their overhead is relatively low, given that they pay little or no rent, they have jobs, and are earning money. That means that a great deal of their income is disposable income, and not earmarked for fixed expenses. It’s also believed that, because of their sheer numbers, millennials will begin to outspend the baby boomers by as early as 2017.

hello my name is mllennial

So. It’s a large group of people, and that group has some serious spending power. Interesting, right?

Here are some things you need to know about this interesting demographic:

  • Millennials tend to be quite brand loyal.
  • They are environmentally conscious.
  • They are often entrepreneurial in nature.
  • Millennials spend a lot of their time researching products online, before buying it in a bricks and mortar store. They are discount-savvy, and tend to be smart shoppers, overall. Also, they love gamification.
  • They are compulsive multi-taskers, hyper connected, and have a short attention span (as any of you who have teenagers will know!). They will do their homework while listening to music and watching Netflix and chatting with a friend, all at the same time. They are attached to their smartphones at all times, and check them on average, 40+ times per day.

So. How do you market your business to millennials?

  • Be mobile-friendly. This is a leading trend not just for millennials, but for everyone. Mobile use has now officially eclipsed desktop use, so if your marketing efforts are not mobile-friendly, you’re sunk. Make sure your website still looks sexy on an iPhone, and get onto social media, if you are not already there.
  • Microcontent: break down content into “snackable” chunks, and share those. Use visuals and graphics if possible.
  • Exclusivity: if there’s one thing Millennials love, it’s getting the inside track. If you can somehow offer them a special deal, an exclusive they can brag about to their friends, allowing them to be first in the know… you have a winner.
  • Be authentic: Millennials know if you are not being completely authentic. They can just tell. So be honest, open, and transparent. Otherwise, it looks like you’re pandering, and that will not fly.
  • Allow them to participate: User Generated Content is huge amongst Millennials. Give them the opportunity to share their stories about your brand, and then share it with your audience.

What social networks should you be on?

graphic courtesy of Social Media Today

If you want to learn more about millennials, and how to market to them, join in Chelsea’s Twitter Chat. She hosts it every Tuesday at 5 pm PST on the hashtag #MillennialTalk.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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