Millennials (Gen Y) play a huge role in digital marketing – they’re the generation that is tech savvy, ‘in-touch’ and have grown up in a social media world, so they are a key target market for many a digital marketing campaign. If they are your target market, or a segment of your market, engaging with millennials is super important for brand awareness, customer acquisition and retention, so shape your campaign around their characteristics and demographics, engagement tendencies, digital trends and purchase decisions.
Here we explore 6 different ways to engage millennials in your digital marketing strategy.
Social Media Platforms
Millennials aren’t referred to as the ‘digital generation’ for nothing. They are without a doubt the most tech savvy generation on the planet right now and are constantly on top of new trends in the digital world, especially when it comes to social media platforms. A great way to engage Gen Y in your digital marketing strategy is to embrace social media platforms like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram – along with all of their multi-media features such as Snapchat stories, Facebook LIVE and Instagram stories.
By using popular social media platforms you’re guaranteed to reach Gen Y, and when you use all of their new features like video content, that’s when they start to really engage with you. They’re consumers that love video content, something that is fun to watch and doesn’t come across as an ad is the best kind of content to grab their attention, so allocate budget, resources and creative to social media, and experiment with new platforms too, such as Musical.ly. If your target market is on a platform and you’re not, you are seriously missing out on brand exposure, leads, sales and conversions.
Brand Culture and Community
Consumers are much more likely to engage with a brand that has an established culture and community, because it’s something they can be a part of, contribute to or aspire to be. Millennials crave culture and community, so brands who do it, see success with their young target market.
So, how do you build culture and community? Create a space online that Gen Y consumers can relate to and engage with, and even better if it translates offline too. It could be something small like a community hashtag, or on a large scale, like an event where top customers are invited to preview a new product, or get access to it before the general public. When you create culture and community that goes beyond your product or service, you’re building something that people will want to be a part of, and as a result, you’re engaging with your target market and building a long-term relationship with them.
Good Quality Content and Targeted Distribution
While social media is a key platform to engage with Millennials on, if you aren’t creating good content and distributing it to a targeted audience, then you’re not making the most of your social media and content marketing strategy.
Millennials fall into their own category as a consumer segment, so it’s important to have your social media and content marketing clearly defined and able to be easily related to the Gen Y market. If it’s not, you will find Millennials do not engage with the content, and ultimately find it irrelevant and invaluable, which can have a negative impact on your brand as a whole. They’re a niche demographic with unique wants and needs, so content should be created especially for them.
When creating content for MIllennials, think about your own social media newsfeed…. How much content is in there that you scroll right past? A lot, right? If you want your target market to engage with your content and have it contribute to their purchase decisions, your content needs to stand out and combine high-quality production with targeted distribution. That’s where influencers come into the mix….
Leverage Ambassadors and Influencers
The power that influencers have in your digital marketing strategy is undeniable – they provide unique content, drive traffic to your website, convert leads and they build relationships and engagement. They're a secret weapon that is often unestimated, until now.
By collaborating with influencers and ambassadors that are popular among Millennials (or are a Millennial themselves) you’re creating an outlet to reach out to them through someone your consumers already relate to and are inspired by. Gen Y is so in-tune with influencers that they’re keen to listen to everything they have to say and trust recommendations from bloggers and social media influencers more than branded advertising. Influencer marketing is the new word-of-mouth, and consumers trust their digital peers more now than ever before. For more on influencer marketing strategies and campaign ideas, check out this post.
Ultimately, if a high-profile influencer with authority and credibility shares information about a go-to product or destination, their followers are going to be engaged with the brand and follow suit. Millennials have copy-cat tendencies, so if the "cool" people are doing it, they will too!
Be Subtle and Genuine
On another note, because Millennials are tech savvy, they are so used to see advertising while using tech products, so if content is too "salesy" they will completely ignore it. Traditional advertising just doesn't work that well with Millennials, because they are so accustomed to seeing right through it. Marketing to Millennials needs to be subtle and genuine (which is why influencer marketing is great( and it needs to add value to their life in some way. If you're forcing something at them with a sales message, they will tune out. However, if you're subtle yet strategic, you can get your product or brand front of mind to influence their purchase decisions before they even realise it. It's all about the long-term gain, rather than the short-term win.
Timing is everything to this generation of consumers. The greatest way you can engage with and appeal to Millennials in your digital marketing strategy is to provide them with timely and relevant information when they need it, and not before or after. Convenience is key for Millennials in the digital space, so things like free shipping, 30-day returns and good quality, consistent customer service should be a high priority. It's also important to ensure the timing of your content is planned strategically, to best capture the market and drive leads. Post on socials when Millennials are most on the phones, usually during the morning and at night, with spikes in the middle of the day around lunch time. Of course, this may be different for each brand and industry, but as a general rule, this is when Millennials are on their phones, laptops and tablets browsing.
If Millennials are your core target market, use these strategies to elevate your digital marketing campaigns in a positive way. Don't forget, if you have any questions just leave a comment below!