What Every Marketer Should Know About Marketing to Millennials


Marketing to Millennials

Over 73 million Americans are between ages of 24 and 38 and fall into the millennial category. They represent the largest living generation in the U.S., making them a major attraction for marketers to obsess over.

Millennials were raised in a transitive period, during which digital technologies developed and eventually grew to dominate social and industrial markets. Their tech-savviness, ability to consume web-based content, and shopping tendencies make them perfect targets for digital advertising and media outreach.

The key to capturing the millennial market lies in understanding both what types of content they like to consume, as well as how they prefer to consume it. Millennials play a vital role in the digital marketplace in that they are more likely than Gen X and baby boomers to use smartphones and tablets to make online purchases.

To help brands and businesses understand and cater to this generation successfully, we’ve outlined some facts related to how millennials interact with digital media, as well as how you can encourage them to engage with your brand.

Optimize Mobile-First Content

Perhaps the most critical piece of the millennial puzzle lies in where and how they consume digital content. Since most millennials browse content on their smartphones, brands must respond to this habit by designing interfaces and campaigns for mobile devices over any others. Have you ever opened a link on your phone only to find a website with inoperable buttons or a poorly rendered site you can’t scroll through? Landing pages that don’t offer responsive interactions often discourage millennials (and other users), leading to abandonment and even lack of trust in the brand.

Ensure that all of your content renders well on smartphones, and design your ad campaigns around social media behaviors. It’s best to invest in research related to what type of content works best, and where. For example, should you share Facebook videos, ad carousels, and stories? How likely are shoppers to read the captions on your Instagram posts? All of which leads us to…

Establish a Strong Media Presence

In the millennial culture, social media presence is a badge of acceptance. It can also help to humanize your brand and encourage higher engagement rates versus simply expecting millennials to visit your website. When structuring your ad campaigns around social media, be sure to build approachable, engaging profiles to accompany your ads.

Speaking of ads, social media is not a place to put on a hard sell. This is a place for conversation, not blatant conversion. Also, be true to your brand and craft messages that reflect that authenticity. Millennials can sniff out disingenuous marketing in no time.

Millennials prefer to learn about brands through social media, but this can mean a variety of different things. Always consider your branded pages, but you may also want to leverage influencer marketing for your product or service. Curology and HelloFresh have capitalized on the YouTube influencer market by partnering with social media celebrities to promote their products and offer exclusive deals to each influencer’s follower list.

Another way to involve your audience is through user-generated content that helps tell your story. Encourage social media followers to use hashtags that coincide with promotions or new products. User involvement increases brand awareness and offers consumers a real-life look at your brand through look-alike audiences.

Consider Their Values

Compared to past generations, millennials show a notable interest in the social and environmental impact of their purchasing habits. They often migrate to brands that publicly “make a difference” with their product or service. For example, eyewear brand Warby Parker offers reasonably priced glasses and contacts but separates itself from the competition through the “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, which supplies a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair purchased in-store or online.

Eighty-seven percent of millennials want to make purchases that have an environmental or social benefit. Set your organization apart by giving consumers an inside look into how you’re affecting social or environmental change. Do you operate with special allowances for environmental impacts? Source products locally to support small businesses? Organize charity events each year? Sharing stories like these with your audience will humanize your brand and make millennials feel good about handing over their hard-earned cash and ultimate loyalty to your product over your competitors.

Capturing the attention, adoration, and loyalty of millennials through digitally focused advertising campaigns and marketing strategies isn’t easy. But learning as much as you can about your audience is a great place to start. And so is talking to an expert. To learn more about how we help businesses target and engage with millennials online, let’s talk!