Happy Monday! I hope all of you had a great weekend and are ready to jump into this new week full of energy and joy. It is finally cooling down in Little Rock, jacket-scarf-umbrella weather is almost upon us, which means my personal paradise is on the way 🙂
Last week we looked at the current market and saw that the overwhelming purchasing power belongs to the Millennials – a generation currently between 22 and 37 years of age. We examined some stats and broke down all the ways in which Millennials are so different from their predecessors Gen X and Boomers. We have determined that they make decisions based on a completely different set of values, which calls for a completely different marketing approach – one lead by your greater why, authenticity, openness and character.
Today we will look at how exactly does one market to Millennials, how does one implement openness, character and their greater why and deliver it all to this generation.
Let’s say you have a company, a business, a brand. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for some time, I invite you to pay attention to these crucial elements:
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Can you clearly define who are you and why are you in business? Does it reflect your personal values and what you stand for? Where should you house all of this information? When I talk about the brand narrative, I mean the summary of who you are, what you do, why you do it and how your passion and your values are reflected in all of it. Usually we all write it out in one form or another before we open a business and tweak it as we grow and our business grows. If you do not have this information down, now is the time to write it out. Your brand narrative is your foundation. it defines your company and the reason for its existence. It lives in your website copy, on your promo materials, in your ads, on all your social media. It permeates through all your work – the product, locations, service, media – as it is the core substance of the entire business. Your brand narrative is by far your most valuable possession, and when marketing to millennials, make sure you write it openly and honesty, including your emotional why, your passions and promises. The more of your character and personality you show, the more you open up about your values and the bigger purpose you are trying to serve with your business, the more Millennials will vibe with you. The more you will get their attention, their business, and eventually loyalty.
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Do you know who your ideal customer is? Do you know how old are they, where they live, what their hobbies are, where they shop, who they follow? What brands do they wear, what music do they listen to, what habits do they have, what is their story? Can you paint a picture of your ideal customer to such a detail? You should be able to, as you want to a) deeply know them to be able to relate to them, b) pick media and media placement based on your findings, c) target your customer with precisely crafted keyword cloud, d) craft campaigns and messages relevant to them. With millennial market come the digital and mobile components that you simply cannot take out of the equation, as they constitute the majority of your equation, and knowing your customer avatars and keeping up with them will result in precisely targeted campaigns with quality clicks that turn into customers. Here are some of the points you want to have down:
- how old are they
- where do they live
- how much money do they make
- their education level
- employment status
- what are they into
- who do they follow (this one is HUGE )
- what do they want to know that will make their life better / easier
- what brands do they buy (clothing, cars, coffee, etc.)
- what is important to them
- what do they aspire to be
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In 2018 your website is your first impression, your business card, your valuable content hub, your store front, and the first and biggest reflection of your brand narrative – who you are, what you do and what you stand for. It can make or break your interaction with a Millennial. When we hear about a brand, a cool new product or a company, what do we do first? We do two crucial things: we Google (or try to go straight to the .com) and we look you up on social media. This is the unspoken legitimacy test that you do not want to fail due to a site that is not mobile or a stale Facebook account. Millennials want to read all about you on your site with as little clicks as possible (preferably a long scrollable home page, as they are most likely doing it on their phone) and see that you openly interact with your followers on social media.
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Millennials create content. And they also consume content. They are way more likely to ask YouTube and Google how to do something before calling their parents or friends. They are resourceful and like to make their own educated choices. And the first place they go for information to is Internet. Therefore, if you have content, you have Millennials there reading / watching / listening to it. The main premise of creating content that I advise you to remember is bringing value. Not creating content for the sake of having content. I invite you to ask yourself:
- What would I like to share with people that has to do with my business?
- How can I educate my customers?
- How can I entertain them?
- How can I inspire them?
- Do I want to inspire them?
Remember, it has to be authentic, or not be at all, if you want to really connect to Millennials. What resources / information might my customers need? Does it spark any ideas? You can write blogs, articles, create podcasts, go on your local radio and TV, make videos for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. As long as it adds value and openly reflects your brand narrative, you will be just fine.
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I know that this goes without saying, but I had to highlight it due to its immense importance. As I have mentioned in point #3, social media presence is amongst first things that a Millennial will investigate about you to determine how legit you are. But the mere presence of social accounts is not enough. What they pay attention to is:
do you have an account
- how active are you
- do you respond to comments / followers’ requests
- what you post
- how often you post
- how consistent are you
- social engagement (does your audience interact with you – noted by the number of likes, comments, shares, guest posts)
- original content you post
The reason Millennials pay so much attention to your social presence is because open channel of communication and the connection to the person behind the brand are very important to them. Remember, personal openness and corporate transparency are some of their most important values. Hence giving you a perfect opportunity to connect to them personally, share information, inspiration, content you enjoy, all in real time.
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Whether on your website or social media accounts, do you have a face to your business? Do people know your business for the products and services you provide, or for the person behind it all who was so passionate about helping people, he/she has created this company? Do they know your story? Do they have enough ground (from what you provide to them in your brand narrative) to personally relate to you? Personal connection is huge for Millennials, so don’t be afraid to show your personal character, open up about your story and your personal values, show them how it all reflects in your business, and you will be that much more likely to make the sell and make some good friends along the way.
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Video has made a tremendous entrance in the last couple of years. With YouTube exploding as a search engine, Facebook introducing live video and Facebook Watch, Instagram following with live video, stories and IGTV, everyone on this planet basically gets their personal media station, that lets them broadcast their whole life if they so choose. Can’t get any more personal than that (except in-person events, of course, which are also important). Live updates, reveals, Q&As, live event broadcast, educational videos, how to videos, tutorials, YouTube & Facebook video ads (did you notice how Facebook started leveraging the popularity of its video content to sell video ads that now interrupt that said video content without an option to skip?) – you can have a lot of impact with video and have a lot of fun. Search engine bots favor video content, upping your SEO rank, while you bring a lot of value to your customers with this engaging & entertaining format.
There are many more ways of implementing Millennial marketing principles, but for today we will stop here. In the future posts I will go in depth on each one of these and will bring you more interesting tips and tools that can add tremendous value to your marketing game – a lot of them for free. I hope the above information was helpful, and if you would like to get one of these posts in your inbox every Monday, subscribe to blog in the sidebar.
If you would like any more information on Millennial marketing strategies, let me know in the comments below. See you there, or in the next week’s post.
Love, Katya <3