The Millennials are a very important generation to know. They have surpassed the Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the population continues to expand due to immigration.
The Millennials have earned themselves plenty of reputations over the years, but there’s no denying that they are the main target audience for many brands. If you can tap into this generation’s mindset, you can be a much more effective and resourceful marketer. But just what exactly do Millennials want?
Who are the Millennials?
The Millennials are defined as those ages 19-35 in 2016. Sure, some are young and still in college, but many are walking around with families, jobs and bank accounts of their own. They make their own purchase decisions and influence their friends and families with personal opinions and experiences, which are quickly shared on social media.
One of the most exciting trends that the Millennials have brought to life is the use of mobile. Mobile continues to amaze us, and we’re just starting to chip away at the possibilities. What we do know is that Millennials want instant gratification. They’re good at tuning out traditional advertising methods, and they don’t want their time wasted. That’s why apps have been extremely successful with this generation.
A handful of digital marketing agencies have studied Millennial trends and what this group of shoppers is looking for from brands. Let’s break down the main points so that you, too, can better understand this key audience.
Millennials LOVE Their Smartphones
Millennials are attached to their phones by their hips – or hands, ears, whatever you want to call it. They check their devices more than 157 times per day, compared to the 30 times a day that the average adult checks them.
Millennials use their mobile devices to connect with others, browse the internet and take in web content. They are three times more likely to carry out these actions on their mobile phones rather than desktops. They also love using apps because they are fast, streamlined and interactive.
The types of apps that Millennials use the most are:
- Social networking
Millennials Want Stories, Not Ads
Millennials enjoy connecting with others, and this includes brands. They don’t want to be advertised to. They want stories. They want to be a part of something bigger.
Here are a few things to consider as your brand reaches out to the Millennial audience.
- Be human. Show your brand’s personality. Share your message and what you hope to achieve through your growth. Does your organization give back to the community? Do you employ people who wouldn’t otherwise have a job?
- Find common ground. Point out the things that unite you with Millennials. Do you share the same political, social or economic values?
- Tell your story. Create stories around your brand and the people that are integral to it. Show Millennials how your product is instrumental in people’s lives.
- Stop thinking in terms of advertising. Always be thinking about your relationship with the Millennial audience and how to make it stronger. Rather than throwing out traditional ads, consider how to engage your audience and establish trust and loyalty.
Millennials Prefer Some Content Over Others
There are three types of content that Millennials are most interested in: immersive content, informative content and content that solves a problem. Let’s take a more detailed look at what these content pieces are.
- Immersive content. Young people seek out immersive content when they want to escape the stress or demands from the day. They basically want to get lost in a vortex of entertainment, which is why short videos and games are perfect for this purpose.
- Informative content. Millennials tend to have strong opinions when it comes to social and political issues. They also like to be knowledgeable and informed on various topics, which is why straightforward, informational content is well absorbed by this audience. Make sure this content has good supporting facts!
- Solution-focused content. Millennials turn to the internet with just about every question imaginable, from cooking a turkey to installing a toilet. Content that teaches them how to do things or solves a common problem is highly valued.
The above content all fits within native advertising, which Millennials don’t mind reading. As long as the ad is not deceptive, this generation is generally willing to watch sponsored videos and read through sponsored content. They might even be willing to share if they feel it could offer value to their friends and family. Which brings us to our last point….
Millennials are the Best Brand Advocates
Older generations may be happy to tell others about your products and services, but they’re not going to be as familiar and comfortable bringing this exposure online. But the Millennials can. They are your biggest brand advocates, so you need to understand how to build these mutually rewarding relationships.
The most common ways that Millennials share their love for brands is by liking posts on Facebook, making purchases online, signing up for email newsletters and telling others directly.
Creating products that your audience loves is only half the battle, though. While Millennials don’t mind being happy customers, they are more likely to spread the word when they have a bond with the company. That’s why it’s important to tell your story and share your brand characteristics, such as being socially and economically responsible.
As you revamp your marketing strategies for 2017, the Millennials should be on your mind. They are your key to brand awareness and sales growth. This generation has unique needs, though, because they have grown up with the internet in their lives. They aren’t intrigued by traditional advertising methods and are very good at tuning them out. To capture the attention of your Millennial audience, you must tell meaningful stories and be clear about your brand characteristics.
WSI Net Advantage carefully studies Millennial trends and helps brands build effective marketing campaigns around this generation. If you’d like to arrange a consultation to learn more about taking this approach, fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you in FOUR business hours! It’s our guarantee!
About the Author
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
The Best Digital Marketing Insight and Advice
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