Editor's Note: Luisa Brenton is a former brand developer, and currently works as an educational blogger. Today she joins us to discuss how brands can more effectively tailor their social media marketing strategies to a millennial demographic.
Whenever developing a marketing strategy, brands should spend time considering their target demographic. Unsurprisingly, selling products and services to millennials requires a very different approach than launching a generic social marketing strategy and waiting for results.
While every individual is different, two rules generally apply to millennials: first, they want to feel your brand has a vested interest in them before they commit to any services that you might provide. Second, they differentiate themselves from other consumer generations with high interactivity and an open nature towards new technology and customer engagement.
From these two facts, it's obvious that catering to the needs of a millennial target audience through social media is important. And while this can sometimes be a difficult task, it's not impossible, and not nearly as hard as some commentators pretend. In this article, we'll look at some important aspects of consumer psychology with millennials in mind, and how they can be applied to your social media marketing strategy. Let's get started -
Millennials are known for shopping online instead of using retail stores for their needs. They would prefer to order a product with a few easy clicks than wait for it to arrive in the mail. This means that an e-commerce website for your company is a must if you hope to target millennials as your primary customer base.
The generation in question values interactivity and versatility, and pushing that message on social media is a great way to attract them. For example, consider including direct links to your online store in any published content on your blog (you do have one, don’t you?). Similarly, including content that promotes digital shopping and featuring a blog on your website which showcases the possibilities of digital shopping will make your brand stand out in the eyes of your customer base.
New feature adoption
The millennial generation is defined by the adoption of new technologies. They were born at the dawn of a technological revolution, and this is a motif to reference in your social marketing outreach.
The truth is that most of us carry smartphones wherever we go. Use that to your advantage and focus on new, unexplored marketing strategies that will attract a new generation of consumers to your brand. While you might have detractors in the form of an older demographic and people who are accustomed to more traditional means of marketing, the millennial generation will embrace it wholeheartedly.
Platform doesn’t dictate information
Information should be the same no matter what platform you publish it on. This is a stance that millennials have largely taken when it comes to receiving marketing messages and consuming content online in general.
This means that the information in your Facebook ads shouldn't be different from that in your Instagram posts, and video commercials shouldn’t have fundamentally different content than email marketing messages. Any form of marketing that you employ should focus around the same key message that you have developed before your campaign started. If you aren't sure how to develop an effective message, hiring a writer can be helpful.
A unified message - whether it is published to LinkedIn or Tumblr - should sound and feel genuinely the same. This is one way to attract the millennial generation with your social media marketing and ensure that your credibility stays high and safe from any doubts.
Social media engagement
Posting content on social media and hoping for the best won’t be enough if you want millennials to buy and use your products. Customer engagement is still a fairly new subject on the digital marketing playground, but it certainly makes a difference.
For example, responding to customers via private messages, live Q&A, and comments on posts will publicly will raise the awareness of your brand by allowing you to discuss products and questions that your audience might have. Best of all, millennials around the world will be more willing to accept your product as adequate for their needs and ways of thinking.
Even something as simple as using emoticons on social media to answer a customer query can help you to establish a friendly tone with your audience and ensure that you are seen as positive and communicative. Showing a level of interactivity and willingness to treat people like equals is crucial to the millennial generation, and something that shouldn’t be overlooked in your social media marketing.
Simpler is usually better
You might think that detailed and complex marketing content with huge amounts of data can help you win over new customers. But as a matter of fact, the more irrelevant content you include in your content, the more likely you are to divert your audience to a different brand. This is because customers - especially millennials - want simplicity and directness without any sales pitches that might sound forced or generalized.
Simplifying your marketing message and including any detailed content behind a click barrier is always a smarter way to promote new content. This will ensure that people who want to know more do so by clicking on a link, leaving others with an overview of the content you are trying to promote, but not forcing anything on them.
Paid marketing content
Contrary to common opinion, millennials are open to both advertisement and paid, promotional content. In fact, relying too much on organically marketed content can backfire if it is not upfront about its intention to bring in business. Paid content ensures a level of curation from your side, and anything they see will look professional and properly targeted.
Hiring a marketing expert and creating original content may not be in your predicted budget, but if you want to attract millennials, this is an aspect of marketing to consider seriously. Facebook and Instagram ads use demographic data to ensure the maximum effectiveness of any content that reaches users, meaning that they can be used to easily target millennials and give them the content they would prefer to see in their feeds.
Best practices for reaching the millennial generation will continue to evolve just like the generation itself. But while newer generations will always have different worldviews than the ones that came before, some basic rules of social media marketing will always stay the same.
Make sure to include test groups in your marketing strategy and try pushing new content to controlled groups of millennials before publishing them to anyone else. By acting on informed strategy rather than assumptions, you will save money in the process and ensure that your brand gets even more recognition from the people you want to reach most.
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