Entitled, impatient, and narcissistic. A few words you’ll often hear when you ask for a description of a “millennial” (by other generations!). We hear the buzzword again and again, but why should we as businesses care? Well, we believe it’s time to add this age cohort to the top of your segmentation list as they are now the largest living generation in the world. Piqued your interest yet? Buckle up.

Millennials are people born in the early 1980s to the late 1990s. This generation has grown up with the Internet in their back pocket, which make them tech-savvy, educated, and inclined to communicate with their peers - primarily through social media. The primary values of this fast-growing cohort consist of but are not limited to environmentalism, sustainability, feminism, LGBT rights, and inclusiveness.

7 millennial values

So now you’re wondering, what’s this got to do with me? Millennials are the largest, yet youngest working cohort today, which make them unlikely to have significant mortgages. This marks them as prime candidates to spend their disposable incomes- but only on things that appeal to them. 82% of them are on social media and 60% of users say they learn about new products on Instagram. If your audience fits within this age cohort and you aren’t already catering to the psychographics of the modern day millennial, then what are you even doing?! Check out our suggestions below to get started.

1. Gone are the days of traditional trust

As with any other generation - but possibly more so with millennials - social proof is incredibly important to prove your credibility. We might not like to admit it, but as humans, most of us have a desire to fit in and make purchase decisions based on outside influences or socially-acceptable consumer behavior. It is estimated that 95% of millennials say friends are the most credible source for product information. They also seek other competitor benefits before they make a final choice to buy. Although social proof is generally a positive reflection of your business and helps to build trust with prospects, brands need to be careful as negative proof can garner the wrong kind of spotlight for your business.

Mike Rittler, head of TD Retail Card Services and interim head of U.S. Partnerships says: “Millennials, on the whole, are not impulse shoppers. They like to research, they like to feel confident that the retailer and brand align to their values, and they want to make sure they’re getting the best price for an item, so they leverage a lot of channels in order to find this information.”

To avoid getting that eye twitch we all love so much (and to make social proof easy) use Stream to collect, sort, and showcase your best fan photos, videos, and posts on your mobile app, website or large display in real time. With a display of real results and satisfaction from real people, Stream gives customers a reason to separate you from your competitors.

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2. Businesses are real people, too.

Understand millennials and appeal to them through their core values and emotions, as they are often skeptical of traditional advertising. An authentic multi-platform strategy that speaks to them through optimized mobile devices is what differentiates you from competitors. Be transparent, genuine, and start two-way conversations where your audience can express concerns, and you listen and help. Past studies indicate that 62% of millennials want personal interaction with brands that are “authentic”.

We make it easy for you to streamline two-way conversations with Fan CRM. Learn even more about your fans every time they interact with you, then activate this data to create more personalized fan experiences so you can understand fan affinity, emotional intent and how your fans are interrelated.

3. Facebook who?

This is an obvious one. If your business is not on one of these platforms, then you’re already behind! Instagram and Snapchat are the top two most used social platforms in 2019. Of US adults aged 18 to 24, 78% and 71% indicated they use Snapchat and Instagram, respectively. Fans are not going to come to you, you have to meet them on their playing field and learn how to speak in their “language”, AKA memes, emojis, and Internet slang.
The reason millennials love these apps is that, when used right, the apps can be so personable and visual. Instagram’s visual platform allows brands to share #BTS (behind the scenes) shots of your company, as people generally connect deeper with people behind the businesses, not the brand itself. The same can be said for the 100 million active users on Snapchat. Take your engagement to the next level with custom, yet affordable geofilters virtually sent to hundreds along the social grapevine, along with the app’s video ads that appear between stories on Snapchat.

Your business can further engage with audiences by hosting giveaway campaigns on social media to excite your audience before your official launch. By hosting contests, you’re easily able to collect fan data and attract new fans. A great example is a recent contest by the University of Kentucky. As the NCAA Basketball season kicked off, UK wanted to increase awareness for the team and replenish their pool of qualified leads. By using our contest tool, they earned over 11,000 views on their bundle and a combined 188 shares to social media. The 12 campaigns together earned UK 6,500+ unique entries which will help them target fans, sell tickets, but most importantly - personalize their fan experience.

4. Experiences > physical products.

As millennial values and attitudes change, so do their wants and needs. Although millennials do value physical ownership, they value experiences even more. For this reason, companies like Uber successfully broke into the market with ride-sharing services that speak to the needs of the younger demographic, who may not be able to afford or have enough desire to own a vehicle. As millennials love experiences and appreciate their voice being heard, this allows for a great opportunity for businesses like you to repurpose user-generated content that helps to create a sense of community and furthermore elevates you to an unmatched spot in the minds of consumers.

5. Blogs are marketing's next reigning king

Did you know one in three millennials choose blogs as the top media source to consult BEFORE making a purchase? Blogs (whether written by an influencer or business) provide the opportunity to make a real connection and provide value to an audience. Aside from that, you can showcase your company values and set the tone of voice and personality for your audience. When creating content, remember that quality triumphs quantity. Research your fans and get to know them so you can create content that is of value and interest to them. By doing so, you can start a relationship that hopefully converts fans into long term brand advocates.

6. Utilize the right kind of Internet “celebrities”

We’re sure you're aware of “influencer” marketing after Fyre Festival’s failed fiasco in 2017. Thanks to the creators, who highlighted exactly what not to do! As you’ve learned from Fyre, influencers can have an enormous effect on their audience, driving them to make decisions solely based off of someone’s opinion. Keeping up with the unpredictable and ever-changing nature of influencer marketing is challenging, but it’s important when reaching millennials, as they trust influencer conversation and engagement over corporate advertising.

Nii Ahene, COO of CPC Strategy says: “Influencer marketing is growing because it’s a great way to get your products in front of an audience with an authentic voice. Many brands are seeing top-of-the-funnel value by getting more eyeballs on their brand’s offering. There’s power in putting the right products in front of the right audience — with an authentic voice.”

7. Play friendly with mobile!

Millennials love technology, but specifically, their phones. Research shows that 85% of millennials are smartphone owners. Therefore, brands need to optimize their websites to be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and quick loading. Millennials live in the fast lane and wait for no one, which means if your mobile page isn’t loading fast enough, they’ll opt out before you even have a chance. To really push the envelope, earn more growth with optimizing video for smartphones. Video for mobile set new records in 2018, with even more growth predicted to come with mobile's share of online "video starts" crossing 50% for the first time.

CEO of Creatv Media, Peter Csathy says: "Major brands will continue to invest significantly in mobile video and perhaps step up the game in production, quality and budgets."

As millennials are set to become the largest working cohort in the country, your business should seek to tap into this golden demographic. Want to get started with personalizing your campaigns for millennials but not sure where to start? Contact us now for a free consultation.

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