- Written by Mary Mac Carlin
We’ve all heard the terms coined to describe the “typical” millennial. The syntax echoes far and wide branding a generation to be entitled, lacking work ethic and having an attention span shorter than that of a fruit fly. Yet, they are the future. As an employer, business owner, or marketer it is important to note the qualities of a millennial that are beneficial to business growth and will boost your bottom line. The key to growing your business, especially in areas with a high concentration of millennials, is to tap into what truly makes a millennial and millennial. Millennials are those born roughly between the years of 1982 and 1996. They are the generation immersed and surrounded by technology, and are always on the go with their mobile phone in hand. Social media is at the forefront of their socialization and exposure to the internet is everything. As a business owner and advertiser, it is important to tap into their internet and social media use, branding your business on these platforms. Instagram and Facebook are two social networking sites that can be integrated with traditional advertising techniques to boost your engagement with millennials. The more integrated your brand and website are with platforms like Instagram, the easier it is to establish credibility with millennials. Some of the techniques include: 1. Remarketing Remarketing is a technique used to re-engage a consumer with a brand they previously visited on the internet. This is a great way to produce ads that are relevant to your consumer and provide advertisements that are suitable for their needs and wants. Remarketing helps to convert an initial site browse to a customer. This tactic can be used to increase brand relevance in a consumers life. If a consumer has visited your small business website, you can target them with an ad on their Instagram feed to remind them of your brand and ultimately generate business. 2. Make sure you’re to the point Mobile devices and computers are continuously increasing their capabilities and their ease-of-use and so should you. Millennials, having grown up with any and all information at their fingertips, developed a need for things to be instantaneous. If an advertisement or post is not easy to read or access, millennials will move on to the next best thing available. In other words, if your website, post or advertisement is hard to navigate or use it will be difficult to retain and engage a millennial. Long attention spans are not attributes millennials generically have, so the attention and effort required to attend to your website, advertisements and posts should be minimal. Advertisements should be attention-grabbing and easy to take away the key messages about your product offering. 3. Increase your engagement efforts Millennials like brands that engage with them and allow interaction on social media platforms. A good tactic to use is integrating opportunities for consumers to create content for your social media. This can be through sharable Instagram stories to win a contest, responding to their comments on your social media platforms, or providing them with opportunities to let their testimonials tell your company’s story. Using social media as an advertising platform is crucial to growing a small business’ share of the millennial marketplace. Much like a social network allows its users to interact with each other, let your business interact with your consumers. Equate your brand to that of a Facebook friend. 4. Authenticity Millennial consumers can smell an advertisement from a mile away, after all, they grew up surrounded by them on various media platforms. Be a brand that is relatable, have a face and a purpose to what you do. It is important to understand why people buy into your brand and carry that through your advertising. Make sure you are targeting the right audience. For example, if you are a local business make sure you are targeting millennials in your area that have the potential to translate into viable customers. If you market to a consumer base that is not within the right area you will waste money on advertisements that will be bypassed because of their lack of relevance. Creating relevant ads with fine-tuned targeting can create a more authentic brand image that shows you really understand your market. 5. Know your competitors The internet provides information and insight instantly with the touch of a screen or the tap of a button. Millennial consumers have the capability to search the internet for the best deals and services provided and capitalize on the cheapest option. Their generation is not known to have a surplus of disposable income so cost is an important factor in a brand comparison. Being aware of other businesses in your area that serve a similar customer base can give you a competitive advantage when marketing your product or service to millennials. Analyzing how people see your brand in comparison to other brands can give you an edge, leapfrogging your brand to the top of the consumer's mind. Using small shifts in your marketing strategy can make a big impact in differentiating your brand in the marketplace. Knowing your audience can be incredibly impactful when communicating your brand, you can see what, why, and how they respond to your messaging. Millennials are more dynamic and complex than some of their generational adjectives depict them to be. They are constantly learning as they consume information at a rapid pace. They are adapting to the latest trends, technology, and social media platforms. They are changing the way companies learn to engage and interact with the consumer. It is crucial that businesses engage and learn about millennials because they will make up the majority of the marketplace in the next few years. Learning to adapt and move forward with the millennial generation is vital, otherwise your brand might get left behind.