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Marketing To Millennials: A Complete Guide To Get It Right In 2023

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Millennials have been a constant challenge for marketers around the world. Some believe it is due to their ever-changing mindset regarding a brand.

Others believe it is their finicky nature that makes it harder for the Gen Y to remain loyal towards one brand.

However, Millennials do comprise the majority of consumers in today’s tech-driven world which makes marketing to millennials even harder for brands.

Marketers have been trying to get Gen Y on their side, but it is not so easy.

So, before we reveal how marketers can target them in all their marketing campaigns, let us first understand who exactly are millennials.

Who are Millennials?

Also known as Generation Y, the Millennials are individuals born between 1981 to 1996. The term “millennials” is a generation cohort name with the other generations being Generation X and Baby Boomers.

All three of these terms segment the population into groups with similar characteristics. However, an important point to keep in mind here is that there are very few people who self-identify as a Millennial or Generation Y.

What separates a Millennial from other generations is they have grown up with technology, which the previous generations do not understand. It is also why marketing to millennials and convincing them to buy a product or service is not that easy.

However, that does not mean Gen Y is not a vital target market for marketers. Come! Let’s find out what it is about Millennials that all brands consider them a target market.

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Why Millennials are important to marketers?

Before we understand why marketers are so interested in the Millennials, there are two things to remember.

First, Millennials are careful when it comes to where they spend money. Millennials are facing a future with less wealth in comparison to previous generations.

Secondly, with Millennials entering the age group of 30s and 40s and bogged down by student and housing loans, they have not attained their peak spending power.

So, let us see why every brand is still trying to include millennials as their target market.

  • Millennials are a lucrative market

Although Millennials are yet to attain their peak buying power. Still, their buying capacity outruns those of previous generations.

Millennials comprise an impressive 25% of the total population. With that comes an yearly buying power of more than a trillion dollars. Hence, they are a lucrative market for every brand.

It is why every marketer is working on a strategy to understand what drives Millennials to buy a product or service.

  • Millennials are tech-savvy

“Almost all Millennials (almost 100%) say that they use the internet” – Pew Research Center.

Growing up slightly before the internet, Millennials are not shy about their use of technology. It is what attracts marketers selling technology or using technology to attract Millennials to the product or service on offer.

  • Millennials keep changing brands

Less than 30% of Millennials are likely to buy from the same brand. This is a much lower percentage of loyalty in comparison to previous generations.

It clearly states that marketers need to work hard to attract and retain Millennial customers. This is what will lead to constant invention on marketers’ and the brand’s service teams.

  • Millennials use smart devices

Pew Research Center in a survey found that 9 out of 10 Millennials own a smartphone. With these many devices, the likelihood of consuming web content is much more. It gives rise to different modes of marketing.

Now, it is clear that there are different modes of marketing available to brands. However, first we shall understand what type of marketing the Millennials prefer. 

What type of marketing do Millennials prefer?

Type of Marketing Do Millennials Prefer

Finding the right marketing to millennials strategy is a bit easier once we have the knowledge of how they want brands to approach them for purchasing a product or service.

Come! Let’s see what marketing types appeal the maximum to Millennials.

  • User-generated content

More than 80% of Millennials say that the type of user-generated content on a brand’s website influences their decision to buy. 

Now, combine that with 57% who say they discover the latest fashion trends via social media, and influencer marketing for brands.

  • Social commerce

Social commerce has given the Millennials a chance to browse through the different products on a social platform before making the purchase. Social media has become a one-stop shop that offers Gen Y the motivation to check-out and buy a product or service.

A great example of social commerce is live shopping on Instagram. This social media network utilized a set of tools and features that offer the online audience a great online shopping experience.

Here’s how Millennials make their buying decisions.

  • Entertainmerce

A majority of the marketers are not familiar with the concept of “enterainmerce”. Put simply, it is a combination of entertainment and e-commerce. Consumers between the ages of 16 to 64 prefer to buy products and services online if the brand offers an entertaining shopping experience.

This concept has grown even more due to the pandemic as consumers were using social media to socialize and purchase new products or services, and the Millennials are no exception.

The best examples of “entertainmerce” are Instagram Reels and Instagram Live as both offer entertaining content. Instagram Live offers additions in the form of Live Shopping which can help your brand sell products directly to the consumer by simply tagging them. The same goes for Instagram Reels where it is possible to tag products.

Marketers should consider these 3 ways while creating a marketing to millennials strategy. Now, let us take a look at how you can market products and services to the Millennials without being pushy.

How to market to Millennials?

amazing ways to market the millennials

Given here are 8 amazing ways brands can market to millennials without being too pushy.

  • Create authentic content

Millennials spend the majority of their time online or using different apps. They are always searching for engaging content. The type of content that resonates with them the most is what they feel is authentic, be it from blogs, websites, or social media applications. Millennials are more likely to trust relevant and genuine opinions of real people rather than celebrity endorsement.

This trust automatically converts into sales. Millennials are less likely to trust traditional outbound marketing. So, the brands need to create engaging, informative, and entertaining content that strikes a chord with this target market.

The content should introduce Millennials to the product or service with complete transparency. Brands also have to highlight their efforts towards retaining environmental values and ethics as Millennials are more likely to focus on a business’ ethics.

  • Let go of outbound marketing methods

Outbound marketing methods like magazine ads, direct mail campaigns, and traditional media helped spread the word about a brand in the past. However, in today’s tech driven age, Millennials are not impressed by these marketing methods as they cannot create a personal connection with the brand through them.

Millennials look forward to feeling a connection to a brand prior to making a purchase from them. For them, traditional marketing methods are impersonal and do not offer much value. Millennials looking to develop brand loyalty through an authentic connection do not find much value in it. 

Brands have to create content like blog posts, whitepapers, videos, and e-books to share information for a specific product or service.

  • Choose fun & experiential

Millennials are more interested in the process of researching and browsing for a product or service rather than the actual purchase. They look for the experience of shopping rather than the purchase. In simple terms, online exploration is becoming a new phenomenon as many young shoppers tend to treat e-commerce as a form of entertainment. The phenomenon is known as Fauxsumerism. The perfect example of this is Pinterest. It is a social platform that helps consumers catalog potential purchases by curating collections of items of interest.

Successful brands know that young consumers are looking for an enjoyable online browsing experience. So, it does not matter what platform a brand uses, they have to come up with entertaining ways for marketing to millennials to keep them engaged.

  • Form genuine relationships

The values and life goals of Millennials are the complete opposite from those of the previous generations. This generation tends to focus on happiness and life experiences rather than material possessions. The only way brands can connect with them is by feeling them make heard and earning their trust,

Brands need to build positive relationships with them to connect with them. Marketers have to show complete transparency about what the brand is, and how the company takes care of its employees and community.

Marketers need to speak the language of the Millennials and create content this generation would share with others.

  • Share information through inbound marketing

Millennials prefer to deal with brands that improve their lives with informative content. They prefer e-books, whitepapers, videos, how-to information, and blog posts instead of product and service listing. This is where inbound marketing comes into play.

Gen Y appreciates thought leadership and expertise. This is a chance for brands to provide content that not only ranks high on SERPs but also informs Millennials that the brand is an authority in their specific domain.

  • Push the convenient and practical side

Millennials believe in using a product or service rather than its ownership. They are willing to pay the full price to access an item when they need it rather than own it. In simple words, Millennials are ready to rent, share, and barter than buy,

A successful example of this is the automotive industry. Millennials are no longer buying cars, they are choosing to lease luxurious and tech-driven cars like Lexus, Ram, and GMC models than they can afford to purchase.

  • Be ready to collaborate

Millennials are more interested in the product development process. Many have expressed interest in helping businesses develop quality products and services. Brands open to having them in developing a product or service are more successful.

In this regard, word-of-mouth and referral marketing are easy on the pocket. These offer  brands a reliable, low-cost, and dependable method to connect with the Millennials. Referrals can help brands turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors. A happy Millennial is more likely to promote a brand’s offering to their friends and family, thereby ensuring high ROI for the business.

Brands should create loyalty programs which lead to better customer retention, access to updated consumer trends, minimize unprofitable customers, and improve customer communication.

  • Connect organically

Millennials search for content that resonates with their interests and not their wallets. In such a scenario, they are more likely to purchase a product or service. They appreciate brands that are honest and transparent.

A successful example of this mindset is the Hostelworld’s Meet the World advertising campaign. Their ad campaign featured genuine travelers that are total strangers on meeting and sharing a once-in-a-lifetime adventure of skinny dipping, celebrating real travelers in real places who are looking for adventure.

This connected with Millennials as the message was not “Buy” but to “Live”. Millennials are likely to prefer experiences rather than luxury.

So far, it is clear that content plays a vital role when brands are creating a strategy for marketing to millennials.

It is time we take a look at how content marketing can help brands connect with Millennials.

How to target Millennials through content marketing?

Target Millennials Through Content Marketing.

Millennials pose quite a challenge to brands when it comes to selling a new product or service. This does not mean a brand should give up all hope of having a Millennial as their permanent customer.

Considering that, given below are some ways through which brands can target Millennials using content marketing.

  • Do not sell

More than 80% of Millennials do not trust traditional advertising. The constant bombardment of advertisements have misplaced their trust in big brands. Millennials know that big corporations are driven by profit and nothing else. So, the smallest attempts at advertising to them directly would never work.

Brands should use content marketing to inform, entertain, and provide value to the Millennial. The target of conversion should be the last thing on their mind.

  • Get on social media

Millennials are amongst the most engaged segments of the society in terms of social media usage. In fact, they represent the largest audience segments on the majority of platforms, especially Instagram and Snapchat.

Brands have to ensure they utilize social media networks for production, distribution, and syndication of all their content marketing efforts.

  • Simplify the message

Brands using text-based content marketing should always keep it short and simple. Millennials prefer to read the news instead of watching it in video. At times, they might even use a second screen to read what you have to offer while watching something else.

So, a marketer trying to woo the Millennials through essays, email newsletters, blog posts, or social media copy should include the important details in bullet points, and offer links to case studies and other detailed information the Millennials can save to read later.

  • Care about social causes

Millennials are socially and politically aware. They are likely to trust a brand that has a stance on social and cultural issues. So, any brand looking to use content strategy to attract Millennials should discuss the latest social happenings, communicate proactively over employee policies and environmental initiatives, and show their Corporate Social Responsibility.

These are the 4 ways in which brands can market their products and services to Millennials without being a pushover.

Let us see how brands can use paid ads for marketing to millennials without any hassle.

How to target Millennials through paid ads?

Target Millennials Through Paid Ads

One thing to keep in mind for marketers before they target Millennials is to understand that this generation is tech-savvy and grew up watching online advertisements.

This means they can see through the marketing gimmicks and not buy a product or service solely on the basis of a celebrity promotion. So, the paid ads a brand uses must add to the Gen Ys experience rather than simply profit the company.

That said, let us take a look at some of the best strategies marketers can use paid advertisement to their advantage.

  • Run ads on social media platforms Millennials use

The majority of Millennials are active on social media networks. Marketers need to know which social media networks does this generation use the most. In the past, there was Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, the picture is completely different now.

As of today’s date, some of the most popular social media networks include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Pinterest. There is no lack of opportunities when it comes to connecting with the Millennials. The trick is to send the right message across.

  • Create funny ads to target Millennials

Millennials are in love with internet memes. Around 30% share funny memes daily. Humor is a big part of the Millennial culture, and it is something brands can use in their paid ads.

Funny ads are not a new invention, some of the classic childhood ads that Millennials remember do contain an element of humor. So, using memes in advertisements can help marketers to be creative, share the brand’s personality, increase user engagement, are easy to use, and shareable.

Brands need to make sure to reflect the values of their business and resonate with the Millennials.

  • Create content that appeals to their emotions

Gen Y has access to platforms that let them share their childhood memories and favorites with others. The Millennials are more interested in past events, pop culture, music, and entertainment.

On that note, did you know? 80% of YouTubers are outside the US

Millennials are more likely to see video content to acquire DIY skills and keep up-to-date with current news and events.

Brands should bring up nostalgia with throwback memories from the Millennials’ childhood that remind them of famous TV ads, programs, and movies from when they were young.

These are the three impressive ways for brands to consider while marketing to millennials without it backfiring. Now, it is time to see how brands can use social media to their advantage.

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How to target Millennials through social media?

How to Target Millennials Through Social Media?

The world of social media is vast and something on which Gen Y grew up. So, brands need to play their cards right when it comes to targeting Millennials through social media.

That said, given below are some amazing strategies to help brands connect with Gen Y through social media without hassle.

  • Focus on values

The Millennials carry a philanthropic and ethical mindset, possess high values, and know the brands they prefer also care about sustainability, inclusivity, and anti-racism. Marketers trying to connect with the Millennials should offer value incentives. In other words, communication with Gen Y can simply be not only about products and services. 

  • Be proactive & engaging

Millennials are not impressed by simple replies to emails and calls in a friendly manner. Social media presents marketers with an excellent opportunity to provide exceptional customer service and engage the Millennials.

So, when a user posts reviews about a product, interacting with them will help a brand understand what are their pain points and if the product can take care of it. Also, Millennials love brands that use a sense of humor in their replies on social media. Waiting for the customer to come back to them is not something brands should rely on.

  • Be authentic

The Millennial generation always prefers a brand that does not come across as “pitchy”. They do not want someone with a sales pitch but be honest about what they offer. In other words, being authentic will help you get far.

Millennials are more interested in knowing that the brand cares and their product can help solve their problem. Marketers have to create content that the Gen Y relates with and does not find it as fake.

Now, let’s have a look at some marketing strategies brands can use to acquire the Millennial generation.

What are some Millennial acquisition strategies?

Given below are 3 solid acquisition strategies that marketers can use to connect with Millennials.

  • Offer a mobile-first experience

Marketers should never underestimate the power of mobile devices. The vast majority of online traffic originates from mobile devices. 90% of Millennials own smartphones and check their smartphones at least 40 times a day.

So, offering a mobile-first experience to the Millennials is key for any business to capture their attention. Marketers are more likely to have success when connecting with Gen Y through mobile devices. It means brands have to design all content and digital experience keeping in mind the mobile users at the forefront.

  • Invest in visuals

Human beings are visual creatures, and Millennials are no different. With a plethora of options to choose from, Millennials have mastered the concept of skipping unnecessary advertisements in favor of straight go-to images of the product they want to purchase.

Thus, it is important for brands to invest in visually appealing and eye-catching designs to capture a Millennial’s attention. It is highly beneficial in referral programs that require a higher visual appeal with brand values and voice.

  • Personalize the message

Millennials don’t like being told that a particular product or service is on the top of the heap. They prefer to hear about another shopper’s experience with the product or service. Personal stories and experiences capture their attention faster than traditional advertisements.

Thus, brands need to take into account a factor or personalization when marketing to millennials. Incorporating experiences of real consumers will help attract the Millennial buyer faster than anything else.

Planning the best marketing campaign can be easier with the right marketing tool by your side. It is here that ProofHub can help you achieve all the marketing goals and connect with the Millennial buyer.

How to plan a Millennial marketing campaign with ProofHub?

Are you ready to convert all this knowledge into practical steps for marketing to millennials? A marketing campaign to attract the millennials does not happen by accident. You need efficient planning and execution for the campaign to reap results.

ProofHub is a feature-rich marketing project management software that can help you plan, manage, and organize the best marketing campaign to achieve the set goal.

You can use ProofHub to kickstart a marketing campaign, design, plan and visualize, communicate, and divide the marketing campaign into different workflow stages. Right from its inception to execution, ProofHub ensures your marketing team is not only on the same page but also achieves the set milestones.

Conclusion

There is a lot that goes on behind designing an efficient marketing to millennials strategy by a brand. With the help of the right tool, managing and executing your marketing campaigns becomes easier.

FAQs:

Why brands market to Millennials?

Millennials comprise a majority of the consumer demography in the world. Brands are targeting Millennials to cover a vast demography when it comes to selling products and services.

How to target Millennials in marketing?

There are two ways brands can target millennials. Firstly, create content that is mobile-friendly. Secondly, The marketing campaigns should never send the message that “theirs is the best product”.

What type of content do millennials like?

Millennials prefer to engage with content that offers them information about a product and service. At the same time, the content must contain a bit of humor and not preach.

 Vartika Kashyap
Vartika Kashyap

Vartika Kashyap is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.


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