5 Ways to Target Millennials Using Content Marketing
No matter where you stand in terms of your viewpoint on the Millennial generation, as a business owner, they simply cannot be ignored.
Millennials are one segment of the market that many small business owners don’t fully understand, and if this is the case in your situation, it’s a costly one, as they represent the most spending power of any generation.
They often get labeled as having entitlement issues and the older generations tend to refer to them as a nightmare in the workforce. Some of it might be true, but then again, every generation has its own little unique quirks.
Millennials come with some strong traits as well. They have a firm grasp on technology, are extremely loyal when it comes to social causes and they demand factual information. No matter where you stand in terms of your viewpoint on the generation, as a business owner, they simply cannot be ignored. If you are running content marketing campaigns, and you should be, here are five ways to target the generation responsible for more than $200 billion in spending power.
1. Provide value, not a sales pitch.
Millennials support brands that provide value and not just an outright sales pitch. They are a very intelligent segment, and if you try to pull one over on them they will not only sense it from a mile away, but they will then take the time to voice their displeasure on social media, creating a complete nightmare situation.
You have to understand that the Millennial generation is extremely intelligent and they simply want to be shot straight. If you try to fool them it will backfire miserably. Content marketing allows you to present value in the form of education and information, and when you do this correctly you create brand supporters that become very loyal.
Old school marketing required that you force-fed ads and marketing messages down the throat of your audience, but now, content marketing allows you to put out value-based messages that attract customers.
It can be difficult to understand which value propositions will really move the needle. But we know, based on the success of companies like Amazon and Walmart that price and convenience are critical, along with transparent pricing. Millennials want to immediately understand that value of your solution to their problem. If they have to go hunting, or wait, you’ll lose.
2. Highlight social proof in an honest and transparent manner.
The Millennial generation is big on social proof, so any time you can highlight forms of it within your content marketing, the better the message will perform. For example, let’s assume you own a local gym and you are putting together a testimonial campaign to broadcast across all of your social media.
Rather than mix customer testimonials with professional images of fitness models, use pictures of the actual customer providing the testimonial. Before, brands would focus on hiring beautiful models to deliver their message, but today, the Millennial generation demands honesty and transparency.
Millennials will engage with your content if they sense it’s authentic and pass right over it if it’s not. While marketing messages used to need an element of glitz and glam in the past, today, raw and real is what attracts quality engagement that converts into customers and sales.
3. Run hyper-targeted campaigns.
The great thing about the different ways to promote your content, whether on social media, via content distribution platforms or email, is the vast ways to laser target your recipients. Millennials are a massive group, so you really need to create focused campaigns in terms of targeting for the best results.
Millennials are very opinionated, so crafting messages that touch specific interests or topics is the best way to draw attention. If your message and targeting is too wide you may reach a large audience in terms of impressions and reach, but your engagement and conversion numbers will be very low.
It all comes down to understanding your customer. When you know who they are inside and out, you are able to place your content right under their nose -- and if that message isn’t an outright advertisement and triggers curiosity, you will attract interest.
4. Use social media as your main platform.
You want to engage with Millennial customers in an authentic way on social media, as 62% of Millennials say they are more likely to become a customer of a brand that engages with them on social media.
Social media is where the entire Millennial generation resides -- they are connected on social media throughout the day. It’s where they get their news and information and it’s where they spend time conversing with their network.
You have to know what social media platforms your audience is likely to be active on and what ones make sense for your specific business. While Facebook is more universal, Snapchat and Pinterest are not. Figure out where your target audience is active and then promote your content organically and via paid promotion, with laser-focused targeting and messaging.
5. Create everything with a mobile-first mindset.
When marketing to Millennials, you need to assume that they are going to come in contact with your message on their mobile device and take action on their mobile device. So, not only does your marketing and message need to be crafted around mobile, but your conversion path also needs to be optimized and designed for the smaller screen.
If you are running a social media campaign, driving traffic to a piece of content on your website that has a built-in call-to-action, then every step on that process needs to be easy on a mobile device. Millennials are attached to their phones, checking them 150 times a day on average.
If your conversion path is too difficult on a smaller screen you will experience a severe disconnect with your audience. Create campaigns designed to attract and convert mobile users -- it’s where they can be found at nearly all times.