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Marketing to Millennials In the Digital Age

Millennials are definitively a large part of the consumer market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Database and a recent Nielsen study, Millennials make up one-fourth of the planet’s population, which translates into 1.7 billion people. As a consumer group, they’re just starting to flex their spending power, which will grow significantly in the coming years.

Many companies have cashed in on this new generation’s coming of age, while others have found it difficult to lure the attention of a generation that seems constantly on the go. However, there are strategies and proven tools that can get your website the attention it deserves from this body of new consumers. Here’s a look at how you can break the Millennial market wide open with your website and marketing strategies.

Push Versus Pull Marketing

Marketing strategies are full of terminology such as these. Push and pull strategies don’t typically work together. You’ll need to pick one tactic and stick with it, but this depends on your product or service. A push campaign is when you, or your company, takes a product or service directly to customers. This could mean informative ad campaigns or partnerships with retailers that can stock your product in exchange for special sales incentives. A pull campaign, on the other hand, focuses on swaying customers in your direction. While this takes major ad revenue, a pull strategy is common for website based companies, especially smaller ones that can curate a lifestyle image that potential customers see themselves in. How does this entice millennials? This generation is always on the lookout for the hot new thing. Small companies have grown large precisely because they were small, hip and new. Never underestimate the power that a carefully crafted brand image can have, even for a relatively small business.

According to a recent Nielsen study, Millennials want to be more informed about companies, their products, and their business practices. One of the most efficient ways to provide additional information about your company and services while building a sustainable and engaging relationship with millennials is through inbound marketing, another way of referring to the pull marketing strategy. Inbound marketing employs the development of strategic assets such as blog posts, videos, eBooks, whitepapers, etc to share relevant and timely content with your target audience. Compared to traditional ad campaigns, inbound marketing takes a more organic, non-interruptive approach to gain your customer’s attention.

“Millennials consume media differently than their older counterparts, exercising greater control over when and where they watch, listen and read content—and on which device. While an integrated, multi- channel approach is best across all generations, it carries even more importance when reaching Millennials.” – Nielsen, Global Trust in Advertising 2015

User Generated Content

While many companies still utilize traditional ad campaigns, you can reach a larger, more diverse audience if you encourage authentic interaction from your potential customer demographic. Compelling stories resonate with Millennials when they can put themselves into the story, when they understand that the story really is about them, and their lives, and they are not simply being sold to. In fact, user generated content (or customer generated content) is trusted 50% more by Millennials than content generated by a company.

“Make the customer the hero of your story.” — Ann Handley

There are many ways in which you can engage potential customers and compile a portfolio of user content. For instance, Instagram is a perfect platform for this, as a call for pictures of customers will yield results that you can then use and link to your website or marketplace. This is a classic example of a pull marketing campaign. You simply create a culture and image in which customers want to be a part of your company and, as a result, they’ll contribute their own material, which not only engages them as active participants in the formation of the brand but also boosts your reputation.

Bloomingdale’s recent “Swipestakes” Snapchat campaign is a great example of using customer-generated content to engage with this new generation of shoppers. Bloomingdale’s encouraged Snapchat users to explore its locations by hosting an in-store scavenger hunt using the platform’s sponsored geofilters. The goal was to reach the next generation of Bloomingdale’s shoppers in an engaging way, through mediums that they consume, not only to convey the energy, creativity, and collaboration of the new fall campaign to this target audience, but also bring them to the store to discover the experience.

“We saw [the Pokémon Go] trend come to life inside our stores and realized that there was an opportunity to digitally gamify the in-store experience.” Jonathan S. Paul – VP of social media and paid media at Bloomingdale’s

Responsive Web Design

Millennials excel in a fast-paced world that requires an on-the-go lifestyle. According to the recent Global Millennials study, this on-the-go generation enjoys the freedom of being connected anywhere, anytime, valuing connectivity, convenience, and options that allow them to be in control. They are constantly connected in a number of devices with different sizes and functionalities, from smartphones to laptops, tablets and many others, which have an even more important role in their lives than TV and other traditional mediums. In fact, according to “The Rise of Mobile Prodigies” study, Millennials and Gen Z spend 46 percent more time every day with their devices than they do with TV.

These days, if a website doesn’t work on a variety of mobile devices as well as conventional computers, it’s not worth much. This may be even truer for anyone seeking the patronage of millennials, as a streamlined mobile website will likely see a much higher conversion rate, especially if you utilize user created content from Instagram or other social media platforms best used on smartphones. Responsive web design is your best option for a comprehensive website strategy.

Responsive web design recognizes the type of device each user visits your site and adapts your website, marketplace or blog to fit seamlessly on that device. Since millennials are always after the newest smartphone, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge with its 5.5 inch display, or the newly released iPhone 7, responsive web design is a must.

Moving your business to the #TopRight requires a deep understanding of your customers to not only create a compelling story, but also to share it in formats and channels that they consumer. Learn how to create the right story, strategy, and systems with our latest eBook Transformational Marketing: Moving to the TopRight.





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