Today being able to engage successfully with millennials is a skill as illustrious as a magic button that could get you millions of new users. Millennials are the most tech-savvy group and have the greatest understanding of all things digital. Reaching millennials is crucial to growing your business and requires a diversified marketing strategy to do it effectively. There is no cookie cutter approach to reaching Gen-Y, but there are some best practices that can help frame how you engage with them for a higher likelihood of success.
The tips below outline a framework you can use to get started!
Step 1: Utilizing Social Media
Is is no coincidence that social media companies have seen dramatic growth over the past few years as Gen-Y continues to engage with the world through these platforms. Each channel serves a particular purpose and before you begin creating content for each, take a moment to understand the needs and wants of your millennial audience. Make sure you cover all the major channels and be sure to regularly publish content and directly engage. Also, keep in mind that what is effective on Snapchat or an Instagram story may not translate to Twitter or Facebook. Remember that social media involves a give and take, so interact with others in the community such as bloggers, influencers, and other groups to show you are genuine in your interest to connect.
Step 2: SEO - Search Engine Optimization
Promote content around your product you know will catch the attention of millennials. A full explanation of SEO would require a very deep dive, but some key things to remember are that Google and other search engines know when you create useful or meaningful content and when you are using keywords only to climb the search results ladder. Creating blog posts, publishing industry perspectives or anecdotal and personable stories with language relevant to your company, can be effective ways to connect to millennials. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Publish useful content consistently and you will see organic results over time.
Step 3: Pay per Click - PPC
PPC is a great strategy for putting small bits of content directly in front of your audience. Whether you are publishing ads on Facebook or Google, consider the demographic of millennials you want to reach to target specific keywords and regions effectively. For example, if you are a health and wellness startup specializing in post-workout meals, you would explore keywords around these terms and target Facebook users who are active and vocal about fitness. You don't need to spend a lot of money on PPC until you find a funnel that works well. However, experimenting with this can help provide some helpful market validation and feedback from millennials you want to reach.
Step 4: Clear Messaging and Call to Action
Make sure your content throughout all of your marketing strategies possesses specific, consistent messaging and has a clear call to action. Whether you publish a blog post or tweet, lead your audience somewhere they may interact. If you want to move the interaction further, consider incorporating a call to action, such as signing up for a newsletter, after you provide them something of value such as a free trial or e-book. Always give something to your audience before you ask them for anything.
Step 5: Be Mindful of Your Voice
Millennials appreciate the comedic irony of social media and advertisements that are self-aware. Use a voice that levels with them and isn't sales-y, to garner the best results. Be human, not a robot! We no longer live in the Mad Men era of advertising where an ad stands alone and automatically grabs our attention. This change in advertising strategy also doesn't mean that a GEICO gecko approach is right for you either. Take an inventory of your company's values and develop a persona that you can rally behind when you communicate with millennials. Explore communication that is open and honest about its intention. If millennials feel like you deliver on what you promise without being aggressive or deceptive, you are on the right path to winning their approval.