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Marketing to Millennials: What exactly do they want?

by Bethan Jones-Arthur

Ah, Millennials. Characterised in a short sentence (by Wikipedia) as ‘a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century’, this group apparently mystify marketers. What can we possibly give to millennials to make them like us? What’s too dismissive, what’s too cheesy, what on earth do they want?!

Here, we give you 4 tips for grabbing the millennials’ attention and keeping it (which is no mean feat in itself – I can say that because I happen to be a dreaded millennial).

Keep it snappy

We’re busy. We don’t like to be kept waiting for you to make your point, and our attention starts to wane after a short while. Psychologists say that we have only seven seconds to make a good first impression – that counts for your content, as well.

Don’t lead with introductions, explanations or complications – though we aren’t stupid, we can deal with those things, we just want to know the meat of your marketing first. Give me the what before you give me the why.

If you do a good enough job with that, then most of your work is done. If you make it shareable too, then you’re way ahead of the game: Entrepreneur says that “if you can engage a customer base within this generation and create brand evangelists, you’ll see far better results than you will through any other form of traditional online marketing”. Get to the point and let word of mouth do the rest for you.

Be real

Please cut the bullshit. Transparency is not the enemy; millennials actually appreciate when a brand is upfront and honest with them. Be authentic!

With that being said, I beg you to not try and use language you may have heard is ‘millennial talk’, unless it’s ironic. Don’t call your audience your ‘baes’, don’t say your opportunities are ‘fleeky’, and please please please cut any and all references to Hotline Bling. It’s just a massive no and you will be ridiculed.

Instead, focus on curating your brand tone of voice for what you want it to say. Only then do you go about shifting it to be more relevant to the millennial market. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to what you’ve built from the ground up – in fact, it commands more respect.

Thoroughly Modern Marketing

Why are people still so scared of social media? Even Donald Trump is on the Twitter hype – why aren’t you? If you do have a social media presence, then make sure it’s always updated and relevant.

Don’t post the exact same message on Twitter and Facebook; they’re both completely different platforms and should be treated as such. Take some time to get to grips with your audiences on each and every social network you use. Work out the line between personal and professional posts.

Also, don’t tag yourself in your own tweets. It’s discordant and takes up valuable characters!

Let us help

When we like a brand, we want to be involved! User Generated Content is your friend. You need shareable stuff and we need stuff we want to share – why not let us have a helping hand in making it?

Hubspot tells us “companies that enable [millennials] to be part of the product development process will be more successful. Marketers need to focus on building relationships with consumers by fuelling their self-expression and helping them establish their own personal brand”.

This makes sense – although millennials have modern ideals, a traditional one that has stuck is the concept of brand loyalty. Though we like keeping up with what’s new, we also tend to enjoy familiarity and keeping certain brands a mainstay in our lives. Let that brand be yours!

See, millennials aren’t that bad. Be quick, be real, be modern – and don’t be afraid to ask us for a hand. We’d love to help out.

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