I’ve been in several client brainstorm and strategic planning sessions this year when the inevitable question comes up, “How can we reach and engage with millennials?” And then the second question is always, “And remind me again, who are they?”
Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting birth years ranging from the late 1970s to early 1980s and ending birth years ranging from the mid-1990s to early 2000s. (Source: Wikipedia)
I’ll add a third question to the mix and that is “where are they?” They are everywhere technology reaches and completely dialed in…just in case you haven’t noticed the iPhone appendage on anyone under 35.
In a Forbes article, Dan Schawbel wrote that there are eighty million millennials in America alone and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power.
Social Media Today breaks down a few important millennial demographics:
- Roughly 60 percent of smartphone users (ages 13 to 34) use Snapchat.
- Millennial women are less likely to use Snapchat and Twitter, but are more likely to
- Millennials who are young parents use Facebook and Pinterest more so than their counterparts without families.
- Millennials spend more than five hours a day on social media consuming
- Millennials make up 40 percent of digital video viewers.
When it comes to engaging Millennials, Danielle Wiley, CEO of Sway Group, shared a few insights on Sway Group’s blog:
Work with influential users.
Younger consumers are more likely to engage with a brand manager—and make a purchase—if the interaction feels authentic.
As they often look to their peers for recommendations about trending products, enlisting the help of influential users can carry significant weight.
Establish relationships with influential voices to introduce your brand to their audiences. Interacting with the right people can result in a wider following. Aligning your brand with well-known users can make your content more relatable.
Be where they are.
Many millennials are extremely active on social media, and often they’re averse to conventional advertising. Other than those two common conceptions, it’s best to avoid making generalizations about them as a group.
Prioritize the user experience.
Make the purchasing process a positive experience—even if your goal is to drive sales.
Millennials will spend a significant amount of time researching your product, scanning your website, checking online reviews and comparing competitors on social media. Their experience interacting with your brand is almost as important as the purchase itself.
Make the shopping experience as fun and unique as possible. It will build loyalty and improve sales.
Additionally, here are two more resources to tap into for reaching and engaging Millennials:
- The Millennial Minute: Twice a month, they will be answering your questions about marketing and selling to the millennial generation. If there is something you want to know, tweet your questions to @millennialmktg #millennialmktgminute
- How to communicate with a millennial workforce.