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The Art of Marketing to Millennials

July 29, 2014 | Nikki Bisel

Woman taking selfie using smartphone. Marketing to millennials Seafoam Media
There used to be a time when advertising to young adults was simpler—you'd put out an ad in a magazine, make a clever commercial on TV, or promote yourself at an appropriate event to build publicity. The way we consumed media was fairly similar and streamlined to the point where you had a general idea of what to do to market to your audience. Nowadays, marketing to millennials has been flipped completely upside down thanks to social media and changing shifts in personality and values. At the same time, it has become one of the most coveted demographics for many businesses to appeal to!
With birth dates ranging from 1980 to 2000, millennials make up the majority of the 18-34 demographic, and have a 23.5% share of the total population in the United States. Unlike previous generations though, millennials approach their 20's and adulthood with a much different mindset when it comes to purchasing decisions.

3 strategies for marketing to millennials

Be honest.
Thanks to technology, it's easier than ever to research a business and find out all about it. One important trait that many millennials value is that of honesty and integrity. In other words, be upfront about the way your business or product works, your pricing model, and the ideas and values you believe in. To hit the right attention spans, you need to tap into the psychology that drives a millennial: they want products and services that make them feel good about themselves personally, and the world around them.
Take Tom's Shoes for example. They donate a pair of shoes for every pair they sell. Millennials are fine with the higher price tag ($50-60 for a pair of canvas slip-on shoes) because it supports a cause that they can easily recommend.
Communicate openly and frequently.
Want to win your way into the heart of a millennial? Interact with them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Spend time developing your brand voice, and respond to feedback in a timely manner. Don't merely blanket your social networks with ads and marketing messages about your latest product—you want to use your updates to continue telling the story of your business and what you're doing to improve everyone's lives. Much like how millennials prefer trendy coffee shops with unique offerings, you want to provide something that is not merely a carbon copy of other businesses.
 Keep things simple.
Many more shopping purchases are happening via mobile devices, and millennials live a lifestyle that's very out-and-about and in-the-moment. This means purchasing decisions are highly dependent on how easy it is to use your website while multi-tasking. If your website requires way too much navigating or entering of information to make a purchase, you might get passed over. There's nothing worse than being frustrated with a website that's taking too long to use! Be sure to double check and make sure your website is optimized for mobile users, and that they're getting the same experience, whether they're on Android, Apple, or other devices. If you can offer alternative payment types (such as Paypal) that allow users to make a purchase with the push of a single button, you'll be much more likely to garner a millennial's business.
What other trends have you noticed when marketing to millennials? Send us a Facebook message or a tweet with your thoughts!

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