How to target Millennials with your digital content

Want tips to help you target Millennials? While I am confident when offering advice on a number of topics, this is one on which I feel I am somewhat of an expert. Why? Well not only was I the editor of a very successful lifestyle website targeting the Millennial demographic, I am also an experienced copywriter and digital marketer and of course, a Milllennial myself.

We Millennials have a bad rep. We’re told that we’re entitled, narcissistic and have unrealistic expectations. We’re called lazy, delusional and unable to handle the ‘real world’. We’re told we think we’re way more special than we actually are.

Basically, we’re just generally insufferable.

I personally disagree with those stereotypes, but true or not, Millennials control $200 billion of annual buying power in North American alone, so regardless of your personal feelings, you need to start targeting this lucrative demographic.

Looks like we’re pretty special after all…

How to target Millennials

#1. Master mobile

For anyone in the know, this is old new, yet so many businesses are failing miserably to master mobile and marketers are failing to utilise its potential.

Your granny may still be baffled by the device, but Millennials are the mobile generation and this is a foolproof way to reach them. Don’t believe me? Well, research shows that 87% of Millennials have their phones by their side every second of the day.

Cwazy Cupcakes is super addictive…

If Millennials are your target, mobile needs to be a priority and it really isn’t a difficult thing to do. It doesn’t entail building a complicated app or changing the way you do everything – it means being conscious of how Millennials use their phone to access the internet and taking advantage of those micro-moments.

The average person checks their smartphone 221 times a day – how do we get anything done?! – and each time they do, this is described as a micro-moment. Some moments are more ‘macro’ than ‘micro,’ such as someone browsing during a commute, but each one is a chance for you to connect with a customer.

With this in mind, you need to create a strategy that optimises your content for mobile browsing if you want to target Millennials. One example is adjusting the times you send out emails and making them mobile-friendly since studies found that 88% of emails are opened on mobile when it comes to Millennials.

Other ways include making your website responsive, optimising social media shouts for mobile browsing and creating easy-to-share content.


#2. Get ‘gramming

More than half of Instagram’s 400+ million users are Millennials. If your math skills aren’t up to scratch, that equals ‘a lot’.

Instagram is a great way to show your business’ fun side, while utilising user generated content, which Millennials trust 50% more than other media. These moments give a glimpse into the lives of people who represent your brand and show them using your product.

To do this, you can simply feature images from Instagram users who are displaying your product or the brand’s ‘lifestyle’ in action. Don’t forget to tag them as not only is this is a common Instagram courtesy, it will also prove this person is real and not being paid. This also works really well in the form of a competition.

Aside from user-generated pictures, you should also be publishing your own shots if you’re hoping to target Millennials successfully. These shouldn’t be an endless stream of product snaps, and instead, should blend well into the Instagram world. Show campaign pictures, images of a ‘day in the life’ of employees or images that create the vibe your brand represents. Quotes and cute animals are also acceptable.


#3. Don’t forget about YouTube

It feels like YouTube has been around forever and yet many business owners and marketers are still failing to truly take advantage of it. Video is becoming such a popular medium with everyone having the ability to share it so easily and mobile data plans allowing more flexibility in what you can watch on-the-go.

Studies show that Millennials are watching more video content online than they are on TV. That is an incredible number of opportunities or ‘micro-moments’ in which you can connect with an audience. Product reviews and tutorials are hugely popular on YouTube and the right ad or viral video can be shared millions of times around the world.

Whether you collaborate with vloggers on YouTube or put together your own company tutorials or tips video, the world is your oyster.


#4. Respect the influencers

Speaking of working with vloggers, social media influencers are the tools every marketer and brand wants on their belt. Collaborating with bloggers, vloggers and ‘grammers is a powerful marketing technique when it comes to Millennials, especially in areas like beauty or fashion.

Over a third of Millennials look to influencers when researching a product and 60% of this demographic will try a product recommended by a YouTuber.

If you want an influencer to feature, use or recommend your product, just ask. Many have emails on their social media profiles or a link to their blog where you can find their contact information.

Keep in mind that influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers are going to charge a significant sum to feature your product, which is not always an option for smaller businesses or brands. You can still target influencers with a few thousand followers for a lower fee and see results, especially if their following is active (ie: ‘liking’ posts, commenting and sharing).


#5. Keep up with social media developments

Snapchat, Periscope – if you’re not familiar with these, what are you waiting for? In order to successfully target Millennials, you need to understand that they love to be on the cutting edge of things and are constantly fighting to be the one who used something first.

Snapchat has really grown in popularity over the last year, appealing to Millennials mostly, but especially younger Millennials. Snapchat owes its success to two things: the fact that Millennial users tend to prefer short digital media and the Fear of Missing Out. With Snapchat pictures and videos having a short shelf life, it creates a sense of urgency that makes users open Snapchat media because it may be THEIR ONLY CHANCE EVER! And breathe…

It’s for this reason that live streaming has also risen in popularity with apps like Periscope and Twitch earning an impressive following. In a time where internet users are trusting pictures less and less, these live streams allow viewers to get a behind-the-scenes look at real life, minus the filters and Photoshop.


Feeling more confident?

The Millennial demographic isn’t the white whale many marketers feel it is. It’s a group that appreciates creativity and innovation; that wants to be in-the-know, up-to-date and ahead of the curve. They want to feel important, appreciated and understood. They believe strongly in fighting for important social causes, but also like to dream and see those dreams become a reality.

Aside from being on top of what’s happening in your industry and online, Millennials also appreciate an honesty in your approach. They have a keen radar for BS and sneaky promotions, and will penalise you for it.

And while I may be promoting that ‘laziness’ claim, Millennials do like things that come easily – content that’s easy to share, media that’s simple to consume, minimal scrolling, obvious clickable buttons to complete an action, strong visuals and sites that are easy to navigate.

Considering how much time we spend online and how much information we’re bombarded with every day, it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request, does it?