SHE Sparks | Written by Emily Havens • August 9, 2019
Millennials: One of the most interesting generations to date.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials represent one quarter of the nation’s population and are 83.1 million strong. Half of the millennial population considers themselves content creators, and 75 percent share content online. Millennials also make 54 percent of their purchases online, according to a 2016 article from USA Today. This number is likely much higher in 2019.
It’s no secret: Millennials are hyper engaged.
So, online marketing to millennials isn’t that hard, right? As a business–whether its an online boutique, a service-based business or anything else–just make sure to post frequently on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram … right?
It’s not uncommon for businesses to find themselves having less and less ROI (return on investment) with the millennial audience. Millennials do everything but take the final step. They browse, research and turn over every stone before they make that last, crucial step of making an actual purchase.
There is no one better who can sniff out a scam like a millennial. They are constantly looking up reviews and reading every Yelp or Google comment. We have access to every bad review, business blunder and negative reference to both you and your product.
Millennials are information bloodhounds.
Here are 5 essential keys to turn your millennial audience into actual buyers and loyal customers:
1. Authenticity is Queen
Millennials don’t just spend their money on avocado toast, contrary to popular opinion. They appreciate and support companies and business owners who are unapologetically themselves and who have something new and interesting to offer. Millennials, or the bloodhounds, care about companies who are doing the right thing. They care about what nonprofits your company donates to, how you treat your employees, and how your products are created. Be authentic in your brand, and refrain from imitating another company’s identity.
Know your why, and talk about your why. Tell your audience why you’re selling those types of earrings or why you got started in fitness training. Explain why and how your business and expertise SPARKED YOU.
The world needs your authenticity.
2. Create a Community
Everyone wants to be a part of a team. The first step in creating a community within your brand or business is having a strong brand. Brand identity is crucial, not only in general, but especially if your target audience are millennials. They want everything to be “pretty,” yes, but they want consistency even more so.
There is nothing more rewarding than creating a brand that is exactly on point and exactly where you want your business aligned. Companies who do this well are consistent and remain brand compliant with their marketing materials, packaging, any written material, etc.
Part of why the Kardashians are SO successful is because they have found ways to sell to their fans without actually selling to them. Millennials were born learning how to tune out advertisements. Instead, millennials want to be your friend. They want to believe the product you’re talking about on your story is one that you use and one that you’re recommended to them as a friend. Talk to your audience in the same way you would talk to your friends.
So, who is your community? Are they your “girl gang?” Are they the “boss babes?” Sometimes, nicknaming your community can help create the strong brand identity, but it’s not necessary. Just remain consistent and–always–authentic.
Millennials have FOMO (fear of missing out), so don’t let them, for one second, feel like they’re missing out on your club and all you have to offer.
3. The “10 Times” Rule
This is majorly important for product-based businesses. We are inundated with mass amounts of information every single day, and millennials are hyper engaged in receiving that information. How are you cutting through that noise? What are you doing to remind your audience you’re there, you have something valuable to offer, and they need your product?
My quick tip: Talk about your product or service at least 10 times on social media before deeming your efforts unsuccessful. Try not to jump to saying, “This isn’t working … Why isn’t anyone buying my product?” before your audience has seen it, heard about it and know how to use it at least 10 times.
Talking about your product or service should be the easiest thing about your job. So, do it often. Explain how it works, upload tutorial videos, show it off on you, post client selfies and videos.
Do literally everything you can to ensure you are cutting through the noise.
4. Show Up
Showing up for your business, product or service should be the other easiest part of your job. Show up for your business every single day on social media and off social media. You and your brand need to constantly be visible on social media platforms.
Post to your social accounts, go LIVE, and post to your stories. Talk about yourself, your products and your business. Constantly look for ways to reach out to your audience. Create interesting content, and millennials will find it.
Some of my favorite online-based businesses are the ones where the owners or members of the team are posting videos on their stories explaining a major fail and how they plan to get through it, how they just introduced a new puppy into their family, or why their so excited about a new product their launching next week. Show your passion.
If you are nervous about being “annoying” or losing followers, know that those who aren’t interested in your content are never going to buy from you anyway. Build your social media content FOR those who are interested. You will find your community; or rather, they will find you.
Think about your favorite brands or businesses on social media: Who are you most excited to see a new post from? What are they doing right that you can implement into your own brand?
5. Serve First
The moment you start to focus on serving your customers rather than placing all or most of your focus on the money coming in, you will see intense pay off in the long haul. Millennials want to know what you can do for them and how your service or product is going to better their life.
What small bits of information can you give away for free, for example, to attract them to actually purchase your product? Some examples of this can include creating podcasts, phone backgrounds or stickers in every package delivered to their doorstep.
The valuable work you put in toward serving your audience and customers by providing them with amazing products, helpful services or interesting content will come back around to you ten-fold.