Millennials are those 75 million Americans born between 1977 and 1998, and comprise about a quarter of the U.S. population. However, with all these damn illegals coming over the border, who knows the most recent population figures.
Either way, it is clear to see that a good portion of businesses will find a great deal of overlap of their promotional activities over generational boundaries, and millennials are a large piece of that juicy American pie.
I'm going to teach you how to begin marketing to Millennials
1. Don't Molest Millennials
Almost every millennial has accidentally downloaded a virus to their parents' computer while clicking through to to some pop-up porn.
Not only do they find these, and several other pitches untempting, they find them insulting and pathetic.
Millennials have become very computer savvy by several trials of online fire costing them money, time and parental grief. The result is they demand respect and privacy in everything they do online. Yes, they get very insulted when they check their gmail and coincidentally notice ads for puppies after they were writing an email about a cute puppy they saw to their friend only yesterday. Yes, they will become furious if a fake Facebook profile containing pictures of a beautiful avatar 'requests' them to like your business page. Instead, millennials demand real organic activity that is rooted in sincere value, and manifest popularity.
Rule #1 is be real, authentic and personal.
So, how do you do this with a product they have never heard of?
2. Be in Their Face Like Nancy Grace
Millennials are just like any other generation in that they want answers to their problems. The difference is they want to discover them. So how do they do this? Well, because the cradle these babies were born in was laced with iPhones, laptops, and more technology than Lex Luthor's man cave, you can bet there is no limit to how or where they will find you. So,
rule number #2 is diversify ways millennials can locate you online.
First and foremost, ensure you are on all forms of social media. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are just an appetizer, you also want to be on Pimterest, Instagram, FriendFeed, StumbleUpon and so on and so forth. Because you can guarantee millennials will be examining you on sites such as the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and several other directory sites, ensure you ask customers to leave you positive testimonials on these sites to build maximum trust of the viewer. Remember, marketing is getting people to know like and trust you. Nothing does that better at first sight than a well written/recorded testimonial.
Also, never neglect writing a blog on your website utilizing strict SEO theory. Millennials love a suggestion from a Twitter follower as much as they love looking to Google for the newest widget. Call me if you want your website ranked as highly as possible on all search engines: 856-888-2822.
3. Keep it Short, and Sweet
Millennials like their stuff short, and sweet. 300 words is a lot to a millennial who is in the practice of ingesting over 100 different sound bites in 20 words or less. Essentially Steve Jobs, through design or philosophy, raised this generation on less being more.
Now, because of this, your long sales propositions and painfully exhaustive qualifying piece will put them to sleep.
Rule #3 is say things as succinctly as possible.
I once dated my college professor, and nothing made her hotter than somebody who could sum up a paragraph in only a few words. Dumb people take 60 minutes to tell a story. Smart people make you feel it in 20 words or less. Be smart.
4. Start, or Take Part in the Conversation
Millennials love a narrative more than the Ancient Greeks sitting around campfire hearing the local Sophist banging out the same Homeric Epic for the 40th time. Because of this, they are constantly on the lookout for viral: humor, drama, horror and despair. So what the hell does Kim Kardashian's latest fan who paid $30,000 to look like her have anything to do with you? Nothing at all. However, you can be the story. Now I'm not suggesting you have an affair with a politician, or have an idiot customer service rep keep a customer on the phone for nearly 10 minutes when they just wish to end service, I'm saying,
rule #4 is go get some positive popularity.
Whatever you sell, wherever you are there is an active dialogue about your industry. Usually these communications are surrounding negative experiences which gives you all the more reason to storm in and save the day. After all, Superman and Batman are nothing without crime and villains, and neither are you.
Now listen to me, I'm not just talking about stalking forums for disgruntled clients/customers of your idiot competitors, I'm talking about branding, hashtagging, press releases, blog content, cold calls and websites.
For example, you're a bar near Rutgers University, and you notice #watereddowndrinks is suddenly a commonly used Twitter hashtag by the local student body, and you also notice a lot of complaining on your Facebook feed about students complaining about the lack of alcohol in their beverages. This is because you're smart, and just like the great Bobby Chez, you see the value in Facebook friending an eclectic demographic representative set of your collective target market, namely, millennials.
You then start writing a series of blogs about how your restaurant doesn't water down drinks. Make some humorous images that poke fun at your competition. Invite others to share them. Here's one that pokes fun at popular beer:
See what I just put up there? That's a Meme, and millennials love them. Use compelling images such as this to capture the attention, imagination and interest of millennials.
The point is, if you can find what people are complaining about with regard to your competition/product, you can find what key differentiators you can use to absorb additional sales and increase your revenue accordingly.
Also, ensure you sign up for Google Alerts and use keywords related to your product on a local or perhaps even national scale. This will help you keep your proverbial ear to the millennial grindstone. Just remember that millennials are doing more talking online than any other generation. Find them (social media), where they're mentioning your industry (directories, search engines, blogs, etc.), and entice them with simple messages and sincere sales propositions.
Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.