By: Scott Seroka
I know what you’re thinking. “Great! Another blog about Millennials!”
Yes, it is. And the reason I wrote this blog is because many marketers are still trying to crack some kind of code to learn how to reach this elusive generation, hold their attention for more than a few seconds and hopefully endear them to their brands. And it’s really time to hustle on this, because Gen Zs (those entering our world from 1995 – mid 2000’s) are ready with their smartphones to swipe and tap their way into adulthood. (For all marketers, it would be wise and advantageous to get ahead of the Gen Z curve in terms of how to reach and market to them not simply as consumers, but also as employees empowered to purchase products and services.)
So, without further ado, here are 7 ways to connect Millennials with your brand. Each is an overview of what I’ll be covering in greater detail in future blog posts:
- If your site isn’t mobile friendly and optimized, make it a priority. You’ve seen them – and by them, I mean everyone (not just Millennials) staring at and swiping their smartphones as they walk into walls, moving cars, furniture, glass doors, park benches, off piers into lakes and even into other people staring at their smartphones. Smartphones have become valuable appendages many couldn’t think of living without, and if your site doesn’t provide a smooth and uncomplicated user experience on them, you’ll need to make it such, today.
- Be human. Show faces of real people at your company and write marketing content in terms of what interests your customers in a way that communicates how your brand makes a positive and meaningful difference in their lives. When writing content, have a personality, be interesting, and give people a reason to stay on your site, click a link, fill out a form, download more content and go to the next step in the sales cycle. Corporate writing and jargon repel Millennials, and many other people, as well.
- If you’re not producing marketing videos and vlogs, challenge yourself to produce one per week for the next several weeks. Make them conversational, less than three minutes in length, and create content your customers will find interesting. Invest in a decent camera and lens (plenty of options under $1,000), buy a $40 tripod, and get some cheap lighting from Home Depot to flood your shooting location with light. When you’re done shooting, find someone with a Mac to edit as needed and generally make your videos look good (iMovie is part of the Mac OS and is very user-friendly.). Build your YouTube channel, distribute on your social media channels and post them to your blogs and website. Video is no longer an option – it is an expectation.
- Build communities and engage where Millennials are spending their time. According to Advertising Age, young consumers switch media 27 times every hour. Find out where they are going, be visible with great content and engage often.
- Populate your site with testimonials – both written and video. As Millennials (as well as plenty of people of other generations) are skeptical of brands and some of their exalted claims, you’ll need testimonials from real people to help endorse your brand. (Clients are much more trusting of third-party endorsements.)
- Pursue awards, certifications and accreditations. Aside from #5 above, nothing builds brand credibility better or faster than being recognized for achievements by certifying authorities.
- Stand for something. No, I don’t necessarily mean politically. I’m referring to being vocal about what your brand stands for, what you believe, and how you are making a positive impact in people’s lives, the community or humanity. This is part of being human and showing that you care about something greater than your company and making a profit. With your profits, what are you going to contribute to and why? Or, are you giving back to help others?
If you’re lacking in any of these areas, commit to getting your brand up to speed, and soon. If you’d like some help or further guidance, contact us today.