If, like many small business owners, you think Baby Boomers will carry your business for years to come, it may be time to think again. While Baby Boomers have made up a large majority of consumers for some time now, a new generation has overtaken them. And it’s a generation you might not have suspected. The Millennials.
That’s right, the Millennials, with an infamous reputation of being lazy, entitled and narcissistic (see: selfie sticks), may represent your target market sooner rather than later.
Resist the urge to stereotype and brush them off. Learn more about the Millennial generation and how you can successfully market to these individuals.
Who are the Millennials?
Before you can market to Millennials, you need to get a good idea of who this generation really includes. Though there’s some dispute on the exact birth years of Millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000 typically fall into this category.
The facts on Millennials:
- 25% of the U.S. population
- 75% of the workforce by 2025
- Direct spending power of $200 billion
- Indirect spending power of $1.78 trillion
What drives their decisions?
Millennials grew up in one of the greatest economic recessions, making them much more complex to market to than their predecessors. Let’s get to know them a little better.
Traits of the typical Millennial:
- Most educated generation so far
- Not nearly as brand loyal as former generations
- Budget conscious (the majority have less than $1,000 in savings)
- Delaying big-ticket purchases, like homes and cars
- Digital natives, as they grew up with technology
All of these factors affect how Millennials make buying decisions. But the last one is one that most directly affects your marketing strategy as a small business owner.
Millennials are digital natives. That means they’re quick to adopt new technology. They practically grew up with it. They also trust technology more than they trust brand names, and they rely on it heavily to make important decisions.
How do Millennials use technology?
For Millennials, technology is seamlessly integrated into their daily lives. They touch their smartphones about 45 times a day, for example. But how else do they use technology?
Millennial tech habits:
- 7 in 8 own a smartphone.
- 5 in 6 connect with businesses on social media.
- They watch less TV, listen to less radio, and read fewer printed news publications than Baby Boomers.
So if you want to connect with Millennials through your small business marketing, you’ll need to do so online. Here’s how.
4 Smart Ways to Market to Mobile Millennials
1. Be where they are, on social media.
A business website is good for traditional search engine optimization (SEO). But stats show millennials are finding recommendations and conducting searches outside of traditional search engines and web browsing.
Most notably, they’re asking for recommendations from their social media network. According to Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. This means your business needs to be active on social media, so you can be tagged in these recommendations and become part of these conversations.
2. Promote value, not status.
As we mentioned earlier, Millennials are budget conscious. They care a lot more about the value they’re getting for their dollar than the status and brand-name recognition former generations loved.
So rather than spending your marketing dollars on traditional channels, create helpful content you can share via text, email, and on social media that highlights the added value your customers get when purchasing your product or service.
3. Get familiar with video.
Millennials spend 48% more time watching video than the average internet user. Mobile apps like Snapchat and Instagram make sharing video really easy, since you can generate short, engaging, valuable videos straight from your smartphone. This type of content is easy to consume for your fans and followers. And, it will make your business more relatable and help you stay top of mind.
4. Don’t forget the discounts.
Remember, Millennials aren’t very brand loyal. That means they’ll often switch brands for a better deal. 56% will actually switch brands for a mere cents-off offer. If you’re not the business offering the better deal, your competitor might be.
Consider sharing regular promotions and special discounts with your contact list to maintain more brand loyalty than you might be able to otherwise. Here are 6 promotions ideas to get you started.
Mobile have your mind spinning?
There’s an app for that. See how Thryv can modernize your marketing and help you target mobile consumers with texts, emails, videos, discounts and more.