There’s this massive group of young people out there who are largely left out and deliberately forgotten by marketers, who could stand to gain much by using the product or service being offered… but some of us just don’t speak their language anymore.
These millennials are able to do plenty by just tapping a button or swiping to one side on their phone screen, and they want this sort of efficiency in every part of their lives. Decisions are often made quickly, and with discretionary income higher than previous generations, they’re easily able to afford what captures their interest.
Symantec reports that a third of web users under the age of 25 don’t care at all about the digital footprint they leave behind, or what they post. These are people who will give loyalty and not be cowed by pressure to take it down on the internet, where everyone can see it. They don’t care, and will share it and post it anyway. They are unapologetic for how they feel or what drives their passions, and that alone makes them so important to understand for tapping into marketing potential as easily the most coveted group of people to capture.
Here’s some of why they do what they do so it can be inspected for understanding and purpose in marketing things they’ll actually care about and get behind.
SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE
Millennials express this unabashed passion and love for their brands and the things that move them using hashtags that end up going viral and trending across many social platforms, even making news stories. They share and post photos of themselves with friends, or in front of a movement they feel strongly about like a walk for cancer research, or a scuba event to help kids learn to swim that raises awareness in a very instant manner and invites others to jump in and join the hype. The reason they share like this? It keeps the feelings of happiness going, and the more it is seen, liked and shared, those feelings continue.
They’ll proudly make a self-video to post to YouTube showing how their favorite brand-name makeup goes on and transforms any face to be stunning. They’re not being paid to say these things, they’re moved only by the passion for their brand. They have this inner sense of purpose to share their experiences, good and bad. They can post reviews on video sites or through social media very quickly to either endorse or warn away a product online. Their recommendations should be taken seriously as this age group is more intricately networked than any we have ever seen before and words travel fast. Studies show that 93% of millennials make purchases based off of a recommendation from a friend or family and 89% of these people trust those recommendations more than any claims by the brand itself. Check sites like Yelp and find out just how powerful this can be.
WHAT IS A “VLOG”?
Posting to social media isn’t the only way that millennials get their shared experiences or information out quickly. This age group is highly visual, and they’ve figured out that videos capture a lot of attention which has given rise to the video version of a blog, a “vlog” which allows them to post daily, weekly or monthly how-to’s or monthly favorites. They’ll gladly share their favorite products or brands that have worked and seen success in the past – happy to endorse their prized brands in a highly visual way. These vloggers even have some amazing followers on YouTube, all of whom are extremely influenced by what they’re seeing and hearing. This acts as the family or friend recommendation to buy a product that is the crucial bit missing for them to go through with a purchase with confidence.
THE SELFIE-STICK IS BORN
This is the age group for whom the selfie stick was created, and all due to the popularity of selfies being taken absolutely everywhere, sometimes to the dismay of older generation who shake their heads in misunderstanding. They LOVE their photos and share them all over the place, from social media like Instagram to Pinterest and they’ve even created a new way to display their favorite things called a “flat lay” which is basically like a loose scrapbook page where multiple photos or movie tickets, a wine cork etc are grouped together to fit into the screen in a mosaic pattern to get a photo of. Some have taken this further and have tagged brands using Instagram to allow a user to buy directly from the brand itself, having been given the thumbs up from a friend or connection who is given instant trust.
These millennials love to group together to rave about what they love as well, and something isn’t enough fun unless they can shout it out and hear it back from someone else who feels the same way. Nowhere is this easier than sites which exist specifically for whatever it is they love most. Forums, communities or other online spaces where these young people can engage in ways that reveal secrets or tips, and can discuss the things they enjoy are growing exponentially. They don’t just visit to read, they visit to be heard. Recall that millennials enjoy the spotlight and giving tips and advice fits nicely within that realm, as well as ingratiation tactics like asking advice from someone they admire.
Millennials are the most bold and unafraid generation to date, and they’re proud to declare their love of people, places and things like nobody has seen before. They are intricately involved in every social media platform that exists, and excited about the ones that are just on the horizon as well. They are on the edge of technology and innovation and are the future leaders and industry standards must match the generation they seek to serve. To market to this group of people, they must be understood – to know what moves them, and what they want to see most. They’re happy to be free endorsers of a product just to be seen and heard, and that alone, is a giant pool to dip into in terms of marketing strategy, yet they’re the biggest group who fails to be targeted adequately. Time to shake the dust out of your marketing plan and find an entirely new way forward to include magnificent millennials.