The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

How-to Build a Successful Marketing Campaign to Millennials that Resonates

Effective ways to engage millennial target audiences to your brand

(Insider Intelligence, 2022)

Millennials: one of the most challenging target audiences for marketers because of their ever-changing mindsets and indecisiveness. By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. (Owens Pile, 2022.) Crazy, right? The millennial demographic pays attention to content for 12 seconds, which means the marketing strategy has to be efficient and throrough in order to keep their attention. So how do we effectively market to this generation? Let’s take a look at some of the most efficient ways to market towards the millennial generation.

Authenticity is key.

Interacting in user-centric environments are important to millennials, and they value authenticity the most. Millennials attitudes are inspired by people they know, and trust relevant and authentic opinions from influencers and shoppers they trust. Marketers need to lead with “why”, and tap into the mission behind their brand, and their customer satisfaction and trust will increase.

“For brands that want to successfully reach Gen Y-ers, they simply need to speak their language. People ages 18 to 34 will perk up when hearing or reading words that could have come from the mouths of their peers, as these messages warrant comfort and trust.”

Moraes, 2020

An excellent example of this is with social media influencer marketing, specifically with Charli D’Amelio’s Dunkin Donuts drink launch.

Charli D’Amelio’s Dunkin campaign

Charli launched a partnership with Dunkin Donuts, introducing “the Charli” cold foam drink to consumers, and consistently promoted it on TikTok and Instagram. Charli D’Amelio being one of the most successful TikTok stars to date made this brand collaboration successful because it shows the power strong influencers have on their target audience. Dunkin went on to achieve a 57% increase in sales after “the Charli” launch in 2020, and a 20 percent sales boost.

“The younger generations love this type of content because it feels much more natural, personal and it’s a great way for influencers to add value to their audiences without feeling overly curated.”

(CODI Agency, 2022)

Authenticity is crucial for millennials, as they prefer real and organic experiences, not the “perfect” aesthetic. Influencer marketing is a great tactic for marketers because it forces the millennials to make powerful purchase decisions, which increases the trust towards a brand.

UGC is critical, and millennials demand it.

User-Generated Content (UGC) is any content (photos, videos, or tweets) that is created by consumers of a social media platform. Millennials organically connect with UGC on a regular basis, it’s familiar to them which is why brands should include it into their marketing strategies.

“Not only do they interact with UGC, they trust it 50% more than other media – UGC is so trusted that 84% of millennials say UGC from strangers has at least some influence on what they buy, and 86% believe UGC is generally a good indicator of a brand, service or product’s quality.”

(Cassidy, 2017)

UGC not only influences consumer buying power, it also promotes authenticity, and can be viewed as the modern day word-of-mouth marketing tactic. Millennials audiences use UGC as a trust mechanism, it is a personal recommendation from their peers about a particular brand or product. One great example of efficient UGC marketing is Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins promotional campaign.

“Taking the intimidation factor out of their high-fashion ad campaigns, Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign helped make the brand’s identity more approachable and relatable. Plus, featuring select UGC let the brand show appreciation for its customers while creating new sales opportunities.”

(Williams, 2022)

Calvin Klein Instagram

Incorporating an effective call to action of #MyCalvins allows Calvin Klein to connect personally and emotionally with their audience, and makes the clothing brand approachable to audiences. This campaign continues to connect with millennials and audiences on a deeper level, because the content is coming from relatable sources. UGC is extremely effective, and it gives consumers the opportunity to be involved with a brand’s growth and promotional efforts. It also further promotes the brand through word-of-mouth marketing techniques.

Be informative with inbound marketing tactics.

The Millennial generation is demanding, and want to feel connected to brands they value. Marketers can achieve organic connections with millennials by ditching outbound marketing methods. You don’t see millennials reading magazine ads or direct mail campaigns. Instead, millennials are tech-savvy individuals who do their research through YouTube or blogs. Marketers need to connect with the millennial generation by using methods of marketing they are familiar with.

“Millennials support businesses that are dedicated to improving their customers’ lives with informative content. Rather than product and service listings, Millennials want e-books, whitepapers, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information – and that’s inbound marketing.”

(Moraes, 2020)

Inbound marketing can be achieved through creative content creation, millennials gravitate towards unique content that is not “cookie cutter”. The better your content is, the more engagement it will receive, and ultimately more purchase decisions will be made. Some great inbound marketing techniques include using social media or setting up a blog. One of the most important and crucial inbound marketing tactics is social listening. Social listening is the process of monitoring conversations related to a brand or product. This is very effective for brands because it gives them insight into what consumers truly think about their brand’s presence or products. Brands can use social listening to build awareness, trust, and

Social listening can be assisted with tools, like HubSpot, Sprout Social, or HootSuite. All of these tools can help you monitor several social media accounts at once, and can track keywords/direct feedback on your brand from consumers. Brands that effectively use inbound marketing tactics will present their brand in a more approachable way for millennials, and the results will follow.

Connect organically, transparently, and put millennials first.

Millennials want the content you provide them to feel organic and authentic, with their interests in mind. They want direct and transparent content that resonates, millennials trust their peers more than brands. A perfect example of effective transparent marketing is with Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere” ad campaign.

Airbnb advertisement - "Belong Anywhere" campaign
(Gilliland, 2016)

Airbnb effectively targeted millennials by launching a travel promotional ad, with an emphasis on adventure and self-discovery through a video series “Belong Anywhere.” These videos showed people on vacation enjoying themselves, and it also ties back to their mission statement relating to the world and everyone belonging somewhere.

“Millennials aren’t interested in the hard sell. Young adults crave content that has an inherent purpose, other than being a vehicle for the product itself. Whether it’s a viral video, an infographic or just a great story, content must be able to entertain or inform.

Gilliland, 2020

Airbnb’s choice to celebrate travel with diverse cultures and ethnicities connects with millennials because it shows an emphasis on adventure and they captured their travel desire. The millennial generation is passionate about social change and inclusivity. They prefer to shop and purchase at brands that align with their passions, visions, and values. The bottom line – create informative, organic, and authentic content that matters most to millennials.

Well, there you have it! Several of the best tactics to attract millennial audiences, and keep them engaged and loyal to you and your brand. Keep these tactics in mind when designing a marketing strategy, these are only some of the excellent methods that will engage and keep customer loyalty high with the millennial generation.

Category: Advanced Tactics

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