Years have passed and the times have changed — now millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. As a result, they’ve also become a huge portion of today’s consumer market. Forward-thinking marketers need to work on capturing millennial interest today if they’re going to ever maintain them as loyal customers in the years to come.

Read on for a few valuable tips you can use to create a powerful marketing message for millennials.

Speak to Millennial Interests and Needs

The first step of marketing to any generation is understanding what makes them unique. Luckily for businesses today, there’s a wealth of data out there on what makes millennials tick. Use this information to develop a creative message that speaks to their interests and needs.

You should of course do your own market research and identify millennial insights relevant to your specific business niche, so you can create specific types of messaging to fit your different audience segments. But here are some statistics that help illustrate how millennials are unique from other consumers:

  • Millennials are more concerned with health and environmental issues than other generations. Brands can take advantage of this by prioritizing these themes in their marketing messages.
  • 69% of millennials worldwide want businesses to better facilitate customers getting involved in social issues. Traditionally, brands don’t make statements on political or social issues to avoid alienating parts of their audience. But choosing to take a stand and make a statement could be the best way to capture millennial attention and loyalty.
  • More than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before. Brands can position their products and services as tools to enhance the experiences millennials seek.

Here’s a great example of a credit card ad that speaks to the interests and needs of millennials today:

A credit card ad targeting older generations might focus on all the great things they could buy. Instead this ad illustrates a credit card as the way to unlock amazing experiences.

Prioritize Mobile Interaction Take an Active

What you hear about millennials is true — they’re glued to their smartphones. More millennials own smartphones than any other generation, and they use them constantly. In fact, 25% of millennials spend an average of 5 hours a day on their mobile phones, while 25% check their phones more than 100 times per day.

When interacting with a millennial audience online, there’s a very good chance it’s through their mobile devices. So you need to prioritize having a user experience that’s optimized for mobile. This includes all audience touchpoints, such as your landing pages and advertisements. You can even prioritize using ad types that are designed for mobile, like in-app ads, Instagram stories ads, or Google’s video discovery ads.

Take an Active Approach to Social Media Engagement

Social media is an important marketing channel for almost every generation. But it’s especially key for millennials. Check out these statistics that illustrate why:

  • 63% of millennials stay updated on brands through social networks.
  • 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.

When marketing to millennials, your social media strategy can’t be just about sharing valuable content and promoting sales. Those kinds of social profiles are stale and fail to inspire a socially-active generation. You need to take an active role to engage your audience by keeping up with what matters most to them and then fitting your branding around what they’re most interested in.

An excellent way to do this is by asking your audience to get creative. User-generated content (UGC) is great marketing fodder to broaden your reach on social media and engage your millennial brand advocates.

That’s what drink brand La Croix does on their Instagram account. They regularly encourage their customers to post creative photos with the hashtag #lacroix. They pick their favorites and fill their Instagram feed with UGC:

Work With Influencers

Your native brand message can only get you so far with millennials. What sets this generation apart is the fact that they’re often adverse to advertising and instead rely on recommendations from friends to decide what to buy.

Check out these stats:

  • Sixty-eight percent of 18- to 34-year-olds agree that their peers’ social posts are ‘somewhat likely’ (or better) to influence them into making a purchase.
  • Nine percent agree that their friends’ social posts are ‘very likely’ to influence them.
  • In contrast, 78 percent of those 65-and-older say they’re ‘not at all likely’ to base purchasing decisions on the advice of their peers.

The fact that millennials prioritize peer recommendations over messages from brands might sound like bad news for marketers. But really you just need to adjust your approach by working with influencers.

Inspire or hire millennial “peers” to endorse your products on social media. You can give them creative freedom to create a special message tailored to their unique audience’s interests.

Work with influencers by offering special incentives or rewards to your current brand advocates. Or if you want to expand your reach even more, use influencer marketing platforms to hire social influencers to create content related to your brand.

Referral marketing is another great way to inspire your current customers to become peer influencers. Give your customers a discount or money back for referring friends online. Here’s an example of how Wells Fargo uses this strategy to target millennials:

Stick With Marketing Best Practices

If you’re planning to apply some of these tips to better market to millennials, then you’ve already got the right idea in mind. Use market insights and your knowledge of the generation to develop a more relevant message. Then just stick with marketing best practices: track, test, adjust, and repeat. Millennials have developed some distinct characteristics, but no generation is static. You’ll need to constantly test and improve your marketing message against the changing moods of your ultimate judges: millennials.


Isabel Hasty
Isabel Hasty
Isabel Hasty writes and edits case studies to share client success stories and industry trends. She produces a variety of lead-generation content, including white papers, blogs, infographics, and thought leadership articles.

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