5 Small Business Marketing Tactics to Reach Millennials

Millennials on devices

Over the last decade, marketers have been increasingly focused on the millennial generation, defined as individuals born in the 1980s through the mid-1990s. The Pew Research Center has reported that this group is now the largest living generation in the U.S. This group now encompasses about 83.1 million Americans.

Because of the opportunity in this market, it makes sense that companies are looking to more aggressively target millennial consumers. Effectively marketing to millennials will mean continuing to meet their evolving needs and desires as they mature.

Here are a few tips on how to reach millennials with your marketing strategy.

1. Meet them where they are

Millennials communicate and interact with the physical and digital world differently, so businesses need to seek out their attention where they spend most of their time.

For instance, millennial marketing strategies should seek to plan and execute campaigns on social media, gaming, and mobile app platforms. These digital channels are often your best bet for reaching millennials consistently and directly.

According to Pew, 78% of 18-24 year olds use Snapchat and 71% use Instagram. To maintain a modern brand image for Millennials, adapting your marketing to these platforms is critical. Millennials are more likely to interact with businesses they see as up to date on various trends and who operate on platforms they use.

These platforms also allow for a more personal touch and, especially on snapchat, can be used to provide a window into your business’s internal operations. Millennials enjoy this sort of close connection with both their peers and the businesses they frequent.

Many millennials consume Snapchat and Instagram content multiple times a day, meaning they are likely to do the same with your advertising content. Your content also benefits from appearing in the same feeds as the images and videos shared by their friends.

To learn more about social media best practices, check out our blog post, The Ultimate Social Media Guide for Small Businesses.

2. Emphasize social responsibility

Millennials increasingly demand social responsibility from their businesses of choice. One study found that 73% of global millennials are willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings. Another found that 81% of millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship.

Highlighting your small business’s socially responsible practices and contributions to your local community can help you draw in and retain millennial customers.

As a small business, you may not have the funds to engage in the sort of large-scale charitable projects that some big companies do, but there are still plenty of possibilities available to small businesses. Here are some examples to consider:

  1.  Sponsoring clothing and food drives in your community
  2. Taking small portions of your proceeds and donating them to charity
  3. Making commitments to sustainability, like composting and recycling or lowering electricity and water use. 

  4. Highlighting your relative impact on the environment compared to large businesses can also be a powerful competitive strategy.

  5. Emphasizing that your businesses is a far more sustainable choice than your large competitors is an effective strategy for targeting millennial customers who might otherwise be drawn in by large businesses’ brand recognition and cheaper prices.

3. Be transparent

Millennials are attracted to transparent organizations. Sharing behind-the-scenes info about what your company is working on and inviting customers to give feedback about your product or service are both ways you can show millennial customers you value them.

Creating short videos and sharing high-quality photos of your products, clients, or employees on social media is a useful strategy for both connecting with millennial customers and giving them as much clarity and accountability as possible.

4. Get millennial input on your marketing strategy

Get out there and connect with the millennial generation through focus groups or surveys with incentives. Millennials often care more about these sorts of unique opportunities and experiences than traditional forms of marketing and prefer to be entertained and educated.

Marketing that incorporates a certain level of interactivity while also providing millennials with useful information about your offerings and a forum to voice their opinions and preferences is an excellent strategy for reaching this slice of your consumer base.

5. Challenge their Creativity

Tapping the millennial generation’s capacity for creativity is another exceptional strategy for designing your marketing campaigns to meet their unique interests and skills. Consider hosting different kinds of creative contests to improve existing advertising or content. Allow customers to add to your story and conversation with their personal, creative work. If you recognize them in tangible ways for doing so, you will have very good odds of winning their attention and business.

Millennials are the largest generation in the country and continue to grow in number. Considering how to cater to their interests, desires, and concerns should be a central part of any modern marketing strategy.

Millennial marketing campaigns that take advantage of social media and mobile marketing, call attention to sustainable, small business practices, and allow consumers to have a hand in creating content, are virtually guaranteed to boost your business, satisfy your customers, and demonstrate your close attention to consumers’ unique and changing preferences and personalities.

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