This article was first published on August, 2nd 2015, and last updated November 2022.
Gone are the days when all you needed to do to find new clients was post a billboard and have a few TV commercials. Thanks to advanced technology and widespread social media platforms, the entire philosophy of marketing has shifted, and the demographics of your target audience have likely shifted, too.
Millennials make up the largest portion of the workforce, and are projected to be big spenders whose buying habits are heavily influenced by the media. They’re also an incredibly savvy group, so successfully capturing some of that purchasing power requires that you speak their language and spread your message where it’s most likely to be heard.
Whether you’re a business owner or a white label SEO reseller, implementing these four strategies in your marketing plan will give you a solid starting point.
4 Key Strategies for Marketing to Young People and the Millennial Generation
1) Make sure your marketing messages include useful information – not just “advertising” statements.
In online advertising there are two constants. One, advertisements are everywhere. From ads on social media, to commercials on TV streaming apps like Amazon Prime or Hulu. Advertisements are a part of every teens minute-by-minute experience.
The second constant is that everyone keeps scrolling. This means you will only have a user’s attention for a few seconds. You can’t just say your product does x, y, and z. Instead, you have to do something to make your product or service stand out.
Include information about your product that is unique. Grab their attention and make them remember you even after they’ve scrolled through their feed. For example, instead of using direct advertising statements like “Buy a Hydroflask today,” include statements such as “Hydroflasks are eco-friendly and keep your drinks cold all day long .”
2) Focus on providing engaging, interactive content on your website and social media pages.
Most of the time, your product won’t be enough to bring a younger person to your site. Draw them to your website or social media pages with creating content that is unique. Don’t make it all about selling your product. Trust that after they grow to love your company for its witty, user generated content, they’ll come around to giving your product a try on their own terms.
Some examples of interactive material to include on your website and social media pages include:
- Millennials prefer Instagram. Post dynamic photos and interesting video content to urge young people to visit your profile and find your site online.
- If you are trying to target young professionals, you should give Twitter a try! On Twitter you can post short messages about your product or about causes your business is passionate about. Twitter can also be a great place to interact with your customers.
- TikTok is growing as a platform for businesses to use, especially to target a younger audience. You can create short, personalized videos that give a backstage look into your business and how your product or service is unique.
- Find influencer marketing that believes in your product or service. This can be anyone from a travel vlogger to a social media celebrity. Who you choose depends on your budget and your marketing campaign. This can be a great way to grow your social networks and find customers who will be loyal to your brand.
If your goal is to draw younger people to your website and social media pages, the key is to fill your pages with great, engaging content. And then let them make the decision whether to learn more about your product and purchase it on their own.
3) Make it clear that your product or service solves a specific problem.
Companies successful in selling their products to the younger generation all have one thing in common – their products solve a problem.
To encourage young people to try your product, your advertising needs to make it clear that your product solves a specific, real-world problem, which makes their lives easier. An effective way to do this, especially when marketing to younger people, is by using videos. You will only have a few seconds of their attention to make sure they watch your video instead of scrolling onto the next ad, so make your videos relatable and short. Also remember to keep your product or service the star of the show..
Once your customers experience how your product or service makes their lives smoother you need to encourage them to leave authentic reviews. Young people and millennials will research a product before they make a purchase, so positive feedback attached to your site can make all the difference. Having real testimonials online will help potential customers trust your brand.
4) Develop a company mission that’s deeper than sales – and make it clear to your customers that you really care about the cause.
Today’s young people are caring and passionate about the world around them. They want to do their part to preserve the environment, save animals, fight homelessness, feed the hungry, and support other worthy causes. Further, they want to buy from businesses that share their morals and values.
Think about Patagonia. Why do they do so well? It’s unlikely that their clothing is superior to all other brands. However, the brand’s owners have worked to fight climate change and protect national parks. And they’re not shy when it comes to telling their customers about it. The founder of Patagonia even sold his portions and used them to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.
If you want to market your business towards targeting millennials and young people, you need to show them that you care about more than just making a profit. Choose a cause that you and your partners or employees are truly passionate about, and get involved. Participate in fundraisers related to that cause, or pledge to donate a portion of your proceeds.
And don’t be afraid to let your customers know what you’re doing. Turn to social media and ask your viewers questions. Ask for their opinions about the cause, ask who else is involved, and ask viewers for tips to help your business become more informed about the issue. Young people will appreciate that your company is “about more than just the business,” and you’ll gain not just any customers – but loyal customers who share your passions.
Marketing Towards Millennials and Young People Can Grow Your Business
Marketing to young people is not simple. You have to think creatively and stay on top of your online presence, carefully tailoring messages on your website, social media accounts, and other outlets to ensure they are in line with your target demographics’ values and needs. Remember to interact with your target clients. Show them there are human beings behind your ads.
Respond to comments on social media. Inject a personal voice and opinions into your website. Today’s young people want to see the real you and your real product.
If you’re running your own SEO agency or are partnering with a provider on white label SEO services, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of all demographics to be able to determine which would benefit from your business or your client’s businesses.
Just because the target audience for a business has historically been an older demographic doesn’t mean that millennials and young adults should be ruled out. Clearly they hold a significant share of the purchasing power so take advantage of it and learn how to market to young people!
If you’re not sure where to start to find this information, visit our SEO Partner page to get in touch with a Partner Success team member. They will be able to answer your questions and give you helpful insights and action items on where to begin!