Millennials sometimes get a bad reputation for being overly sensitive, obsessed with their smartphones and too keen on avocados. Yet they also represent one of the largest generations in the world today and they’ve got serious buying power too. It’s a demographic that no small business can afford to ignore. 

So how can you go about targeting them with marketing? Millennials have grown up in a time of rapid technological and societal change, giving them a different set of priorities and expectations to those that came before them. 

Below we look into their key characteristics and explore effective ways to appeal to the internet generation. 

Who are Millennials?

While exact definitions vary, Millennials are generally categorised as people who were born between 1981 and 1996. This puts them between 25 and 40 years old in 2021. It’s an age bracket among which many will now be progressing professionally while also buying property, getting married and having children.   

Millennials have grown up with the internet while adapting to game-changing technology such as smartphones and social media. They’re savvy and well informed as a result, using multiple sources of information to make purchasing decisions while seeing straight through inauthentic or untrustworthy messaging. 

This group are also accused of having low attention spans – though in reality, many Millennials are simply time-poor. Bombarded by messages, emails and notifications on top of everyday life, Millennials are quick to move from one source to another if their needs aren’t being met.    

They’re also famed for holding strong values such as economic, environmental and social instability and don’t mind rallying against those who don’t. So how can your business cater to this incredibly valuable generation?

How to market to Millennials

Make information easy to digest

Millennials don’t have time to read through huge paragraphs of information. Make written content scannable with short sentences, clear subheadings and bullet points. 

Also lead with high-quality visuals where possible. Use real photography and accessible videos and experiment with other formats like infographics and podcasts too. 

Ensure slick design 

Optimise everything. Millennials demand a positive user experience and won’t hesitate to jump ship if a website takes too long to load, or an email link is broken. Make sure all your marketing efforts work effectively on mobile too.   

Connect multiple channels

Millennials want to engage with brands across multiple channels, making joined-up campaigns a must. Using tools such as email marketing automation can help you connect the dots and create a seamless experience whenever they buy a product, fill out a form or sign up for something.  

Create informative content

While Baby Boomers might prefer to get on the phone if they have a problem, many Millennials choose to solve problems themselves. Help them self-support and reduce your customer service workload by creating informative content like FAQs, video tutorials and how-to blog posts.  

Highlight authentic endorsements

Millennials value word of mouth and authentic recommendations, so look to encourage reviews of your products and services wherever possible. Highlight customer testimonials and put user-generated content centre stage to build trust and loyalty. 

Display clear values 

A recent global study found that consumers are four times more likely to buy from a company if it has a strong purpose. Make your mission and values clear across your marketing materials and support relevant causes if you can. This is a key reason why brands such as the eco-conscious Patagonia is so popular. 

Millennials are often labelled as being difficult to market to because of their high expectations. But if you can raise your game in the ways described above, the payoff will no doubt prove to be worth it.