Millennials are the natives of a digital, hyper-connected world, having taken to the medium like fish to water.Millennials are more individualistic and participative than any of their previous generations and wield technology for nearly every function of their daily lives. Today, millennials are the most sought- after demographic for marketers, yet few brands have mastered the art of digital marketing for millennials or initiated online interactions that actively engage them and create a lasting impact on the minds of the young demographic.
Getting the digital experience right involves much more than offering excellent online customer service. It depends largely on how a brand employs technology and social media, and utilises each component of the digital medium including design, content and customer service, to facilitate a seamless online-to-offline experience and vice versa for the millennial.
Look beyond traditional advertising
One fact that every marketer who wants to reach out to millennials must know is this: traditional advertising doesn’t work with millennials. They are highly indifferent tothe old, tried-and-tested marketing tactics and advertising that most brands have relied on so far for previous generations. They belong to a generation where skipping pre-roll ads on YouTube comes as a natural instinct. Expecting them, therefore, to sit through traditional TV ads or register the content on print advertisements, is a big task.
Although change is difficult, brands that do not transform their strategy will continue to be eluded by this coveted demographic. Nearly 80% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising and are quick to block any content that pushes it on them. However, there are some brands which have cracked the code to producing digital ads that are innovative, creative and evoke emotions or quick responses from the viewer.
Countering the millennials’ distaste for traditional advertising involves a more hands-on approach to using technology in marketing and increased social media engagement.Keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends is also imperative. If brands want their message to reach millennials, they must speak to them in the language they understandbest and be present where the consumers are present.
Optimising for mobile
85% millennials own smartphones and most of them do not watch television anymore. However, this information is in no way new to marketers. Despite a huge amount of knowledge, research and statistics, most marketing campaigns aimed at millennials are not designed considering the smartphone and its ubiquity, thus resulting in the struggle and failure to connect with the audience. The first step to targeting millennials is to establish your presence on the right digital platforms which optimise content for a seamless mobile experience. Brands looking to create a unique digital experience must focus on each aspect including great design and user interface which can together help create a well-rounded, positive digital interaction.
Establish a multi-platform presence
Millennials consume content across multiple platforms and devices. Although Facebook significantly influences purchasing decisions among millennials, you cannot discount other platforms from your digital marketing campaign. About 50% of users on Instagram follow brands, recording 58 times higher engagement than on Facebook and 150 times that of Twitter. Use that information to help you with your next digital campaign.
Build a social media presence
Social media platforms record the highest word-of- mouth promotion among users and are a great way to engage with customers, both existing and potential. Social media has been leveraged brilliantly by brands in segments from e-commerce to OTT entertainment. Netflix, for example has turned its millennial user base into active promoters of the brand through social media. By allowing users to link their Netflix account with their Facebook or Twitter accounts and share their viewing experiences, movies and series with their friends on social media, the brand has created an inventive marketing tool to engage existing customers and reach potential users who have not signed up on Netflix yet.
Personalisation is one of the most important components of digital marketing targeted towards millennials. Amazon, Netflix and Spotify are a few names that come to mind when we talk about brands that have mastered personalisation. Based on the users’ past interactions on the website, these brands create a hyper-personalised webpage or interface for them with suggestions for products, movies or music that theywould prefer. For example, Spotify boasts of impressive social media customer service and is one of the best examples of a brand building loyalty through personalisation. A few months ago, a user tweeted on Spotify’s official Twitter page regarding a technical issue on the platform. Within a few minutes of the post, Spotify’s customer servicenot only resolved the issue, but also created a special playlist for the user. The post, within a week’s time, attracted over 30,000 likes and over 1000 shares, giving Spotify the kind of visibility that traditional marketing cannot guarantee in such a short time.
Millennials are savvy shoppers with information available to them at a click of a button. They want the best deals and often know where to find them. Over 90% millennials search online for product reviews, best prices and additional coupons and discounts. Hence, they are often among the most informed consumers, filtering information to retain only what they find useful. As a brand, your communication with millennials must be simple and conversational and not seem like an overt sales pitch. Brands that understand this and keep their messaging crisp and relatable fare much better than their competitors.
(The author is Co-Founder & CEO, DigitalF5)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com