3 Surefire Ways to Market to Millennials in a Digital World

If you’re lucky, your company has employed a few Millennials who know first-hand how to market your message to the changing demographic landscape and the Millennial population. For those who aren’t as fortunate, but are more accustomed to running a business in a more traditional way, it’s time to start realizing the power that the Millennial generation has on business in the 21st century.


By now the Millennial generation has surpassed the Baby Boomer generation to become the largest living generation. Millennials now are between the ages of 18 and 35 with 80 million members (in the US alone) and are equipped with a lot of influencing and buying power on businesses.

Before we get started let’s crunch some numbers, just in case you’re still on the fence. Millennials are expected to spend over $200 billion annually, starting this year and are expected to spend $10 trillion in their lifetimes! These numbers can’t be ignored, especially with Millennial consumers making up 25-40% more than the average consumer.

If it’s one thing about advertising to Millennials, it’s that you must meet them on their own terms and conditions. Traditional ads have lost their mojo with 84% of Millennials feeling as if they do not trust traditional advertising but instead feel that it is intrusive, pushy and disingenuous.

So what can you do? Well for starters, keep reading!

Become One With Mobile

The digital experience is as essential to a Millennial as water is to a camel. It’s needed to exist and function.  Millennials are attached to their smartphones, with 87% of Millennials having admitted to never being without their phones.  The convenience of instant internet connection and mobile devices fuel and drive Millennial lives.

No matter what your business does or what size it is all businesses with an online presence need to be optimized for mobile devices. Nowadays, mobile internet users (especially Millennials) are used to getting what they want, when they want it and typically don’t make exceptions for old and dated websites or websites that only have a desktop view. Pinching and zooming, trying to navigate the menus of a desktop version on a mobile phone is dead. No one has time for it.

If you want to appeal to Millennials, then it’s time for a facelift. Millennials may be more receptive if you make it easy for them to interact with your business. 46% of Millennials use their smartphones in stores to compare prices, find coupons and read reviews! Millennials in a hurry don’t have the precious time or patience to fuss with a website that is not easy to work with.

One step-up from mobile-optimized websites is getting a mobile app for your business. Depending on what your business does, it might make sense to develop a mobile app, plus mobile apps that are well designed and offer incentives for use can help create loyal customers. In a 2013 Compuware survey, 85% of global respondents said they preferred mobile apps over mobile websites!

The Power of Videos & Images

The millennial generation is very visual and they prefer not to have to do a lot of hard work, aka reading (when they don’t want to). Millennials like when companies aren’t generic, but personable and can tell a story that is engaging. You can easily do this with inviting, appealing and informative images and videos.

instagram, millennials

This next tip is also dependent on your business. If you want to continue to reach Millennials then consider expanding to having a presence on Snapchat and Instagram. Instagram is a safe and easy bet, but if you want to venture out and try something new, add Snapchat to the list too!

Millennials like to interact and engage with companies and brands on social media, so consider creating a unique hashtag, that’s short, sweet and right to the point. Have customers/followers use your hashtag when they mention your business, product, service or event. Hashtags will help gather related images, all-in-one convenient feed!

Using your hashtag, look through this feed and find pictures and/or videos that will resonate with your audience and feature (aka repost) that user and their picture or video on your business Instagram – but be sure to tag that person! You’ll be happy with the social shares and they’ll be happy with the shout-out! Win-win!

Moving on to Snapchat, engage with your followers by giving them Snapchat exclusive treats like a special look at product launches, behind-the-scenes look at parties, events or just a casual day-to-day! How-to videos and tutorials are also another popular way to boost interactions!

If you’re interested in advertising, Snapchat’s advertising incorporates your ad within or at the end of a Snapchat story or Discover story. Another option for advertising on Snapchat is to use sponsored geo-filters that allow brands to target users depending on their location. Geo-filters are a very popular and an interactive feature among users!

We All Get Rewards!

If your business doesn’t have this already, then it’s time to jump on board. Loyalty/reward programs are a hit across the board, regardless of age. Not only do they increase positive customer experience and interaction, but they can also turn a regular customer into a repeat customer!

According to an article on customer loyalty by Salesforce, “68% of millennials say they wouldn’t be loyal to a brand if it doesn’t have a good loyalty program.”

Millennials want to be loyal to brands and companies they love, so make it easy for them to love you even more! Some good rule-of-thumb practices with loyalty programs would be to reward your customers with loyalty points, early access, free items or even points that can be used as cash! Everyone loves perks & incentives!

When setting up a loyalty program make sure it’s simple and easy to do and has plenty of offers that provide value and interest to customers! This is one great reason to invest in an app, to serve a dual purpose as a rewards program platform.

Remember with marketing to Millennials, it’s not about using all the cool, new, hip slang you just learned. Millennials are now officially adults, some with children and a family and want to be approached as adults, but in a fresher way than their predecessors.

So take these nuggets of tips and tricks and only use what would be effective for your business. You don’t want to create a hodgepodge of trendy digital marketing ploys. You want to find what works for you!


5 Top Millennial Digital Marketing Tactics | Vont

Millennials and The Digital Experience: Getting Your Digital act Together | Forbes

The Dos and Don’t of Reaching Millennials via Social Media | Adweek

Marketing to Millennials – How Millennials are Changing Your Marketing |Uhuru

Best Examples of Customer Loyalty Retention Marketing | Salesforce