How can Small Business marketing attract and keep Millennial consumers?

Woman with digital tablet by the river in summer

Millennials have caught the attention of marketers with their interesting consumer behaviors and non-traditional methods of communication. Born between 1981 and 2000, millennials make up more than 25% of the U.S. populations are currently the largest living generation in America, 

imagine how your business can grow when millennials love you! 

So, how does small business market to millennial consumers? We all know this is the generation that spends most of its time online.

Adweek.com created a great infographic to summarize key findings of three recent studies* to answer four questions about this important consumer audience: 1. Who are they? 2. What drives millennials as consumers? 3. How do they shop? (Spoiler alert, it's not what you might assume), and, 4. How can you reach them? (see infographic excerpt below).

Let's look at a few details about millennials consumers:

  • They are more diverse than any previous generation
  • 20% are of Hispanic origin
  • 2.6% identify as multiracial 
  • They leave home later and marry later in life than previous generations
  • On average, they check their smartphones 43 times a day
  • 90% of millennials can be found on Facebook

So what specific actions can you start today to reach this influential generation of consumers? Knowing that online is key to success with this audience, we suggest you start with the following five steps. Before you know it, you'll be brilliant! at reaching and engaging millennials:

  1. Get on social media ASAP. 
    66 percent of millennials follow brands on social media. This gives your company the opportunity to speak the messages you want them to hear. Starting a new marketing campaign? Ask your followers to use a unique hashtag to promote the campaign. This not only invites users to engage with your brand, but that is free advertising to all of their followers. 60 percent of millennials follow brands to hear about new deals and coupons. So if your company features products that are visually interesting, post them on Instragram with a link to where they can purchase them. Look for ways to get more visual in all your online communications.
  2. Be sure your website is compatible with mobile and tablet devices. Most people, not just millennials, often browse the web and social media on their mobile devices – standing in line, waiting in an office, sitting in a coffee shop. So why not be sure your consumers have a good mobile experience with your brand. 52 percent of millennials prefer to browse on their smartphone devices, and 61 percent prefer using their tablets. Every website platform works differently, some adapt for mobile, others don't. Be sure to check how your website looks on various devices. If you discover any issues, check with your website developer or consider making changes to improve website performance on all mobile devices.
  3. Create a consistent brand experience. Now that you've made sure your website looks great on mobile devices, make sure the brand experience is consistent every time someone comes in contact with your business. 68 percent of millennials say they want a consistent brand experience whether they are online, in-store, or checking a mobile device. Be sure to take the same approach to presenting your brand on social media. This will help your brand gain credibility, recognition, and trust as consumers see and experience your brand in many ways.
  4. Listen to what people are saying. One more great reason to be online: It lets you tune into and track what people are saying about your business. 93 percent of millennials usually read reviews prior to a purchase; 59 percent make product recommendations to share highly positive or negative experiences. One bad review about your company could deter a potential new customer, or worse. It's better that you read a bad review and proactively resolve the issue before it can harm your brand. 
  5. Create a strategic plan to keep millennials engaged. They have an immediate and long-term impact have on your business. Consider them a unique and strategic audience when you plan your marketing and communications. Keep in mind that the messages and communications efforts that capture the attention of your established customers or an older audience might be altogether missed by millennials.

With all that to consider, the first step is to develop a marketing strategy focused on reaching your millennial audience. Then decide on which marketing tactics will help you reach your goals. If you're not sure, or need a hand getting started, we can help! Contact us for a free consultation or enter your information below.


* Represented studies:  Future Foundation Millennials Study, 2014; SDL Millennials Study, 2014; Millennial Central Study (females only), 2014.


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