Among the most recurring challenges today for businesses is marketing their products and brand to millennials. Also referred to as Generation Y, they have their birth years between 1980 and 2004, and they came of age in the millennium.
Many businesses continue to make fun of them and their approaches to things, but forget that marketing products to them is an entirely new challenge. This is because they are the first generation that has grown up in the digital age and with digital devices such as Smartphones, computers, and the internet. This makes them also have different priorities compared to the generations that came before them, especially when it comes to earning and spending their money.
Advertisers and marketers view them as an entirely different ball game when handling them, and many unfortunately do not know the best methods of getting through to them – even on social media platforms such as Instagram. Millennials will have the knowledge that they are fully informed about things happening on social media, but they have also seen traditional advertising before – and they see right through it.
The lasting changes that happened to Instagram:
The initial branding of Instagram was to give a space for artists, photographers, and general users to show their creative takes on different element of life. However, things changed when Facebook bought the platform, because it gave a chance to marketers to communicate in alternative ways.
The problem with this is that they are seeing businesses marketing to them chaotically, and that can easily annoy them. If you want to get through to them, you must have a different and creative approach.
Tips to help you market to millennials
Tell a story through your brand:
One fact you must always keep in mind – if you approach a millennial with the sole intention of throwing your products and brand in their face, they will never buy from you. In fact, they will see you as annoying and having no value to add to them.
This is particularly true on Instagram, as they see the main reason for them being on the platform is to enjoy visual content from their friends or other individuals that create interesting takes on life. They are not there to buy things or follow brands, so your approach must be more subtle and emphasize your unique point of view.
The simplest methods of doing so is incorporating your own story into your brand, and framing it in a way that also applies universally to them. This approach does two things – has a more graceful approach, while also making an unforgettable impression.
You must also remember that Instagram is a visual platform, not a verbal one. That means you cannot expect to gain credibility and trust if you do not have a story behind your brand or what you do. For instance, using inspiring quotes, selling your journey to them, and making them feel like a friend and not just as a customer, always goes a long way.
Incorporate UGC (user generated content):
As long as you are on Instagram, sharing a picture does not need to be about your brand or products alone. It also involves showing users why your business can benefit them, and giving them a glimpse of who you are. That means you need use more storytelling that is meaningful.
However, think about this; in years past, it used to be easy to prove your credibility through your products receiving high ratings on TV or the newspapers. These days, traditional media is not in the frontline anymore, and social media has taken over – so that implies a different approach.
The best way to do this is simple – get your customers to create content for you using your brand and products. That is among the best and easiest ways to generate interest in your business and what you offer, because it creates an undeniable connection between you and the followers. That is a guarantee to get them on board, working similar to the ‘word of mouth’ marketing style.
Instagram lends itself very well into sharing images and videos, so you can encourage people who have bought from you and using the product to create their own reviews. It works with fewer resources, and is more effective at reaching a wider audience than the limitations of traditional media.
Reveal aspects of your personality:
The thing about millennials is that they will n0ot pay attention to you if you approach them with the mentality of simply using paid advertising or marketing your products. It is similar to the problem of using auto comments for Instagram posts – many times; it comes off as an insincere way of getting their attention.
In case you are wondering about that, it is because Instagram is not primarily an ad platform. If you are utilizing paid ads and promotional content, then you need to inject your own personality into it to succeed. The more you show millennials you can understand them and you are relatable, the more they will buy into the personality of your brand – because they can see you are unique.
That means the approach of using paid ads and raising false engagement on your posts will never work either. You will not appeal to everyone either, so focus on the people that trust your brand to do the rest.
Be unique in your approach:
Millennials love individuality, and they will give you respect as long as you can stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself in spite of the noise. This is a nuanced quality though, but it mainly involves speaking to the person’s individual values – the root of their essence as human beings.
Your product seeks to solve a problem, but when marketing it to a millennial, you have the story of your brand you must sell as well. When you increase your relatable nature, you make it easier for them to trust you and buy from you, and they will do the rest in spreading the word.