Millennials are the hottest demographic in today’s marketplace, rapidly eclipsing the Baby Boom generation in both size and buying power. Millennials’ estimated $1.3 trillion in current consumer spending is expected to increase dramatically as more enter adulthood and continue to refine their lifestyle preferences for brand engagement, according to the Hartman Group. As the buying power of millennials continues to grow, their preference for digital technologies like smartphone apps and social networking has forced the entire marketing world to play catch-up.
Traditional advertising is rapidly losing its effectiveness.
Businesses that fail to understand the media consumption habits for millennials won’t be able to keep up with this critical consumer base. Understanding the media habits for millennials is no easy feat. The millennial generation is vastly more diverse at all levels than the way millennials are currently being portrayed by marketers, branders, advertisers, and the media. This diversity means that there are a wide variety of different buyer personas within the current millennial marketplace, which is reshaping how businesses communicate with their target customers at all levels.
Why Media Habits Matter
Does your business fully understand the media habits of your target customers or clients? A robust understand of media habits is absolutely critical for inbound marketing success and better digital marketing ROI. Consider the following inbound marketing stats from HubSpot:
Social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
Nearly half of all companies say that Facebook is critical to their business’s success – a 75% increase from 2011.
92% of companies that blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog.
At first glance, these stats make a powerful case for social media marketing and blogging as key ways to acquire customers. But these stats alone don’t provide a complete picture of media consumption habits. Sure, most millennials have Facebook accounts – but is your specific buyer persona most active on Facebook, or do they prefer a different social media channel like Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest? Does your buyer persona regularly read multiple blogs, or would a weekly e-newsletter be more effective? You may be producing great content, but if you’re pushing it out over the wrong social media network or letting it stagnate on your blog, this content is effectively useless.
Beautiful images and interactive content are critical to successfully embracing digital marketing and producing viral content. “A lot of brands are still very hands-off. They think they still need big spreads, but they aren't realizing they can achieve this digitally. When you have a flat print product you can't have a two-way conversation,” says Bonnie Fuller, the editor-in-chief of Hollywoodlife.com
How Buyer Personas Improve Engagement
Rather than guessing about what works for your target customers, use buyer personas to determine the right content and the right content channels. Avoid information overload by focusing in on one key buyer persona and keeping it simple. Personalizing your marketing to one persona will help you maximize the benefits of inbound marketing without spreading your business out to thin. So, what does this mean for marketing to millennials? Keep the following best practices in mind:
Start with one social media channel and build from there. Don’t try to be active on all networks at once. Pick one and build your following with genuine, authentic interaction.
Be interactive. Go beyond blog posts; don’t shy away from creating visually interactive content experiences. From infographics to short videos, interactive content is not only more engaging but also more likely to be shared.
Don’t let your blog posts and tweets languish in cyberspace. By understanding the media habits and consumption patterns for your target buyer personas, you will be able to not only create content that truly engages, but also ensure that this content is distributed across the right content channels for better digital marketing ROI.