Marketing to Millennial Women

If you read our blog about millennials last month, you know that there are currently 80 million millennials in the U.S. with an annual buying power of over $600 billion. With a prediction of millennial spending power of $1.4 trillion in the next five years, it is not a stretch to say that women will hold at least half of this trillion-dollar bank.

With that being said, it would behoove your company or business to have a female-driven millennial marketing campaign in mind.

For some agencies, marketing to millennials can be intimidating. According to a NewsCred study, 30% of millennials flat-out refuse to read content that doesn’t either entertain or inform them, 60% will only share content that is thought-provoking and intelligent, and 70% share content that makes them laugh. That is a pretty tall order.

However, marketing to specifically millennial women might be a little easier. After all, since “70% of millennial women consider shopping to be entertainment,” you have ample opportunities to put your company in the line of fire. 

Here are some tips on how to get to know female millennials to make the most out of your marketing campaigns:

Great Personal

If you take anything away from this blog post, this is it. Millennials want you to get SPECIFIC. Part of the reason your marketing campaign isn’t working is because it’s too broad. Millennial women want to feel like their brands “get” them. Know your audience well, and create smaller segments or niches to make them feel like they have your full attention.

According to NewsCred, “Sephora is doing an amazing job with this by using their “Beauty Insider” in-store buyer rewards along with their customized skin tone-matching technique to target products to specific shoppers based on their previous purchases and coloring.” If you don’t have the technology to personalize your product this way, you can start by personalizing your emails. “That will give you on average a 26% higher open rate.”

According to NewsCred, “Sephora is doing an amazing job with this by using their “Beauty Insider” in-store buyer rewards along with their customized skin tone-matching technique to target products to specific shoppers based on their previous purchases and coloring.” If you don’t have the technology to personalize your product this way, you can start by personalizing your emails. “That will give you on average a 26% higher open rate.”

 

Social Media

Millennial women make up the majority on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. Both of these as well as Facebook and Twitter are fertile grounds for brands to grow awareness as well as click-throughs. To get female millennials to engage with your brand, create lots of opportunities for open communication: Get them talking about your product, commenting on and sharing posts and reviewing your products online. Find ways to be part of their ongoing research and dialogue by responding to comments. Create hashtags and giveaways. Optimize all your content for multiple devices, and make sure your content is shareable. And finally, use attractive photos and aesthetically pleasing graphics to coincide with your brand’s theme. Millennial women are attracted to beauty, and we look to create beauty in our surroundings. Naturally, they want products, services, and offerings that look and feel professional. 

Millennial women are attracted to beauty, and we look to create beauty in our surroundings. Naturally, they want products, services, and offerings that look and feel professional. 

 

Be Inspirational

If you want your brand to succeed, make it inspirational. This generation of Millenials believes they can change the world or at least make it a better place. They’re thinking big, optimistic of the future, and are looking to be inspired. 

According to YFS magazine,”think of your brand as a movement and work to build a platform for realizing your customers’ aspirations. The goal here is to align your product or service with a bigger idea that transcends any single transaction.”

 

Diversity

43% of millennial are not white, according to a 2014 Pew survey. Since authenticity and relevance are two of the most important factors for successful content marketing, marketers should be doing their best to reflect the diversity of this generation. This includes race, gender identity, sexual orientation, family makeup, body type, and cultural background. 

A great example of a company utilizing this approach to marketing is  Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. With a clear agenda in mind, Dove features women of all sizes, shapes, and races. They not only show the value of millennial women through this campaign, they also showcase the realistic variety of women’s bodies. Campaigns promoting self-love, diversity and embracing your natural body are embraced by millennial women because they have been void of them for so long. As I mentioned before, millennials want to be inspired. 

Tips for Marketing to the Millennial Generation

Millennials are a popular topic of conversation. Whether discussing how much you hate or love them, the internet is abuzz with talk of Generation Y. But despite the negativity surrounding this generation, there are currently 80 million Millennials in the U.S. with an annual buying power of over $600 billion.

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Therefore, every marketer should be making this generation a priority.  As a millennial myself, born in 1990, I can attest to understanding our habits, likes, and dislikes. We may be particular and at time unconventional but we are still loyal to brands we love.

According to a Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and–despite popular belief–do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands.”

With millennials as a driving force in the marketing place, here are a few key tactics geared towards engaging with this super power generation.

1. Authenticity is Essential

According to AdAge, “Millennials are spending an average of 25 hours per week online – and they’re craving content-driven media.” Between searching blogs, websites, YouTube channels and other social media platforms, we are also sharing, liking, tweeting, snapping, forwarding, pinning and commenting our findings, resulting in a huge online community. The content that strongly resounds with millennials is based on what we see value in and trust.

Millennials connect best with people over logos.

For example, blogs. 33% of millennials rely on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to the fewer than 3% who use TV news, magazines, and books. While the older generations rely on traditional media,  millennials look to social media for an authentic look at what’s going on in the world, especially content written by their peers. Despite the fact that blogs are usually run by an individual rather than corporations, millennials trust the blogger’s opinions. We use bloggers as a kind of adviser to help us make a purchasing decision.

Same with social media platforms like YouTube. I know for myself if I am interested in buying any new product or experimenting with a new brand, I first seek out reviews on YouTube. I have access to these reviews anywhere I go on my smartphone and I like the casualness of hearing someone speak candidly about something they do or do not like. Just like you would seek advice from a friend or family member, I can do that with strangers who share my interests on my social networks.

84 percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy, and 73 percent say it’s important to read others’ opinions before purchasing.

Advertisers, therefore, need to find a way to incorporate this information into their campaigns. For brands that want to successfully reach Gen Y-ers, they need to speak our language. Meaning, they need to create content that we will proudly share, like, pin, tweet, snap, and forward to others. That way the can build a real, authentic brand-customer relationship.

2. We Want an Experience

We millennials prefer experiences over possessions. We are more interested in brands that can show us how to improve our lives, rather than brands that are pushy with selling to us.  In an age of growing minimalist and the environmentally conscience, this is particularly important. To us, possessions come and go, but experiences can resonate forever. Advertisers need to ask themselves how their brand can contribute to an overall experience for millennials.

This is where inbound marketing strategies come into play. Millennials want e-books, blog posts, videos, and other how-to information. This is your company’s chance to provide content that ranks high in Google and shows us you know what you are talking about. Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts. But they are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

Home Depot is an example of a company who is currently killing it with this marketing strategy. Here is their YouTube channel.

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As you can see, there are a number of how-to videos and home improvement DIYs. Not only can you buy all that you need at Home Depot, but you can learn how to install, build and be inspired all the while they are marketing themselves. Their brand and videos will continuously pop up in web searches. With over 100,000 subscribers, Home Depot’s YouTube channel is clearly ranking on Google searches with inquiries about home and garden projects.

By utilizing millennials favorite social media platforms, you can create shareable content and keep up your authenticity and trust.

 

3. Stay Relevant

Trends come and go. We all know that. However, staying on top of what is trending can help your brand, significantly, especially with hashtags and ranking in Google.

Another great brand that is reaching out perfectly to Millennials is Netflix. “While Netflix has a lot of different customers spanning different generations, Millennials are vital to this company. One way that Netflix reaches out to this generation is by having great social media campaigns and linking up Netflix accounts with Facebook. Netflix is constantly on the watch when it comes to this generation because they want to make sure they keep reaching out perfectly. Studies show 75% of millennials with connected televisions are using them to watch Netflix.”

Here is an example of on of their past advertisements.

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They took a popular hashtag about their company, used for more comedic purposes and meme creation, to target their younger generation audience. Now they are part of the trending conversation and staying relevant.

4. Collaboration

Along with wanting an experience, millennials are interested in having a say.  In fact, 42 percent said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. They want to be more involved with how products get created. According to aforementioned Forbes.com and Elite Daily (the voice of Generation Y) collective study, “companies that enable them to be part of the product development process will be more successful. Marketers need to focus on building relationships with consumers by fueling their self-expression and helping them establish their own personal brand.”

Here is an example provided by Hub Spot writer Meaghan Moras: “Coca-Cola used online co-creation to gather expressions of its brand promise “Energizing refreshment.” They prompted their audience to unleash their creativity by interpreting Coca-Cola as an energizing refreshment in whatever style or format they wished. Coca-Cola gathered these videos, animations, illustrations, and photographs to use in its marketing campaigns worldwide. This method was mutually beneficially in that Millennials all over the world got to pour a bit of themselves into a product made for them while helping Coca-Cola bring fresh authenticity to the market.”

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5. Communication and Connection

Staying engaged with the millennial generation is very important. This includes commenting on social media posts, posting consistently, and giving us the impression that each customer is important. A great example of how to do this is through giveaways, special discounts, contests, and loyalty programs. A platform we haven’t discussed much yet is Instagram. According to the Huffington Post, “The visual platform has been rapidly growing and now boasts 300 million monthly active users, with 41% being aged 16-24 and at 35% are in their 24-34s.” These numbers show that your brand needs to be engaging with us through this app. The most successful of brands that use Instagram feature photos regularly (have I mentioned how important consistency is?)and dedicate hashtags. They post pictures on their page that their followers have tagged them in. They invite popular Instagrammers to take over their page to keep their brand fresh and new. We millennials are definitely flattered when a brand we love acknowledges us. I know for myself, I have tagged brands in some of my personal Instagram posts and even a “like” back makes me feel special.

Finding ways to boost engagement will do nothing but improve your chances as being noticed by the trendsetting generation.

Wrap Up

Find the authenticity of your brand and run with it.

Stop screaming “buy!” and start yelling” We have an experience for you!”

Stay up to date on trends and use them to your advantage.

Get us involved in your products.

Consistency. Engagement. Connection.

Millennials’ Media Habits by Life Stage

Reviewed by David Alpern

The new Nielsen Total Audience Report studies millennials’ changing media habits by life stage and finds that they vary sharply as their lives go through the rapid transition typical of people in their 20s and 30s. The report, released in late March, affirms that it is difficult to classify millennials as a monolithic demographic with a common set of media behaviors.

Labeled Millennial Life Stages: Impact of Technology, Services and Media Behavior, the report shows how U.S. adults 18-34 are in a state of rapid transition, moving from a parent’s home, to the workforce, to their own homes, to starting a family with children.

The study of millennials broke the group into three life-stage categories and found big differences in media preferences and device penetration among:

  • Dependents – those living in someone else’s home
  • On Their Own – living in their own home without children
  • Starting a Family – living in their own home with children

Each day the average person 18-34 spent four hours and eight minutes using a TV set, combining two hours and 45 minutes of watching live TV each day together with one hour, 23 minutes using TV-connected devices.

Key findings include:

  • The count of Millennials 18-34 years old is second only to Baby Boomers: There are ~75 million millennials compared to ~77 million Baby Boomers.
  • 91% of On Their Own Millennials are in the workforce, 58% have white-collar jobs
  • 69% of the On Their Own segment are renters – more so than the Dependents and Starting A Family segments
  • On Their Own Millennials have the highest penetration of multimedia devices and access to Subscription-based Video-on-Demand (SVOD) services (like Netflix and Hulu), and spend the greatest amount of time with TV-connected devices. They have the lowest penetration of traditional sources of video (multi-channel subscriptions/working antenna). They spend the most time outside the home living life and thus watch the least amount of live television of the three millennial groups
  • Dependent millennials watch and use a little less live TV than the average
    TV Screen Usage
  • Starting a Family segment has greater multi-channel penetration than the On Their Own group (79% vs. 72%) and are otherwise more likely to have a working antenna (14% vs. 12%). This is the millennial group that spends the most time at home, thus their time spent watching and using TV is the highest