{ 3 Ways to Engage Millennials }

How to capture the attention of millennials and build brand loyalty.

Millennials have become the largest generation in U.S. history. They currently represent over a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power. And this generation, as with every generation before (and after) it, will force change on the economy and how businesses sell their products and services.

Millennials were raised in both a period of rapid technology advancement—and a depression. The millennial worldview has been shaped by tech, accessibility, and convenience coupled with less money to spend and significant debt. As a result, the priorities for this generation differ vastly from the previous. The need to purchase a home, own a car, or buy luxury items no longer hold the status or value they once did.

The shift in priorities drastically changes how marketers advertise to capture millennial consumers and build brand loyalty for long-term engagement. Traditional messages are quickly discarded by a group who values access over ownership, convenience over status, and experiences more than items.

So, how can we reach this group? We’re offering three ways to capture the attention of millennials as well as engage and inspire them to become long-term brand enthusiasts.

1. Invite them to participate.

The millennial’s unique position in history has left them with technology at their fingertips and a desire to be involved and have their opinion’s heard. Social media provides a platform for millennials to reach the world, as well as place for marketers to capture their attention. Today’s brands are inviting their online audiences to actively participate in their messaging in unique, thoughtful, and communal ways.

Take a look at Letterfolk’s Instagram. This small company is a great example of how asking your customers to participate can transform your brand. Run by husband and wife, Johnny and Joanna, they don’t just ask for users to share with them—they consistently post content created by their customers to promote and build their brand. By prominently featuring and sharing images from their audience, they are making their customers feel special, making their customers feel heard, and building brand loyalty.

Letterfolk

2. Help them learn a new skill.

Accumulating more student debt than past generations, it’s clear that millennials value education as well as self-improvement. NPR reports that, “According to the Pew Research Center, more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them.”

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest brands out there routinely takes advantage of this strategy – we all know the fruit, Apple. They offer free classes at their stores including How to: Build Your Own Star Wars Trailer; Photo Walks: Capturing Action and Video; and How To: Grow Your Business.

Without directly marketing their products, this allows millennials a chance to interact and learn from the brand, and effectively positions Apple as an expert in their space.

Even if your business is online, life hacks, DIY’s, and webinars are just a few ways you can teach millennials a new, valuable skill while keeping your brand in the forefront of their mind.

Marketing Millenials

3. Consider hosting a special event like a pop-up shop, or meet up.

Not only is this great publicity for your brand but it’s also a great time to study your target market.

Take for example, Netflix’s Gilmore Girls ‘Luke’s Diner Pop-Up.’ Taking a digital product (a TV show) into the real world created excitement, fed off nostalgia, gave Netflix free publicity, and created goodwill with Gilmore Girls’ biggest fans.

It’s important to note that this event, as well as the coffee, was free. There were no admission fees, registers, or Gilmore Girls memorabilia for sale. By deliberately choosing not to sell anything, Netflix created an experience that wasn’t perceived as an advertisement or sales tactic. Whether your event sells tickets or not, giving your millennial customer base something of value is how you’ll win them over. In this case, providing coffee inside Luke’s Diner provided value to fans by giving them a real life experience of what the show would be like if it existed.

Millenial Marketing

What do these three things have in common?

They all create an emotional response to your brand. Millennials, as a group, are less likely purchase on brand recognition alone, and more likely to buy for quality than previous generations. Building an emotional connection to your brand through a quality experience will resonate with millennials, convert them consumers, and build brand loyalty.

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