There’s been a lot written about marketing to Millennials, but it all seems to repeat the exact same advice: say something authentic, be open and give information, don’t push sales funnels, don’t demand an action right away.
The truth is that the Millennials, a group composed of 75.4 million Americans aged 18 to 34, are one of the most diverse and individualistic groups of people marketers have ever seen. That’s why the advice sounds so repetitive—we just don’t know what to do with them—they’re a little bit terrifying, they’re a moving target, and worst of all, they seem to realize how much power they hold over brands.
So, what is the trick to capturing the hearts and minds of Millennials? In the end, it boils down to targeting, niche-building and personalization. There’s no better place to start than with your blog, no matter what sort of business you’re in. Millennials were the first generation born on the web, they’re natural researchers and when they have a question or want to know more about a product, they’re going to take to the Internet to find an answer. Because of this, marketing and blogging go hand-in-hand when marketing to Millennials.
Building a Better Blog for Millennial Audiences
There are plenty of bloggers who still don’t really understand what a blog is for. Just reading their site feels a lot like a high pressure sales event, even if you stumbled in by accident. Instead of giving something to their readers, they’re immediately on the sell. Those sales tactics might have worked on Boomers shopping in car lots long ago, but this is the web, and it’s a wholly different place. Its residents, the Millennials, are a wholly different people.
Remember, these consumers were young adults during the worst recession the United States has ever known, and that sort of thing leaves marks. They have different ideas about money, they have different values and what brings about a sale for them is starkly different from what brought a sale from their grandparents.
If you’re having trouble holding the attention of your Millennial market with your blog, read these benefits of blogging, and give these tips a try:
- Establish a few notable voices. Depending on how often your blog publishes, it may be difficult for a single person to do all the writing, but it can certainly be delegated to a couple of writers. Instead of publishing anonymously or using a generic voice, have your writers let loose. Let them be a little more conversational with their writing and work to forge a true connection with your Millennial readers. Of course, if most of your readers aren’t Millennials, you’ll be juggling several voices, but keep at least one intimate authority on hand who can talk directly to that audience.
- Prove your value. Millennials want to know that they’re getting something for their time online. They’ve often been accused of having short attention spans, but the truth is that they simply know when they’re in the wrong place—or when they’re in the right place.
You can slow Millennial bounces by proving your value in your niche. Whether you sell bicycle parts or run an online thrift store, you should be able to answer common questions and address topics in your niche with an expert flair using your blog. Doing it without a catch like a hard sell or a mandatory sign-up will earn you extra points in the Millennial playbook.
- Clean up your act. This demographic is set to become the most educated generation in the history of the United States, which means its members are definitely going to notice if you don’t bother to proofread your blogs or if you hire cheap writers from out of town. Your content won’t speak to your Millennial market if it’s full of typos and grammatical errors, or if it just plain reads poorly. Conversational American English is the clear preference of this generation, so if you want them to come and read, you have to provide it. A professional writer might seem like a big investment, but how much business are you losing to bounces?
Blog marketing to Millennials is going to be an incredible challenge due to the enormous differences among the individuals in this group. Unlike their grandparents the Boomers, one of their strongest identities is individualism. You can look at it as a huge marketing headache, or as a great game of advertising cat and mouse with the many benefits of blogging. They do want to buy what we have to sell, we just have to approach them in a way that’s ultimately in the spirit of friendship instead of in the hopes of selling another unit to yet another faceless customer.