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Communication with substance.SM

Inside the Millennial Mind

Illustration of a millennial on a phone screen surrounded by music notes and chat bubbles

Lazy. Entitled. Narcissistic. Broke. Immature. These are just some of the words I have frequently heard to describe the millennial generation. So it comes as a shock when many meet me, a 25-year-old millennial with a big-girl job and her head on her shoulders. I often get the typical “you don’t act like a millennial at all.” To this I just smile … because if they knew more millennials, they would find that there are others like me—persistent, hardworking and goal-driven.

As we all should know, we cannot accurately and fairly label an entire demographic. However, we can observe how to best market to them. Adweek did their research and interviewed over 100 millennials about their technology and media habits. Here are a few things they found …

The average millennial has access to 7.1 electronic devices and consumes content across those multiple devices. This means that you need to invest in second-screen marketing and you need to be more creative with where you place your marketing dollars. Rather than just buying a radio ad, buy a ad. Rather than just buying a TV ad to play during their favorite show, try investing in search engine optimization to pop up when those youngsters search the web. I’m not saying that radio and TV are not the right way to advertise, but I’m saying there may be other, more relevant options.

55% of them watch video several times a day on those devices. We live in a visual world and the use of video is rapidly rising. Watching video is easy and entertaining for your audience. Creating video content can boost your website’s search results ranking, cause viewers to stay on your site longer and even attract new customers. Many businesses are getting ahead by using video. Don’t fall behind.

91% of millennials still use Facebook. Other popular social media sites are Instagram (73%), Snapchat (56%), LinkedIn (39%) and Twitter (44%). This mostly confirms what we already know—that millennials consume lots and lots of social media. If your business needs to reach out to millennials, you absolutely need to have a social media presence. But keep in mind that millennials don’t just want to see posts about your company tooting its own horn. Make sure you engage with your audience. This can be done by creating helpful and entertaining posts. Take a local shoe store for example. Rather than posting “buy from us!” on their page, they should try posting photos of two different pairs of shoes, and ask followers to vote which ones are best.

One of the most important facts to consider:

40% of survey respondents between the ages of 18-24 said brands don’t take young people seriously enough. Why is this important? Because according to Adweek there are 74.3 million millennials in the U.S. with purchasing power of $170 billion. And like it or not, this generation may become your target audience in the future … or already is now.