What the *&%$ is a millennial? Buzz word, maybe. But this group of young adults has some serious purchasing and market power.
Most will agree that millennials grew up with technology as a regular part of life and that’s what defines them. Millennials make up the generation born from the 80s to the 2000s. According to these numbers, I’d be a Millennial, although I know I have much different online habits than my 20 year old cousin who is also considered a Millennial.
For one, I remember a time when I had to sneak into my parents bedroom to use the family computer and connect to AOL via a stream of screechy and annoying sounds that often got me kicked out of the room by sleepy parents. No matter how hard I tried to muzzle the sound of the modem, I just couldn’t. (Don’t worry, we eventually moved the computer into a different room.) This experience dates me. I also got my first cell phone at 16 years old- a very basic one that often got me grounded with $1,000 phone bills. My youngest cousin is only 12, has an iPhone which he doesn’t use to call people, a tablet for games, but not a computer. And that right there is the difference between the older group of Millennials and the younger group, or the “True Millennials,” who grew up in the age of smart phones.
In this article I am going to refer to Millennials as teenagers, college students and new graduates. I’d say the cutoff is around 25.
What Do Millennials Do Online?
Millennials are avid consumers of content and most of this is done via their phone or tablet. According to a Pew study, mobile devices are the primary access point to the Internet for more than 50 percent of younger Millennials. And half of mobile web consumption is spent on Social Media, Email, & IM. This means communication and keeping up with their friends is a huge reason to be online.
Apps are also very important to Millennials, who have an average of 21 apps per phone. Games, music, and social networking apps are the most popular app genres for Millennials.
In fact, mobile phones are so attached to the identity of a Millennial that 83% of them sleep with their phones.
Whether it is online, through a browser, or through apps, Millennials are consuming content on their phones, and they are consuming a lot of it. As a marketer, we have a special opportunity to get into the psyche of this younger generation.
Millennials trust branded messages via social media. They are more likely to follow a brand than they are their own family, which is assuring, and not so assuring. In any case, if we are going to connect with this generation, we have to do it on their terms. Plus, it has to be quick and to the point. Millennials are notoriously forgetful.
Top Apps For Marketing To Millennials
In general, forget about long texts; Millennials respond better to images with less text. As I mentioned above, this generation is highly forgetful. You have to capture the user’s attention quickly. Visuals make an impact and they do it fast. It’s no wonder that most of the popular apps are image-centric.
SnapChat is a mobile app that allows you to send self-destructible photos and videos your friends. Perfect to capture the attention of a Millennial because they know that they better pay attention because that particular message will no longer be accessible. It’s do or die time, and if you can build that into your message, you have a good shot at reaching this generation through this app.
Although there have been reports of the younger demographic leaving Facebook, it shouldn’t be ignored. Facebook is still very popular among this group and, when used correctly, the viral potential to reach friends of friends of friends is high. Again, think video and images to convey your message.
Twitter is now the most important site to teens. Because they aren’t getting friend requests from their parents, grandparents, and other relatives, teens can be more open on the network, providing an opportunity for brands to listen and react.
If anything speaks to Millennials, it’s the 6 seconds videos that are literally creating superstars out of content creators. As a brand, it is better to do a product placement with a Vine Celebrity than create completely branded videos.
The king of the image, Instagram mastered the art of no words. This platform provides are big opportunity for brands to silently show off their style. Plus Instagram is about to roll out ads, making another opportunity to get in front of the right audience.