Stop The Sales Pitch | 3 Marketing Tactics to Gain Credibility with Millennials

Everyone wants to gain marketing credit with millennials, but not everyone understands who they are. The U.S. Census Bureau defines the millennial generation as people born between 1982 and 2000 (ages 17 to 35). 

This is a pretty broad age range, but there are definite trends that have emerged from this generation, which will help marketers to gain standing with this enormous generation of consumers.

Millennials have a different view of the world and interact differently with one another than previous generations. They see the world as open and transparent, which has created a consumer environment of strategic and educated shoppers.

However, successful marketers do not target millennials as one homogeneous segment, but instead focus on sub-segments defined by useful and actionable criteria.

What Are The Millennial Marketing Segments?

A study of over 4,000 millennials done by Barkley USA in partnership with Boston Consulting Group defined six discrete segments based on responses to questions. In the end, they characterize millennials into the following targeted marketing groups:

  • Hip-ennial – cautious, globally aware, charitable

  • Millennial Mom – wealthy, family oriented, health conscious, digitally savvy

  • Anti-Millennial – Locally minded, conservative, busy with business and family

  • Gadget Guru Clean – Successful, wired, free-spirited

  • Green Millennial – Impressionable, cause-driven, green, and positive

  • Old-School Millennial - not wired, cautious consumer, reads, charitable

Now that you understand who the millennial is, here are three tactics to influence their consumer behavior and gain credibility:

1. The 80/20 Rule in Social Media Marketing

The 80/20 rule of marketing is derived from the broader Pareto Principle, which you likely studied at one point in your life. This principle applies to many business and marketing methods, and has now morphed into a social media rule.

The 80/20 Rule is believed to help gain online credibility with millennial consumers. In short, 80% of your posts need to be about your target customer. The other 20% should be about your company. 

80% of your social media communication should be entertaining, engaging, educational, and inspirational. Only 20% should be promotional. Millennials understand that you have to market your product, but they don’t want sales pitches filling up their online feeds. 

Effective social media marketers understand that marketing is about promoting your business, but social media marketing is not. 

If you’re going to use a tool invented by millennials, make sure you use it the way they do. That means that 80% of posts you share need to.

  • Come from reputable sources.

  • Be well written. No grammar or spelling mistakes and avoid fillers. 

  • Provide your audience with something of value. Before posting ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will they laugh?

  2. Will they learn something new?

  3. Will this article give them insights into something they might not have considered?

As far as the 20% of posts that can be self-promotional, remember to give them an appealing call-to-action like: 

  • Click to get this great offer.

  • Read this article to learn something new.

  • Sign up to get a free consultation.

  • Grab this code to apply a 20% discount at checkout.

2. The 14/78 Rule To Understanding Who Influences Millennials

The 14/78 Rule is connected to understanding and gaining credibility with millennials. Realize that only 14% believe in mainstream media/publishers, and 78% of millennials trust the influence friends and family. 

It's not shocking that only 14% of millennials have faith in mainstream media outlets such as newspapers, television, and radio. Remember, millennials are digital natives, which means that they grew up with a level of technological literacy that's relatively new to the market. Their primary source for updates on what’s going on in the world is online.  

Millennials are more likely to believe a story if they trust the person who shared it, not the source itself. The majority of millennials trust people over brands. 78% are more influenced by friends, family, and online reviews when they look to make big and small purchases. It’s clear that authentic consumer conversations have an impact on what millennials buy.

Don’t get too hung up on the exact numbers. 80/20. 90/10. 14/78. 12/83. Numbers are just a guide to help you do the best you can do in marketing to millennials. If there is genuine value in what you’re sharing, your target audience will see that and react in a positive nature.

3. Using Influencers To Gain Credibility With Millennials

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing has taken over online advertising. Influencer marketing focuses on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that influence potential buyers and orients marketing activities around these influencers. 

Influencer marketing exemplifies how millennials prefer to be part of a brand's conversation, not a passive witness to an ad. By directly addressing this generation, brands can spark a connection. Engaging with millennials sustains these relationships and transforms ads from an afterthought to an experience. 

Influencer marketing doesn’t disturb millennials. They often report finding targeted online ads as creepy, while video and display ads hamper their online experience. 

Brands looking to target millennials should focus on micro influencers, not necessarily celebrities. Micro influencers might be talking to a niche audience but command an equal and sometimes-higher engagement rate with their audience. The best types of influencers are those who are already fans of your brand.

One example is when Mercedes collaborated with Devin Super Tramp, an extreme sports videographer, and Vlogger who boasts of over 4 million subscribers on YouTube. The campaign was a successful appeal to the adventurous millennial growing Mercedes Benz’s Instagram followers to 6.2, while their rival Audi had 4.9 million followers.

In Conclusion

Millennials should not be looked at as one enormous target market. If you want to achieve marketing success, target the correct millennial subgroup. You should create and share valuable and insightful content that engage with the target group you seek to influence. Millennials don't want flashy sales pitches; they want engagement. They especially value the opinions of friends, family, and influencers who share their interests. 

Did you find this article informative? If so, please SHARE it with other marketers who are looking to gain credibility with millennials!

Arnt Eriksen