Millennials are the generation born between 1980 and 2000. You may have also heard them referred to as Generation Y, the people who are always doing two things at once or the Generation that eats the old.

No matter how you describe them – they have a pretty big reputation. Many are unclear about what it actually means to be a Millennial, though. Are they really so different to the Baby Boomers who came before them, and is their reputation worth all the hype? Well, it turns out that there are actually some big things that really make millennials stand out from previous generations – especially from a marketing perspective, making them the most studied generation thus far.

  • According to a Nielsen study, less than 2% of millennials watching TV watch the commercials, instead they turn to their smartphone or tablet during an ad break.
  • Only 6% of millennials think that online ads are credible. Instead, they put their trust in their peers rather than corporations. 95% consider their friends the most reliable source of product information.
  • 7 in 10 millennials see it as their responsibility to share feedback on a good or bad experience with brands.

So what can you do with this information? They’re online, but they don’t trust you online. They are consuming a massive amount of product information through all kinds of devices, but to be able to grab their attention it needs to come from their friends or other “real” people.

Here are 3 tips for marketing to Millennials

1. Invite them to engage.

Show them that their opinion is crucial to you.

Product reviews – Millennials are well aware that it’s risky for you to allow product reviews on your website if your products aren’t as good as you claim. The act of making reviews possible shows them that you are 1) confident about the quality of what you’re selling and 2) interested in your customer’s opinion.

Social media – Have you seen brands re-posting customers posts on social media recently? Well, that’s exactly what everyone should be doing. Highlighting “real” content from a source millennials trust (that is, not from you) will gain both their interest and build their trust. According to Forbes, 62% of millennials say that they are more likely to become a loyal customer if a brand engages with them on social networks, so don’t you dare ignore their comments!

2. Give them valuable content.

While hating traditional marketing, millennials love content that actually brings them value. According to Adweek, 57% of millennials will interact with sponsored content as long as it’s relevant. So, what does relevant, sponsored content look like in the eyes of a millennial? While most of the millennials in the study preferred written, featured or list-based articles, a lot of them also find video and social posts valuable.

3. Advertise on multiple platforms.

Since millennials often use several devices at the same time, so should you. Don’t use up all your budget on a TV commercial that’s relevant to a particular show that’s airing. Instead, invest across different social media channels in real-time, promoting your ads to the relevant target group just in time for their commercial break Instagram visit.

Think you’re done?

Well, don’t get too comfortable! Generation Smartphone/Generation K is the next kid on the block, right after the millennials. They’re 14-21 years old, who are constantly (yes, literally) multi-screening, dislike corporations even more than millennials and they see through bullshit faster than you can smell it!

Rise and shine to a new era!