The writing is on the wall – Millennials are a dominant force craving the exciting and new product choice. They are entering their peak earning and spending years and are establishing themselves as the largest and most influential group of consumers. It’s in our (Marketers) interest to understand how to engage with them. Brands and retailers are obliged to act now to embrace the new age media – social media and experiential marketing.

VIDEO: Text updates are a passé, it’s about live videos updates

With Snapchat getting popular and overtaking Instagram, with FB including Live Vdo and Youtube talking about Live Videos the trend is already catching up

On an average young adults are watching over 200 videos online, every month. TV ads are not being seen by as many young people as they used to be. These days, Millennials mostly watch things on demand or are recording programs to watch later, so it may be in our best interest to shift ad spend from mass media to digital ads or promotional online video content. Brands and retailers need to act now to embrace the new age media – social media and experiential marketing.

DO: Keep in mind that any content you create will need to be relevant to the channel it’s published on in order to resonate with your target audience: a live video on snapchat should occupy a different mental space and aim to achieve different results than one on Youtube.  Be sure to keep updated personas and up-to-date demographics of consumers to select the channels where consumers are most apt to engage.

DON’T: Put the same product and sales content across all social channels. Posting a Snapchat video and an Instagram post with the same copy will exhaust your audience: instead, use the language and behaviors associated with the specific channel for each individual post. Mass producing the same message with little regard to channel norms comes across as inauthentic and runs the risk of audiences socially shunning your brand altogether.

MOBILE: Always connected

Although Millennials frequently research products online, they still take the time to visit physical stores. Of course, their smartphones are never out of reach when they do, smartphones are increasingly being woven into the in-store experience. The days of standing in a store hovering around a written shopping list are over. Consumers now rely on devices to cross reference notes, shopping list and compare prices

DO:  Embrace these new technologies and behaviors. Brands should optimize their content for mobile, be easily accessible and use appropriate, timely tie-ins with their consumer.

DON’T:  Overburden and over-connect. While beacons and proximity-based technology provide customers with valuable real-time content and offers, there’s a fine line between being informative and being annoying. If a consumer feels like push notifications are helpful and relevant based on previous purchases and in-store location, they will respond positively. However, while real time discounts and information can be beneficial to the consumer, they’re best kept at a minimum.

SOCIAL: Who Are You Speaking To?

People tend to forget that Millennials span over three decades, and there can be a tremendous amount of variety within the group. The Millennial generation is not a homogenous group–while some are stressing about the SATs, others already have families of their own. When developing your social strategy, it’s important to remember the amount of variation that exists within the generation. While most Millennials, regardless of age, understand the benefits of engaging with brands, their preferred language and platforms will vary based on their age (among other factors).

DO:  Acknowledge that Millennials grew up interacting with brands online and are comfortable with exchanging personal data for targeted offers. While older generations refrained from digital engagement, Millennials understand the symbiotic benefits of sharing their preferences with marketers.

DON’T: Assume that when you talk to Millennials, you are always speaking to tweens or college students. Produce and publish content that’s relatable across ages.

Millennials are constantly searching for the next best thing, and what’s popular today may not be popular tomorrow. To ensure they are meeting Millennials on the right channels and staying on top of trends, brands should adjust their budget to allow experimentation. A good rule of thumb would be 75-80% of a brand’s budget should be dedicated to channels with proven ROI; however at least 10% should also be set aside to try new mediums/ platforms. Budgeting to accommodate room for experimentation will allow companies to stay up to date and find effective new ways to engage with Millennials, wherever they may be.

(The article is a compilation of data from various sources, experiences and inputs from Sara Kowal of Hello World and Daria Alexandrovna of Talented Heads)

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