It's undeniable that the Millennial generation will shape the economy for years to come. With over 92 million Millennials in the US alone, the generation born between 1980 and 2000 is the biggest in US history. And according to a Goldman Sachs survey, Millennials are turning to social media when making purchasing decisions - which means brands need to explore social advertising in order to reach this group.
Here are some strategies to help ensure your social hit the mark with Millennials.
1. Be Mobile-Minded
Millennials are massively mobile. In fact, one in five Millennials access the internet exclusively through mobile devices. If marketers want to get in front of this group of smartphone fanatics, mobile advertising is the way to do it.
Travel company Booking.com features several elements that read particularly well on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones in the Facebook ad below.
The ad uses vivid imagery and bright colors to create an interesting visual effect that leaps out at users as they scroll through their Facebook News Feeds. The ad also sticks to a simple theme of letting users choose between two trip activities - this theme's easy to understand and doesn't require reading a convoluted wall of text, which can be a difficult task on older devices like the iPhone 4. Yet this concept also communicates the wide variety of activities that millennial audiences can access when they use Booking.com to plan their trips.
2. Provide Social Proof
Millennials value the opinion of their peers. According to eMarketer, nearly 70% of Millennial social media users are at least somewhat influenced to make a purchase based on friends' posts.
Providing social proof of the quality of your product or service is vital for winning over young consumers. Therefore, it's important that you prove - not preach - why audiences should be interested in what your company has to offer by sharing customer testimonials or enlisting the help of social influencers.
Secondhand clothing retailer thredUP uses the power of social proof in the Facebook video ad above. The ad features a compilation of current thredUP customers singing the company's praises. Instead of dictating to audiences about why it's so wonderful, thredUP lets actual customers advertise the company in a more relatable, realistic and resonant way. Millennial audiences who view this video will be tempted to learn more about the service after seeing real social proof that thredUP is worth their time and money.
3. Offer Helpful Content
When it comes to crafting ads that appeal to Millennials, it helps to be helpful.
64% of Millennials respond positively to content that they find useful, and 31% say they are more likely to buy from a brand that delivers interesting content that teaches them something. Ads that provide handy relevant information to Millennial audiences won't have a hard time catching their interest and attention.
Samsung uses Instagram's new video carousel ad unit to reach young audiences looking to capture brilliant pictures to post to the image-sharing site. In the video portion of the ad, Samsung subtly promotes its phone camera functions by showing off tricks and lighting techniques from professional photographer Matt Doscher. The video organically showcases the camera features that come with the phone while providing helpful information. The copy of the ad also avoids the hard sell, instead inviting audiences to click through the ad to learn even more tips from Matt.
4. Be Relevant - And If You Can, Be Funny
Millennials are much more likely to connect with your brand and increase awareness among their peers if you can provoke an emotional response with your ads - and that includes amusement. According to NewsCred, 70% of Millennials say their main reason for sharing content is that it makes them laugh. Music streaming service Spotify tailored the Twitter ad campaign below to put a humorous spin on a popular discussion. After the Super Tuesday primaries in the United States, Google searches for "how can I move to Canada" surged.
Spotify took a cue from this trending topic and designed an animated Twitter ad offering playlists of Canadian music that audiences should listen to if they decide to go ahead with their relocation up north.
By contributing to a conversation that's already happening online, providing a silly take on politics, and posting an ad on a primarily mobile, news-focused channel like Twitter, Spotify is able to become a part of the discussion in a way that Millennials will appreciate.