Local Marketing Methods That Will Attract Millennials

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Photo above by Brooke Cagle.

Millennial behavior has been a prominent topic over the last decade. This is an age group whose members often face an uphill battle—they aren’t always painted in the best light.

Millennials encompass individuals born between the years 1981 and 1996. Without over-generalizing, members of this age group have moved past the workaholic, one-job-their-whole-life mindset that we’ve either experienced ourselves or seen in our parents and grandparents. Millennials want variety in every aspect, and it doesn’t stop at their careers.

Millennials change jobs more than previous generations, according to LinkedIn, because they’re interested in finding a job they want to do rather than something they get stuck doing for years to come. To millennials, a job they hate is fundamentally a waste of time, even if it pays the bills. Individuals in this age group no longer subscribe to the “live to work” philosophy; they work to live comfortably, but they invest more in their life experiences rather than in things, like traveling versus buying a house.

Millennials want their money to go further than it has before. They desire to pay less for both their wants and needs, are more socially conscious than ever, and need things to catch their eye quickly. So, how do we, as local marketers, appeal to them? Brands and businesses that can give millennials what they want, when they want it, and at an affordable price will win their business.

Reach Millennials on Their Mobile Devices

Millennials are more educated than both Baby Boomers and the generation before them. 36 percent of millennial women and 29% of millennial men hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Not only that, millennials have also grown alongside technology, especially when it comes to mobile. Millennials have experienced flip phones, iPhones, and every other smartphone that’s been on the market. They depend on smartphones today more than ever, which means there are unlimited marketing opportunities available to reach the millennial generation.

One of the many ways millennials use technology is to save money on everyday purchases. They download applications like Earny and Honey, which help them get money back on recent purchases and find the best discounts online. Couponing applications for restaurants, like Hooked, are also popular among millennials who love to eat out.

Gone are the days when email marketing was the surefire digital way to get people through the door. Now, millennials are annoyed by a promotion-loaded inbox. Plus, we’re all less inclined to dig through a messy mailbox for minor savings. Text messaging has replaced email marketing as a top method for marketing to millennials. According to CodeBroker’s 2018 Mobile Coupon Consumer Research Report, 60% of people surveyed used a text message coupon sent to their mobile phones the same week they received it.

Millennials Are a Social Media-Savvy Group

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram realize how social-savvy and driven this generation is. This is why they have created opportunities for brands to advertise on them. This is local marketing gold for a business promoting a product or service that’s attractive to the millennial age group.

Any brand trying to appeal to millennials should implement a social media marketing strategy. According to Sprout Social, 70% of social marketers claim that Facebook ads are the best way to reach their advertising goals, and 83% of them pay for advertising on the platform. A whopping 97% of social advertisers think it’s the most useful platform.

Instagram is also one of the top platforms used to appeal to millennial consumers. These days, people post where they’re going, where they’re staying, and what they’re wearing. We’re in the age of influencers, users who are paid to post sponsored content on their accounts. When analyzed, it’s not that surprising. The more an influencer interacts with their followers, the more trust they’ll build in their recommendations.

And, with 91% of 18-34 year olds trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, marketing through social media and the use of influencers (depending on the brand or product, of course) is essential. Instagram users around the world post more than 100 million photos and videos per day on the platform. When it comes to millennials, paying for social media advertising will result in a payoff.

Local Marketing Alongside Philanthropy

The millennial generation is one of the most socially conscious that we have ever seen. More than ever, millennials are researching and investing in causes that relate to them personally, or to those they’re close to.

With this awareness, millennials think harder about how they spend their money—and where. They want authenticity from brands that claim to care about a particular cause or take efforts to be more sustainable. Brands need to do everything they can to practice what they preach and gain millennial trust.

Cause marketing is one of the major ways to attract a millennial audience, whether it’s through direct donation or the creation of a product in which proceeds are donated.

Millennials Love to Shop Local

Whether it be their need for staying close to home or their desire to support a cause, they like to know their hard-earned dollars are going to grow their local community. This is a major plus for all the local businesses we marketers represent.

On the business’ websites, social media accounts, review sites, Google My Business listings and more, it’s important to make sure we integrate all the things millennials love. Make sure to include coupons, offers, images, and even award a badge or two to these consumers. They like to be recognized, almost as much as they love a deal.

The Right Local Marketing to Attract Millennials

The millennial generation is one of determination and awareness, and its members are on the continual quest for how to best spend their time and money. Millennials aren’t easily wooed by catchy slogans, so brands must utilize all types of media to grab their attention. No matter the type of brand or business, these local marketing techniques can be applied to gain millennial attention in more ways than one.

Bernadette Coleman is CEO of Advice Local, an award-winning local search technology and local presence management company focused on improving client visibility across the local digital universe. Known as the Queen of Local SEO, you can find her speaking nationally on local SEO and search strategies for businesses and brands.