How to Get Millenials to Trust Your Brand
According to the Pew Research Center, anyone who was born between 1981 and 1996 is a millennial and, right now, they make up the majority of the world's population. To be exact, there are 92 million of them out there, and they don’t engage with brands the way your parents or grandparents did. When it comes to advertising, it might seem silly to have to treat millennials differently than any other generation, but it’s important. Cracking the millennial code will gain you and your brand access to a subset of people who are responsible for well over $1 trillion of consumer spending in the United States.
So what’s the trick you ask? Establishing brand loyalty. But while that may sound quick and easy, creating brand loyalty is a process that takes time, strategy, and consistency. You see, brand loyalty is created when you convince a consumer to purchase your brand’s product over another brand, time after time. Doing so creates a strong base of customers who will not only continue to buy from you, but tell their friend to buy from you as well.
So how do you build brand loyalty and convince millennials to trust your brand?
1. You start by being social.
No, we don’t mean go out for drinks with them. You need to get social online. Millennials are online a lot. The average millennial checks their phone at least 100 times a day, if not much more, and most of them are on at least one social network, if not several.
But millennials don’t just use social media for fun, they also use it for researching, making decisions, and, most importantly, seeking connection. This millennial mindset makes social media marketing the perfect way to interact with your audience, not just by posting content, but by actually talking to them and replying to their comments and questions. By putting your company out there on social media, you’re meeting millennials on their level, where they’re most comfortable and likely to engage with you.
The more you connect with millennials on social media, the more likely they are to buy. The end result? Strengthening your relationship with your target audience, building trust, and ultimately boosting sales.
2. Make sure you’re mobile.
In the past, responsive, mobile design was more of an afterthought than anything. Sure, consumers might engage with your brand online, but they make their purchases from desktop computers, right?
Wrong. Now more than ever, consumers are using their phones and tablets to shop online. Even if they weren’t, you wouldn’t want to spend all that time connecting with your customers on social media just to point them to a website that works poorly on their phones, would you?
Of course not. Millennials are the largest group of mobile users in the world, so if you’re looking to garner their attention, it is absolutely critical that your site is optimized for use on mobile devices. Your site needs to look good and work perfectly on mobile, as does your content and ecommerce platform. If even one component of your website doesn’t work well on a smartphone or tablet, millennials are very likely to take their business elsewhere.
3. Avoid traditional advertising.
Millennials just… don’t like traditional ads. Things like radio, billboards, pop-ups, and spam mail are huge turn offs to this generation and a waste of money for your company. Yes, millennials do want to connect with your brand, but not if you’re shoving it down their throats.
Instead, you need to focus on giving millennials a reason to seek out your brand, and the best way to do this is through content. Millennials want brands to help them, not sell to them. By creating blogs, telling stories, and posting original photos that promote your brand in a way that feels natural, you’re giving millennials a reason to come to you. Inbound content marketing shows millennials who you really are, demonstrates your experience, and gives you an opportunity to engage with them while showcasing your brand’s voice and personality.
4. Give them proof.
Millennials are very careful about which companies they engage with and buy from. In the early days of social media, brands could pay influencers to show off their products and millennials would happily accept these “celebrity” endorsements as a reason to make a purchase. But nowadays they’re becoming more skeptical. The economy and political climate has made them unsure of who they can trust, and this is reflected in how they make purchasing decisions.
There is one group of people that millennials generally do trust though, and that is your previous customers. User-generated content, specifically reviews and photos, are a sure fire way to get a millennial’s attention. In fact, almost all millennials read reviews or look at photos online before making a purchase. Good reviews build trust and go a long way toward turning a prospect onto a customer.
How do you get good reviews? Make it easy on the reviewer. Put links to your social media profiles, Google, and Yelp on your website. You can also include incentives to review your company on your receipts or in your newsletters. Finally, make sure you engage with reviewers. Thank positive reviewers for their patronage and learn how to handle negative reviews to avoid a fiasco.
5. Show them you’re making a difference.
And that by buying your products, they can make a difference too! Millennials are a very socially and environmentally-conscious bunch. They are worried about the world and their fellow humans, and want to do whatever they can to help. If millennials feel like your products are helpful, or that the act of purchasing them is helpful, they are much more likely to buy.
Millennials want to feel good, and part of that is making sure the brands they purchase from care about their values. They care more about advocacy than they do about advertising. Get your company involved with charitable organizations where your company can make a difference, highlight (but don’t brag about) how you’re helping, and watch as millenials align themselves with your brand.
6. Be authentic, transparent, and receptive.
Millennials are especially talented when it comes to seeing right through things. They’re also really good at research so if your brand is lying about anything, they’re going to find you out eventually and, when they do, it’s not going to be pretty.
With this generation, it’s best to just be up front. If you donate money to an organization, make sure you divulge how much is spent and where it goes. If you are involved in a lawsuit, provide the facts up front instead of letting it get leaked by the media. If you have a recalled product, make it easy for customers to get a refund, and so on and so forth.
Oh, and listen to them! Millennials are not shy about expressing their opinions. They will tell you when they’re uncomfortable or unhappy, so all you have to do is listen. Take their thoughts and opinions to heart, make constructive changes, and be sure to communicate these changes with your fan base. Not only does this make them feel appreciated, it makes them feel like they had a hand in collaborating with your brand.
7. Create a loyalty program.
Last but not least, consider creating a way to reward faithful customers. Millennials may enjoy spending money, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in saving money as well. By creating a loyalty or rewards program, you’re giving millennials a reason to favor your brand over another.
Do not make the mistake of neglecting their powerful and persuasive generation when developing your marketing strategy. Millennials have buying power, and your goal should be to convince them to use that buying power at your business.
At BlueTone Media, we’re millennial marketing experts. Heck, a bunch of us are millennials. Who better to market to this generation than fellow members of it? Call us to learn more about how we can help you create a powerful millennial marketing strategy at 888-BLU-TONE (888-258-8663) or contact us online by clicking here.