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Marketing to Millenials

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Millenials -- also known as "Generation Y" -- is the generation immediately after Generation X. Born between the early 80s and the aughts, this generation represents a sought-after demographic for marketers. But for many, this youthful, game-loving, social media savvy cohort is difficult to get a fix on, especially because they tend to distrust traditional advertising. So how can you get their attention? Here are a few ideas:

Know who influences them

An "influence map" is a planning document that helps you identify and track the audience that will make the most impact on your business in the digital space.

Your influence map looks at questions like:

  • What journalists or publications are important to my business?
  • Who are my competitors?
  • Who are helpful allies?
  • When my customers use social media, what sorts of terms are they using?

More about "influence mapping" here.

Craft great content

Millenials don't want to be "sold," they want to experience products in a way that feels true to their lives. Consider how Chipotle decided to use content marketing to promote their business.

So how do you make content that engages, inspires and gets you more customers? You use inputs from your influence maps, as well as inventorying the best assets you already possess. If you take the strategic approach from the beginning, your content strategy can be done efficiently.

More about content strategy here.

Consider starting a Tumblr

Tumblr recently made news when it was acquired by Yahoo for over a billion dollars. Since its founding in 2006, the platform has become a favorite among a number of niche audiences including foodies, fashionistas, travelers, book-lovers and many others.

Tumblr is both a blogging platform and a social network. Users create their own blogs in order to post original content in the form of text, photos and videos, or to "reblog" the posts of others. You can also "follow" blogs that you like, in a similar manever to following someone on Twitter or Facebook.

Could Tumblr help you market your business to Millenials? If your business intersects with a niche that Tumblr users are excited about, it just might be a good fit for your outreach planning. Read more about Tumblr here.

Meet them halfway on customer service issues

Millenials are famous for taking their customer service concerns to Facebook or Twitter. Several customer service platforms that allow you to quickly and easily stay on top of customer needs via the web.

  • Zendesk is the choice of a number of entrepreneurs and startups because it allows you to quickly and inexpensively set up a "Knowledge Base" that you can direct your customers to when they have a question. Zendesk further offers a ticketing system that allows your team to deal with critical issues in a timely manner. You can also set up a community support forum and invite members of your community to interact when they have support issues.
  • Get Satisfaction provides a slightly different approach -- first and foremost, it helps you build a turn-key support "community" where users hopefully answer each others' questions, obviating the need for staff intervention. "Get Satisfaction is a platform that lets your customers interact with each other, be heard and find resolution in more ways than ever - because the power of community is conversation," says the company.

More about digital customer service tools here.

Think outside the box

Networks like Pinterest, Vine and Facebook are tailor-made for short video presentations. If you are a chef, consider making a video with cooking tip. Are you a personal trainer? Use images or videos to demonstrate key exercises. In the IT business? How about a Vine series on important security tips? All of these will help you provide a superior customer experience.

More on using social media for customer service.

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