By Chris Christoff, co-founder of MonsterInsights

In 2019, millennials are currently overtaking baby boomers as the largest adult population in the United States. Because they are also the largest generation in the labor force, brands and businesses of all types are trying to refine their marketing strategies to cater to this demographic

Times are changing, and as the millennial consumer population continues to grow, it’s essential to know how your brand can effectively market to them. This begins by knowing what they want, what their pain points are and how they prefer companies to market to them. Without this information, it’s difficult for any business to reach this new generation of consumers who have a different way of making buying decisions. Millennials now hold about $200 billion in buying power, so if you don’t have a strategy that caters to them, you’re in trouble.

Let’s dive into three tips on how to effectively market to a millennial audience this year.

1. Use organic practices.

Previously, when marketing centered around baby boomers and how to get their attention, marketing was mostly outbound. Companies used continued advertising, promotions and sales to spread the word about their products in the hopes that consumers would buy. In my experience, however, inbound marketing is the most popular method of growing your business today. This involves using content marketing, social media marketing, branding and search engine optimization to attract and appeal to audiences authentically.

If you want to appeal to millennials in a way to which they’ll respond, use these inbound marketing practices to bring in traffic organically. The key to this type of marketing is that you bring your target audience to you. You don’t need to hound them with advertising or other marketing messages in the hopes that they’ll respond or make a purchase. Instead, refine your business strategy to match their needs and interests.

2. Support a good cause.

Did you know that 62 percent of millennials are willing to pay more for products that are eco-friendly or support a good cause? They’re more committed than the generations before them to enforce positive environmental and social change even though they aren’t making as much as their predecessors. Millennials want to invest in brands that promote wellbeing, positive action and eco-friendly practices.

There are infinite options for consumers to choose from these days. Technology allows products to be sent straight to your doorstep within days, and with a plethora of online businesses to choose from, people can pick and choose who and what they invest in. Because millennials are committing to positive change, it’s essential to adopt charitable business practices if you’re going to build brand loyalty.

Make it part of your business strategy to support a good cause and donate to those in need. Whether you focus on environmental issues, social justice or another issue equally as important, be sincere about your gestures and wanting to help those who need it.

For example, apparel and lifestyle brand Ivory Ella boasts a large millennial consumer audience and donates a minimum of 10 percent of its profits to the organization Save The Elephants. Over the past four years alone, it has donated more than $1.7 million dollars to preserve elephant habitats and reservations. The positive message behind its marketing allowed them to generate sales and build a loyal millennial following in a short amount of time.

3. Be active on social.

Recent studies found that American millennials actively use social media, with 73 percent watching YouTube, 69 percent using Facebook and 37 percent using Instagram. On top of that, Nielsen found that millennials use smartphones more than any other generation, making social media readily accessible. If your strategy doesn’t include social media marketing, you’re ignoring a huge percentage of your target market.

Building brand awareness, improving engagement and increasing sales marketed toward millennials include being active on social media. Optimize your social profiles by filling out every section and focusing on how your brand benefits its customers. Create social campaigns that introduce your brand to others in your target market. Encourage user-generated content so your audience spreads the word about your products and services.

Focus on creating enticing content that grabs users’ attention. Research by BrightCove found that 85 percent of millennials purchased a product after watching a video about it. Create an optimized video marketing strategy and refrain from text-only content that bores this demographic. 

What’s next?

In today’s world, if you aren’t catering to the needs and interests of millennials, you’re ignoring a vast demographic of potential consumers. If your brand is going to garner the attention and sales it deserves, you need to keep millennials in mind.

Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.