Millennials can contribute significantly to brands’ digital marketing strategies. For instance, engaging millennials in influencer marketing may result in brand awareness and customer purchase which may all lead to an increase in ROI. This post will discuss how millennials can play a vital role in your brand’s social media plans. We will also share some ways on how brands can effectively involve millennials in influencer marketing campaigns.
Targeting Millennials in Influencer Marketing Strategies
Brands should first establish who are the millennial generation. Also known as Generation Y, millennials were born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s. Millennials account for 83.1 million US population and are considered to be one of the biggest generations. Because millennials are estimated to spend $1.4 trillion by 2020, they are expected to have a huge impact on the US economy.
Due to consumers’ strong engagement on social media platforms, 90% of brands utilize social media to increase brand awareness. Among the top users of social media are the millennials. In fact, in a study done by the Pew Research Center, millennials use social media the most among all other generations with 86% usage rate. Additionally, more than 9 out of 10 (93%) millennials own smartphones, making access to social media easier.
Because millennials are avid users of social media platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, they also make up the rising number of digital influencers’ audiences. Thus, the role of millennials in influencer marketing can play significantly to the success of brands’ influencer campaigns. As a result, brands should seek ways to involve and attract millennials for higher brand engagement and awareness.
6 Ways to Engage Millennials in Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Influencer marketing is becoming more beneficial to reach out to younger generations of consumers. Millennials value the opinions of social media influencers. One study found that 89% of millennial women believe in recommendations from peers more than brand promotions. In addition, another report showed that 60% of younger millennials will try a product endorsed by a YouTuber. Therefore, targeting millennials in influencer marketing campaigns can help brands reach a highly engaged audience that can turn out to be potential consumers.
Attracting millennials in influencer marketing strategies can be challenging. Hence, brands must get to know their target audience first and their purchasing attributes. Here are 6 ways on how brands can succeed in millennial-focused influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Utilize Social Media Marketing
Since millennials are the biggest users of social media, brands should continue to maximize the use of digital platforms to engage with millennials in influencer marketing strategies. Thus, marketers should first know where their audience is spending their time online the most.
A graph by Global Web Index showed that the top three social media tools used by millennials are Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. Brands can utilize these three platforms in planning where to invest in influencer marketing plans.
The footwear brand Toms knew exactly how powerful social media is, in engaging millennials. Toms used social media platforms for the brand’s annual day #WithoutShoes. The shoe company understood how most of the brand’s target market is cause-supporting audiences. Thus, Toms reached out to millennials by asking consumers to post pictures of their feet and for each picture, the brand will donate a pair of shoes for those in need.
The campaign was participated by Toms consumers and social media and celebrity influencers. In fact, in 2015 Toms received 3.5 million engagement in one day. The brand also maximizes the use of social media platforms through partnering with social media collaborators. The brand’s partnership with influencers allows Toms to reach its target audience while supporting causes around the world.
Just this year, the brand worked with Instagram influencers and bloggers to promote the brand’s #StandForTomorrow campaign. Each influencer partner encouraged consumers to participate in causes they want to stand for and Toms will donate to those causes from the purchase that consumers make. By using Instagram and other social media tools, Toms engaged millennials in influencer marketing campaigns that resulted in brand awareness and product purchases.
2. Use Micro-influencers to target Millennials in Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Although celebrity promotions might be effective for some brands in engaging their audiences, millennials prefer peer to peer and more authentic product recommendations. In fact, 89% of millennials value friends’ or relatives’ endorsements than well-known advertisers. Additionally, 78% of millennials are skeptic of and are not influenced by celebrity endorsements.
Millennials value authenticity and rely on relatable and honest sources of recommendations. For instance, a report found that 90% of millennials consider brand authenticity when deciding which products to purchase. Thus, brands can target millennials in influencer marketing strategies by using more genuine brand ambassadors like micro-influencers. Influencers with fewer but highly-engaged followers are viewed as more relatable and credible sources of product information.
In 2016, Kodak Alaris launched Kodak Moments App to target millennial parents. The photo company designed the app to help parents edit photos easily using smartphones. Kodak knew the brand’s target market are smartphone users and technology savvy generation. Therefore, the brand created a technology-based tool to reach the company’s millennial consumers. Kodak partnered with Forward Influence and collaborated with blogger and micro-influencer moms to raise awareness for the Kodak Moments app.
The brand enlisted a number of influencers with a few but highly engaged audiences to tell authentic stories, explain the app features, and encourage viewers to sample the app. Kodak successfully engaged millennials in influencer marketing campaigns through genuine recommendations and real relatable photos of micro-influencers.
3. Entertain Millennials in Influencer Marketing Ads
Brands can engage millennials in influencer marketing campaigns by engaging them-literally. 80% of millennials desire entertainment from brands. Millennials want to speak out their minds, share their opinions, crave to be a part of something, and share in social media. Thus, allowing millennials to participate through interacting brand content, provides opportunities for brands to connect with millennial consumers.
M&M’s showed how the chocolate brand successfully entertains millennials in influencer campaigns through social media engagement. In 2016, M&M’s brought the company’s first-ever Flavor Vote campaign. The chocolate brand partnered with more than 20 social media and content influencers to encourage followers to try out M&M’s new candy flavors and vote their favorite and winning taste. The brand’s influencer marketing strategy resulted in brand awareness, huge social media engagement, the excitement from millennials and consumers, and product consumption.
4. Invite Millennials to be Part of a Cause
One of the things that drive millennials to purchase something is a cause to stand for. 91% of millennials prefer brands with corporate social responsibilities. Brand’s support of good causes also becomes an important factor in the consumer’s buying decisions. Two-thirds of the millennial generation admitted to buying products from brands that give back and do good. In addition, 52% of millennials appreciate brands with similar values as theirs and consider purchasing products that support issues and causes they believe in. Thus, brands can appeal to millennials in influencer marketing approaches by getting involved with social good campaigns.
Just like shoe brand Toms that actively support causes around the world, Mattress Firm also engages millennials in influencer marketing campaigns through giving back. In 2016, the American mattress brand launched a campaign in partnership with Forward Influence and 40 Instagram influencers to promote the brand’s #Donate4FosterKids campaign. Mom influencers posted photos of their kids donating clothes and toys in Matress Firm stores and encouraged followers to the same. By being socially responsible, brands like Mattress Firm can successfully interact with millennials in influencer marketing campaigns.
5. Personalize Influencer Marketing Strategies
To stay on top of the influencer marketing game and win the hearts of the millennial generation, personalization can be your brand’s best tool. Known as the “Me, me Generation”, millennials want their needs to be addressed specifically. Thus, brands can create tailored-fit and personalized product experiences to appeal to millennials in influencer marketing campaigns.
One survey found the 66% of millennial buyers do not mind sharing personal information with brands if this will result in customized offers and discounts. Since millennials love to share information about themselves, brands can utilize received data and create products and influencer marketing campaigns that are catered specifically to millennial consumers.
Coca-Cola built a more personal connection with millennial consumers through the brand’s #ShareACoke campaign. Originally started in Australia in 2011, the campaign spread and was adopted in different parts of the world. Coke thought that there was nothing more personal than names, so the soda brand came up with a campaign that allows consumers to see 250 common names on Coke bottles. Coca-cola’s approach allowed consumers to feel personally connected with the brand. The Share a Coke campaign also encouraged millennials to share Coca-Cola products with friends and relatives which brought more engagement and brand awareness for the brand. Coca-cola lengthened the campaign’s reach further by partnering with social media influencers who shared about the campaign and encouraged viewers to share Coca-Cola products.
6. Reward Millennials in Influencer Marketing Campaigns
It was already established that millennials love to share using social media platforms. However, providing incentives and rewards can be more effective in encouraging millennial consumers to click the share button. In fact, more than 40% of millennials agreed to endorse brands if they will receive something in return. Additionally, 63% of millennials are willing to visit brands’ websites and social media channels in exchange for discounts. Hence, providing rewards to millennials in influencer marketing programs can result in huge brand engagement and awareness.
Potato soup brand, Idahoan Steakhouse built a strong appeal to the brand’s millennial market by giving out rewards and incentives. In 2016, the brand launched an Instagram campaign in partnership with Forward Influence. Idahoan Steakhouse collaborated with 108 influencers to share an Instagram giveaway to followers. Thousands of social media users joined the giveaway and posted creative photos featuring the brand. Idahoan chose one winner per hour between 9 A.M. and 9 P.M. and provided a prize of a $100 gift card.
Wrap It All Up
The millennial population continues to grow and brands can benefit from this growth by engaging millennials in influencer marketing campaigns. The suggestions provided above will help brands invest in influencer marketing strategies targeting millennial consumers that may result in the brand’s marketing success.
How can your brand’s influencer marketing strategies appeal to millennial consumers?