We are critical. We are particular. We are cynical. We are harsh.
We are Generation Y.
Nothing turns us off more than “the man.” He brainwashes the masses into mindless consumers who buy an abundance of novelty items, solely for the purpose of supporting the capitalist pig, “Materialism.”
Okay so maybe that’s a little extreme, but we do think about that kind of stuff sometimes. And why should it matter to you to what we think anyway?
Because your job depends on us. It will one day at least.
As graduating college students, we are the next crop of consumers. Currently, we are learning which brands we like (and do not like) and are subconsciously shaping brand loyalties.
In order for your company to survive the long haul, you need to know what works for us, what gets our attention.
And advertising ain’t it.
In fact, it could possibly be the demise of your company. We can smell a sales pitch a mile away, and we will high-tail it in the opposite direction.
That’s why your business needs an inbound marketing strategy.
For those of you who don’t know, inbound marketing is the approach that many companies are using to engage their customers with dynamic multimedia content. Simply put: the consumer comes to you.
It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Your target audience actually searching for you? The truth is, it’s a hard technique to pull off, but when you do, the payoff is astounding.
So, that’s the first thing to consider when marketing toward Gen Y’ers: just be yourself. Don’t try to be “cool,” or “hip” if you’re really not.
This is especially important when using social media. It’s cool enough that you’re using Facebook (hopefully you are by this point) for your business. Let your company personality shine through. It’s nice to see a company stay true to themselves.
My public relations professors are going to kill me for saying this, but my generation doesn’t read the newspaper. We don’t watch the 5 o’clock news and we don’t always remember to wash behind our ears.
We get our news, local gossip and even some of our best ideas via social media.
Which brings me to my next point: we have the attention span of a gnat.
We relish information that is 140 characters or less. It’s short and sweet and lets us go on our merry way.
Therefore, the second tip for marketing toward college students is get our attention quickly. Like within two seconds.
Because if you don’t reel us in immediately, we’ll simply shift our attention to one of the other several tasks we have going on simultaneously.
A long-winded Facebook post, journal article or lecture will not cut it. Think visually. Using short video clips (preferably 30 seconds or less), graphics (simple ones will do) and memes will get us thinking about you.
Whether it be texting, Tweeting or the hilarious YouTube video we are watching, we always have something else in the back of our mind that we could be doing instead.
Speaking of texting, the last lesson for getting Gen Y’ers’ attention: mobile, mobile, mobile. It’s not something I’m proud of, but we are always on our smartphones.
It only makes sense to make your business mobile-friendly.
What does that mean? Firstly, your website needs to be easy via mobile devices. Secondly, as previously mentioned, you need to not only have social media platforms setup for your business but use them. And use them well.
Content creation is key. What you don’t put out there is just as important as what you do.
If I’ve learned one thing from working at Verge Pipe Media, it’s “If you don’t have anything interesting to post, then don’t post.”
It’s as simple as that. Nobody wants their news feed to fill up with silly anecdotes. Wastes their time. Although social media began as a casual method of communication, it has grown into a prominent business method.
With all of that said, there’s still hope. Generation Y’ers are not out there plotting the best ways to avoid the $100 thousand commercial you just bought during our favorite TV time slot.
We just want to be shown a little love is all.
Prove that you care enough about us to see what we’re interested in and you have us by the toe. Go a step further and prove that you value our opinions as a loyal customer and you have us by our ears.
Then once you have proven yourself as an honest, earnest business, you have us by our hearts.
And our wallets.
Watch out for Verge Pipe Media's upcoming whitepaper on marketing to Generation Y. Coming soon!
Article by: Brittany Gibson, Imagineer || Proud Millennial || firstname.lastname@example.org