By Jacob Marek , Founder, 45 Degrees Marketing
Millennials are a misunderstood generation, often mischaracterized in the media and travel industry. But they represent the largest generation by population and are worth serious money (Millennials are creating their own wealth and entering the apex of their careers). Millennials are not going away in your lifetime, so it’s a smart idea to embrace marketing to this dynamic group! Here are five marketing tips to engage with Millennials:
1. Target Millennials by Identifying Their Communities
Millennials are impossible to categorize with a broad stroke. Our generation defines “family” and “community” differently than previous generations.
Consider targeting Millennials by social groups and their communities/families. For example, think of places where your ideal client would hang out (either in person or online).
You could focus your attention on segments that are drawn to social causes, like volunteering, wellness-focused groups, or to those who are interested in active outdoor adventures like hiking or rock-climbing.
2. Use Social Media to Establish Authentic Connections
Being on social media is an obvious – and overly-simplified – way of reaching Millennials. Yes, we are attached to our smartphones, but think about ways to actually engage with us on social media.
Instagram is one of my favorite platforms for the travel industry to target Millennials because it is so visual. In order to be found, you’ll need to use the right hashtags. But draw users in by thinking outside the box. Consider featuring your clients’ photos on your account (with permission and a link to their handle).
3. (Meaningful) Content is King
Millennials are really good at sifting through content online. They are immune to hard urges to “buy” (which is why no Millennial has ever clicked “like” on that photo you posted with the latest cruise special).
Instead, focus on bringing value to users by providing relevant content (perhaps a downloadable white paper on “Ahhhhmazing: 5 Wellness Resorts That Will Change Your Life”). Create authentic messaging and don’t be afraid to let your passion and brand’s core values shine through.
Everything you put out there should subtly establish yourself as a trusted advisor, so that when it comes time to plan their next trip, they’ll be emailing/texting/tweeting/IMing (or doing anything other than calling) you!
4. Collaborate with Influencers
Did you know that 60% of Millennials say they would try a product suggested by a YouTube personality? Where previous generations were influenced by celebrities (e.g. Cindy Crawford/Pepsi), today’s generation is influenced by people like themselves.
Thankfully, popular influencers don’t typically command the same salary as Cindy Crawford did. So, while a free trip may be a significant cost, it may be well worth your marketing dollars to send a popular YouTuber or Instagram travel blogger on one of your trips. Bonus idea: have them do an “Instagram Takeover” of your account for the week!
Be sure to do your research on precisely who your target audience follows on these social channels, and then simply ask to collaborate, even if it’s not for something as big as a trip. Most influencers will have their contact information in their social channels or website/blog.
5. Connect with a Cause
Millennials are a socially-conscious generation. Be sure to highlight and incorporate important elements into your business. Inform them of the hotels’ green initiatives or how they only hire locals to support the community. Give them the option to purchase carbon offsets on their flights (an easy sell alongside travel insurance). Partner with a worthy cause and contribute a portion of sales to support that organization. It’s a fun way to build customer loyalty and feel good by doing good.
With their ever-growing purchasing power, it’s vital to communicate with Millennials. Start implementing some, or all, of these tips and see how this vibrant generation can breathe new life into your customer base!