By: Sydney Arp, NPI Marketing Assistant
Millennials. Generation Y. It’s the age group that marketers across the country are endlessly analyzing. Let’s [try to] begin with a definition. Major publications label a millennial as someone who came of age around the time of the millennium (2000). Born between 1980 and 1995, Millennials range from 22-38. Yeah, you read that right. Some “Millennials” are nearly 40 years old.
Surprised? The fact is, Millennials make up 25% of the American population. In the real estate industry, if you’re not marketing toward the millennial age group, you’re completely overlooking what should be your target market. Here are some insightful tips from a Millennial herself:
1. User-generated content is what we trust. 43% of Millennials rank authenticity over traditional marketing tactics. We want to hear from a service user not a service provider. Think about it: our generation is more likely to trust news that comes from friends on our social media feeds than news we see from random sources or companies. In today’s world, the never-ending stream of promotions has transformed us into walking ad-detectors. Simply put, we know genuine content when we see it. Thus, brands that boast generalized, impersonal verbiage such as “the best” or “buy now” are simply ignored by Millennials.
What can you do? I know you’re sick of hearing it, but GET MORE REVIEWS. Most likely, you’re not going to have a client write a viral blog post about how fantastic their home inspection was (although, who’s to say it’s impossible?). Customer reviews are your most valuable source of user-generated content in the inspection industry. And it’s what Millennials will look for first.
2. Fine-tune your content marketing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Content marketing is forever. What is content marketing? The strategy of attracting potential customers by means of producing shareable, relatable content. Ever heard of a little company called Buzzfeed? The majority of their articles are sponsored, which means a brand has paid the digital mega-publication to create highly relevant content with the purpose of promoting their product. See the example below. Bank of America sponsored this quiz about money habits.
As consumers, we want content that’s valuable to us. Doesn’t everybody? The beauty of content marketing is its subtlety. In fact, the best content marketing is the content marketing you can’t even tell is content marketing. In the article above, Bank of America is counting on quiz-takers to scroll right past their logo at the top. However, once you finish the quiz, they coyly suggest you head over to the “Better Money Habits” page on their website. Clever, right?
What can you do? We don’t expect you to advertise with Buzzfeed. However, the NPI marketing department publishes a bi-weekly blog targeting homeowners, homebuyers and even real estate agents. The Inspector is your go-to tool when it comes to content marketing. It’s full of content that your clients would find useful and agents would find shareable.
3. Get our attention – without being intrusive. It’s true: Millennials are easily distracted. Growing up in an overstimulated online environment will do that to you. However, we’re better at multi-tasking than our parents are. Our idea of relaxing is watching TV, scrolling through our newsfeed and listening to music all at the same time. Remember what I said about being ad-detectors? To get our attention, an advertisement needs to be shocking, useful or highly relevant. However, there’s a fine line between grabbing our attention and down-right annoying us (think pop-up ads).
What can you do? When running an ad campaign, keep your messages short and to the point. By dividing your ads between multiple platforms, you can extend your reach and increase your chances of catching our attention – if only for a split second. It’s more about frequency than quantity. A concise message with an eye-catching image and multiple views will perform a hundred times better than a paragraph of informative text seen once.
4. Experience > Service. Millennials value experiences. Not materials. We don’t reward brands that appear to be profit-driven. Instead, our respect lies with brands that focus on improving lives or giving back to their communities. In the past, Millennials have gotten a bad rap as “Generation Me.” However, publications are changing their minds. The New Yorker recently labeled us as “Generation Nice.” The fact is, 50% of Millennials are more willing to use a company if their purchase supports a cause.
What can you do? Have a purpose. Show that you have a life outside of your business. Get involved in your community. To get our attention, it’s less about demonstrating what you do and more about how you do it. Never be afraid to show your personality. We want more than a routine service. If you focus on making the inspection a positive experience, you’re more likely to gain our support.
5. Targeting Millennials isn’t one-size-fits-all. This may be shocking to hear, but Millennials aren’t all the same. Think back to the numbers. The Millennial generation includes 75 million people spanning almost a 20-year age gap. While we’re prone to negative stereotypes, we don’t have many overarching characteristics. Some of us are getting married, having babies and house-hunting. Some of us, myself included, are more career-focused, recently graduated and perfectly content with apartment living. That being said, one thing we do have in common is brand loyalty. Once we trust a brand, we’re loyal, exclusive and we boast about them. 70% of Millennials feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies following their experience. So take our business seriously, we’re more likely than older generations to leave you a good review.
What can you do? Narrow your target audience. While it’s tempting to market toward “Millennials” as a whole and call it a day, you’re more likely to find success with a smaller group. If you’re targeting homebuyers, focus on professional adults ages 25-32 with a median income of $50,000. If you want to target new agents, look for licensed individuals ages 22-27 with a minimum education level. There are hundreds of ways to narrow your search within the millennial generation in a way that will increase your ad’s effectiveness.
So, what’s the biggest take away? Brand identity is everything to a Millennial. Keep in mind, most of us entered the workforce at or around the 2008 recession – and we learned from it. We’re mindful of who we give our money to. Today, brands must prove their worth and their personality.
For marketing help, please reach out to email@example.com. Our team would be happy to set up a one-on-one consultation.
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Sydney Arp is an NPI Graphic Designer and Marketing Assistant. She specializes in creative marketing strategy. Sydney has experience with brand development, content writing, social media management and art direction.