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Five tips and best practices to market to millennials

By Laura Burkehart 10/30/2018

What does it mean to market to millennials? Develop an overarching strategy that is authentic, transparent, and uses technology to your advantage.

Adults born between 1981 and 1996 are considered part of the millennial generation. They’re digital natives—most of them don’t recall a time before cell phones and home computers. Email, online platforms, and on-demand information are the norm rather than ingenious updates that occurred after they’d achieved adulthood.

 Now these young adults comprise the largest living generation, and investing in a marketing strategy that appeals to them is common sense. How can older generations bridge the gap and reach out with the goal of bringing young families and young professionals into their businesses? We’ve rounded up five best practices for appealing to millennials in travel marketing.

  1. Inspire them.

This can mean encouraging ecotourism, promoting farm-to-fork dining, or capitalizing on FOMO—fear of missing out. What is important to the particular audience you want to bring into your business? What do you have to offer that will inspire them to visit you, share your location and posts, and bring friends and family back to see you?

  1. Be authentic and transparent.

Remember that these digitally savvy young adults will research any claims you make. If you advertise that your food is locally sourced, or you support inclusive hiring and fair wages, make sure your claims are unimpeachable. Lost trust will mean lost revenue. When you find something that appeals to the audience you seek, be sure the connection is genuine. Millennials will ferret out the truth about your standards and practices with a quickness, and you will do much more harm than good by misrepresenting your values or not meeting expectations.

  1. Employ social media.

Social media platforms are perennially changing and new ones crop up frequently, which can make them a bit intimidating to some business owners. It is worth your time and effort to keep up in this area. For one thing, these are largely free. Most offer paid advertising options, but the ability to engage organically is available for anyone willing to keep up an account.

In a previous article, we discussed the benefits of image-based social media. Catering to Instagram and Snapchat users with custom filters, curated hashtags, and contests can lead to exponential returns as those users share the content on their own accounts.

  1.  Acknowledge their diversity.

Take a step back and review the images and content in your advertising. Are people of different ages, races, and abilities included? This is important in order to reach the broadest audience possible—people who feel they are not reflected in posts and advertising will feel excluded and be less likely to engage with you. Remember that California is a wonderfully diverse state. Accepting and welcoming people of different backgrounds will only help your business.     

  1.  Provide interactive experiences.

Today’s young adults have digital access to virtually anything they want to see or do. Set your business apart by providing something they won’t find other places. This can often be achieved by providing some kind of activity or exhibit that will create an experience, which will in turn create memories. This can range from providing branded backdrops for image-based social media to offering special meals. If you have the space (and it’s relevant) add special sessions where groups can pot succulents to take home, or paint pottery. Align these with your particular brand and business and you’ll have a social media (and fond memory) hit on your hands.

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