Social media and the internet has shaped the lives of millennials across the world. The internet and social media have been apart of many of their lives since they were small children and it has impacted how they do everything from making friends to making purchasing decisions. If you want to compete with your millennial marketing strategy, using influencers is crucial to your continued success.
Who Do Millennials Trust?
In 2014, when asked on a survey by The McCarthy Group, millennials did not trust advertising or salespeople in general. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being less trustworthy and 5 being more trustworthy), most millennials fell between 1-3 for both trust in advertising and salespeople. This does not fare well for marketers who dedicate their entire careers to reaching out to millennials and getting them interested in their products. Since then, this has only increased.
If millennials don’t trust advertising or marketers? Who do they trust and how can you use that trust to connect with the millennial audience you desire?
Millennials trust their closest friends and friends on Facebook and other social media sites more than they believe advertising and salespeople.
42% of millennials categorize their friends as a 5 on the trustworthy scare (the highest number.)
38.7% of millennials feel that their social media friends are at least mildly trustworthy because most of the responses fell on a 3 on the trustworthiness scale.
Millennials Find Influential Peers
Social media has opened up a huge world for millennials. They can connect with people all across the country and the world. Millennials find peers that they relate to/are inspired by (influencers), follow them, and those influencers begin to build engaged audiences. As a marketer, you have the opportunity to work with these influencers to create campaigns that will captivate the millennial audience.
If done correctly, you can reach the audience you want to reach without it feeling like an advertisement at all. Influencer marketing is revolutionary because it allows your brand to be the center of attention to an audience that is within your target demographic as a company.
Millennials Are Tuning Out Your Traditional Ads
If you want to reach millennials, you need to reach them through influencers because millennials are tuning out your traditional advertisements like billboards, television ads, and even internet ads through sites like Google.
Millennials do not see your television ads as much as they used to because a lot of them are deciding to cut cable. According to the firm GfK, 30% of all millennials in the United States are cordless, and they make up half the United States’ cordless population. Millennials are opting instead to stream their television services.
According to an IAB/YouGov study done in the U.K. in 2014, 47% of respondents age 18-24 were using an ad blocker to disable ads on content they viewed on the internet. Millennials may be disabling traditional internet advertisements, but creating sponsored posts on blogs and sponsoring videos on YouTube is still a great way to reach your intended audience.
You have to be smart about how you spend your marketing and advertising dollars and instead of placing all of your money on television ads or traditional internet advertising, you may want to put your advertising dollars behind influencers.
An Influencer Is A Trusted Friend
Just like traditional advertising, influencer marketing (if done correctly), can help plant the seed and keep your company top of mind to millennials across the world. Millennials have connected with influencers, and they trust them to put their name behind companies who have a fantastic product. When you work with an influencer who truly gets your product and who has an engaged audience, you can create a long-term relationship with the audience that influencer engages (and the influencer as well.)
Now, that you have engaged that audience member, they will remember your brand. The next time they are looking for a new shampoo, a new drink, or a new clothing brand to try—they will think of your company.
Influencers are influential for a reason. They have built a unique trust with their audience which you can utilize if you create a mutually beneficial relationship with you and your influencer of choice.
If you want to succeed in marketing to millennials you need to embrace technology and social media. If you are targeting millennials in your marketing plan, you know where they are! Utilizing influential people to your brand will be a fantastic investment for the future of your business.