Why Millennials Love Dope Marketing, And How You Can Be Dope Too

Long ago a former boss of mine said, in a Facebook status of all places, that we need to learn how to market to millennials.

It was such a heaping mixture of irony that it almost made me laugh out loud.

Marketing to millennials isn’t an unsolvable puzzle. We like dope stuff. We get bored extremely easily. Therefore the marketing messages that you choose to send us need to be fun, edgy, and need to effectively tell your story all at the same time. Is it difficult? Kind of, but not really.

I honestly think the only way to market to millennials is by putting a millennial in charge of the marketing department. Sure, you might see success with someone else at the helm, but until a 50-year-old man can explain to me what “bae” means, I’m not trusting him.

And what’s the best way to get to us? Social media.

According to Word Stream, most millenials spend up to two hours on Facebook every day.

Don’t try to connect with us through a billboard. It’s not going to do anything. As far as I’m concerned, brands who have marketing to millennials in mind need to spend huge chunks of their marketing budget on social media — if not all of it.

But here’s the problem. We hate it when people try to sell us something. We can smell it from a mile away. Better yet, we can see it coming before you even press the send button on an email.

The trick is to not really sell us anything. This is a major marketing rule already. Be helpful, or better, entertain the hell out of us. Be wacky. Be weird. We love it.

And how exactly should you do this? Create some bomb content. Create a headline that’s so juicy it’s practically oozing from the computer screen. And then promote it. Then it gets shared, and then you’re in business, because us millennials listen when our friends tell us to go check something out.

That’s how I would do it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on promoted content via Facebook without even realizing it. I’m a sucker for those articles like “Top 18 Unforgotten Things That Happened To Batman In The Comics,” or anything like that. Then I click on it and each of the 18 things are on different pages, and there are 100 ads everywhere. And I keep reading. You know why? Because I’m absolutely hooked. Like the dumbest fish in the world I sit there, wiggling about, spending 30 minutes of my life reading each page.

That’s the power of amazing content. Us millennials will read. We will sit there and watch your cat video. We’re actually like cats with a laser pointer. If what you wrote is interesting enough, all the other traditional rules the internet keeps telling you about us hating advertisements gets thrown out the window.

And have you ever noticed what’s above promoted content? It shows you which one of your friends has liked that page already. This is a beautiful marketing tool. Promoting to the friends of people who already like your page. Because, again, we trust our friends.

I could go on and on, but the two things you really need to take away from all of this are the following: First, be dope. Shower us with some awesome stuff. We have thirteen things happening at once all the time — take some risks with your marketing because if you don’t, we’re not listening anyway.

Second, you really need to put a millennial in charge. Someone who’s grown up with all the same things the target market has. There’s not enough time in the world to teach someone other than a millennial what makes us tick. Besides, they probably wouldn’t get it anyway. Forget years of experience. What applied five years ago in marketing doesn’t exactly apply now. The principles do, sure, but with social media sites constantly creating new ways to promote content to the masses, what was relevant yesterday won’t be relevant today.

We’re millennials, we consume information at an incredible speed. We’ll figure it out.

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More:

Business Marketing Advertising Social Media Marketing Millennials

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 19, 2016.

Travel blogger. 28 years old. Currently in Mexico. Get my free 5-day Medium course via email → https://bit.ly/35yyIIu

Travel blogger. 28 years old. Currently in Mexico. Get my free 5-day Medium course via email → https://bit.ly/35yyIIu