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Influencer Marketing Strategies for Millennials

The young adults we now call Millennials grew up between landlines and the Internet, VHS tapes, and social media. They are the first to discuss all aspects of their lives online. But how do brands reach Generation Y? Read all about influencer marketing strategies for Millennials on this Kolsquare blog.

Group of adults looking at their phones
Group of adults looking at their phones

Key Takeaways

  • Learn everything you need to know about Millennials as a marketing target and how this generation differs from Gen Z
  • Millennials are interested in brands that:
  • have a compelling corporate social responsibility (CSR) program
  • make them feel like they are part of an experience organized mainly for them
  • use Instagram Stories as a marketing strategy
  • offer incentives and rewards (promo codes)

In 2013, author Joel Stein, referred to Millenials as the “Me Me Me Generation who would be “entitled narcissists still living with their parents.” Open Influence said that Millennials have long been associated primarily with selfies, social media, and self-absorption. But those less-than-nuanced assumptions no longer apply. Thus, what are the right influencer marketing strategies for Millennials?

Who are Millennials as a Marketing Target?

The Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y, includes those born between 1980 and 2000. This information overlaps slightly with Gen Z, which for some online publications starts with birth years as early as 1996. Roughly speaking, you can talk about 26- to 35-year-olds if you want to target Millennials with your marketing strategy. Of course, this age group has peculiarities and habits that need to be understood.

While Gen Z is referred to as digital natives, Millennials are also media savvy, but their childhoods were not yet influenced by cell phones and social media (at least not to the extent they are today). Nevertheless, almost all Millennials are now present on various social networks and know how to use them.

Traditional advertising methods such as TV commercials, billboards, or radio jingles are less appealing to young adults. Therefore, the magic word for Millennials  is influencer marketing. Overall, Millennials are also much more positive about the Internet and rate it as generally good for society, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Many of this  generation are now popular personalities in their own right, having started early to recognize the benefits of digital platforms and use them to their advantage. That’s because, unlike what their parents were used to, social networks offer the opportunity to share personal opinions and creative ideas with a community of like-minded people.

The Characteristics of the Influencer Marketing Target Group Millennials

Studies on media consumption trends show that Millennials use social media even more than Gen Zers, at 90.4%. Accordingly, they spend 2 hours and 44 minutes per day online. This is important information for marketers as the data proves where to best target Millennials: on social media.

The most popular social platforms among Millennials (ages 25-40)

  • Facebook 78%
  • YouTube 77%
  • Instagram 63%
  • Twitter 48%

Snapchat (30%) and especially TikTok (16%) are less popular among Millennials as these social networks attract mostly Gen Z. Also, read everything you need to know regarding influencer marketing and Gen Z on the Kolsquare blog.

Interests, attitudes, and motivations vary greatly among Millennials as they are by no means a homogeneous group. This is primarily due to age differences, with 25-year-olds pursuing different goals than 40-year-olds. The former is more likely to focus on education and career and typically live as singles while the latter may already have a family, a house, and a permanent job.

However, Millennials do have one thing in common: they typically emphasize one set of values, which is reflected in their buying behavior. Consequently, when Millennials look for products and services online, they look for brands that are transparent and emphasize a sense of community. In addition, many of this generation are committed to political, social, and ecological issues.

Graphic by Cure Media

With this idealistic conviction, Millennials are often willing to pay more for products and services if they support green initiatives or have local roots – which research by Nielsen shows. However, compared to Gen Z, who are also interested in climate and environmental issues, Millennials in 2022 already have their own money that they are happy to invest in brands with the right CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

Influencer Marketing for Millennials

The main issues for Millennials, as mentioned earlier, are sustainability and social responsibility. An incentive to buy a product or use a service is the desire to spend money on something they feel good about or that solves a problem. Thus, Responsible Influence seems to be a good lever for thsi generation.

“Going Zero Waste” founder Kathryn Kellogg is a good example of a Millennial influencer who has built her business on generational values. Kellogg is also a spokesperson for National Geographic, senior sustainability officer at One Movement, and author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste.  

Work with Brand Ambassadors to Reach Millennials

The first tip may hardly surprise you because the core of influencer marketing is to choose the right KOL for the campaign. Since Millennials are your target audience, you should not choose Gen Z influencers for your strategy. You need online personalities that your target audience trusts and beliefs. User-generated content is particularly successful as 84% of Millennials say that seeing this influences their purchasing decisions. This behavior is deeply rooted, as a study by Edelman proves: it is quite natural that we believe “normal” people more than companies.

Brand ambassadors are a great idea to reach Millennials as they are true fans of your brand and can communicate your brand’s values more authentically. As mentioned, millennials only buy from brands that don’t put profit above all else. For example, 37% are willing to purchase more expensive products if they support a good cause.

Learn more about the three ways to turn influencers into your brand ambassadors!

Take Advantage of Social Commerce on Social Platforms

Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. are focusing on expanding and improving their integrated social commerce offerings in 2022. You and your brand should take advantage of this as millennials are good and happy to shop online.

Graphic by GWI

Live shopping events are one of many different, creative ways you can get millennials to shop directly on your social media accounts. As Social Media Today predicts, social commerce will actually increase in the coming years, making investments in this regard all the more worthwhile.

Combine Commerce and Entertainment in Your Influencer Marketing Strategy for Millennials

76% of Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than material things while 59% of Baby Boomers consider property as happiness. Thus, the buzzword “entertainmerce” can be used to summarize the merging of entertainment and e-commerce. GWI data shows that 36% also want to find fun and entertaining content on social media. Accordingly, you should keep the “entertainment value” of your campaign in mind.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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