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5 Effective Ways to Engage Millennial Customers

The key is to feed them well and give them what they want

If you’d just do a quick Google search starting with “how to market to”, the first phrase that shows up would be “how to market to millennials. This is enough evidence to prove that brands are still trying to discover the secret sauce in building meaningful relationships with millennials (who have close to $200 billion in purchasing power each year), especially in the one area that they are regularly camping at – social media.

Coming from a fellow millennial's perspective - here are 5 most effective ways to maximize your chances of catching and retaining the millennial customers' attention.

1. Social videos will gain more attention than ever

In 2015, Facebook more than doubled its daily video views to 8 billion, Twitter launched its own native video, while the must-have application among millennials – Snapchat reports a staggering 6 billion daily video views. A consumption of 66 minutes of online video by adult users has prompted Facebook to seize the opportunity and roll out features like a video feed and Suggested Videos to allow video consumption to be a fluid process. Snapchat, arguably the next big thing for marketers, has a dedicated video feed, Snapchat Stories, which provides endless opportunities for brands to engage with consumers to share real-time moments.

2. Authentic video content is king

Despite the stats, marketers think twice before getting into the social video arena, as the cost of producing a good video can be a huge deterrence. Marketers should not lose sight on the possibilities a good video can bring about, as there are a myriad of alternatives such as short form videos from 8 seconds Vines to 15 seconds Instagram videos, and live streaming video apps like Periscope and Meerkat. Don’t get me wrong, does it really have to be live? No. But it really has to be real. Capturing the unfiltered genuine reactions on videos is what makes it so captivating, and the primary reason why Snapchat and Periscope is all the hype now.

3. Emoji is the new language for millennials

Emojis speak louder than words. By incorporating emojis, marketers can revitalize their content strategy and humanize their brands especially during times when engagement has staled due to lack of media support. Coke and Dove, who understood that emojis reduces the inertia of customer engagement, partner with Twitter who allows them to customize their emojis to promote alongside the mandatory hashtag to catapult their story to the top of the trending list.

4. True influence drives action

Influencer marketing has never been more crucial in driving sales as 90% of consumers trust friends and families despite of an advertisement flying right in their face. Although every organization varies in their definition of an advocate and an influencer, what matters is the value that they bring to the company, taking into consideration the costs that were invested in them. True influence drives action, not just awareness, regardless of their status. Using the amount of reach one has to measure its influence over others is highly inaccurate and a misrepresentation of what influence represents. If a brand pays an influencer and he or she manages to drive actions among the target audience, versus, a brand advocate who upholds the brand philosophy but only inspires awareness and not action, the individual whom the brand should invest in is apparent.

5. Real time engagement

Social media has altered the perception of efficiency on consumers; there is an expectation of receiving instant replies from brands pertaining to a variety of concerns. The time when brands should be really concerned about is when consumers approach them as a result of having issues with its product or service. Leveraging the messenger service for customer care, Hyatt engage in real time dialogues to let consumers experience a seamless integration of social and business. Also, consumers who are interested in reaching out to the brand doesn’t have to be an existing follower or fan of the brand on Facebook hence concerns about constant updates or spamming from the brand on their newsfeed are invalid.

It might seem as if millennials are a demanding and insatiable bunch of customers, but one should not neglect that technology advancements has made almost everything possible in 2016. Brands that are willing to make that small investment to satisfy these demands will be rewarded with the loyalty of the millennial consumers which is invaluable.

- J

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