You hear about them all the time, and for very good reasons. Millennials have created a buzz among financial marketers. And it looks like the buzz is not going away anytime soon. After all, millennials represent $200 billion in annual buying power. So when you’re marketing financial services, they should be right on top of the list.
Millennials are born between the early 80’s to the mid-90’s. This is the generation that graduated in the new millennium. They are also called Generation Y. For context, they are of the age of moving into middle and upper management in business and entering their prime earning years right now.
There are unique aspects about their personality we haven’t seen before. This is why marketing to them can be tricky. This makes it even more important to get to know them better.
The Truth about Millennials
Millennials are a misunderstood bunch. But if you want solid insurance leads, it’s important for you to break the barriers. Millennials may be tough to figure out. But with the right mindset, you’ll start to see why they are who they are.
To start your exploration of the millennial mind, here are a few facts you should know:
The bottom line is this: Millennials are financially educated and they speak the digital language. This means that without a digital approach, you might as well forget about them. And in doing so, you’ll see a steady decline into nothingness in the next five years. This is a virtual (nice pun, huh?) guarantee.
How to Market to Millennials
This generation can be the key to your success—once you find the secret of how to make them say yes.
Doing the same thing over and over again will not work with millennials. They move fast and they change fast. This much is evident by the way trends change nowadays. It is even more doubtful that traditional marketing would work on this generation. Their easy access to information makes it easy to find alternatives.
Here are 10 tips on how to market your services to millennials:
1. Use social media as your primary tool.
A better term for this group is the connected generation. If you want to get to them, you’ll have to connect. The primary tool for this is social media.
Did you know that about 65 percent of millennials press the like button for brands on Facebook? They also actively follow their favorite brands on Twitter.
But it’s more than just being active on these social media channels. Millennials actually use these platforms to make buying decisions. They want to do their own research before making a purchase. Specifically, they look at what others have said about you.
This is why it is very important to know what specific social media platforms your audience uses. You also have to understand that each social media network has a culture of its own. Your Instagram audience will have different needs than your Facebook audience. They key here is to learn the ins and outs of each platform.
2. Make it mobile-friendly.
Fifty-five percent of millennials rely on their mobile device to connect to the rest of the digital world. Suffice it to say, missing out on your mobile strategy would be a big loss for you.
What does being mobile-friendly mean? For starters, you have to look at the difference between a regular desktop and a mobile device. It is essential to have a responsive design website that displays well on all screen sizes.
From there, you’ll realize what matters. Formatting, readability, and faster load times are things you have to pay attention to. A mobile audience is also less patient. You have a few seconds to catch their attention with your content. Otherwise, they’ll just continue scrolling down their feed.
3. Educate, don’t sell.
Millennials are smarter. They’re not just going to swallow anything you feed them. They have a trust radar that can sniff out when they’re being sold.
What you can take advantage of, however, is the millennial’s nature of sharing. They share posts. They share insights. They take full advantage of the fact that communication is easier in this digital era. As such, instead of pushing your own products and services, collaborate.
Show your audience that you’re willing to share the gains. Prove that it’s not just about you. Partner up with a blogger. Look for a brand that rallies the same principles. Then, create content that people can share.
Don’t just promote—inform. Don’t sell—educate. Don’t do all the talking—engage with the audience.
4. Stop focusing on the price.
Remember the list of facts mentioned earlier? Millennials do not care as much about the price. Sure, they may cringe at a high price, but when they realize that the product or service is valuable, they’ll buy it. ($5 coffee, anyone?)
This is why you need to stop promoting low prices. What you need to focus on are the reasons why your products are of value. Discuss what solutions you provide. Tell them how these can solve their problems. Share stories about why you have an edge over the others. Look at their lifestyle and show them how your products fit them.
5. Engage in real conversations.
One thing millennials hate is being neglected and ignored. After all, they grew up knowing that communication is easier now more than ever. The moment you start paying attention to them, that’s when you start earning their trust.
How do you start communicating? Well, let’s go back to the basics. Listen.
Visit pages and groups where millennials can be found. Observe how they interact with each other. This will show you what language they speak and what they talk about the most.
Do close monitoring of your own social media pages as well. Encourage your audience to share their thoughts. Then look at each of their comments and reactions. Create responses that specifically target each concern. This will show the millennials that you’re going out of your way to actually listen to them. That’s where the conversations start. That’s when the trust starts building up.
6. Make customer service accessible.
Millennials don’t just sit back and let things slide. They give feedback when necessary. And they enjoy it when you make it easier for them to leave feedback.
This is why it is essential to keep your customer service lines open. Allow them to send messages to you on whichever platform they prefer. This is perfect in this day and time. You have so many options considering the numerous messaging apps available. You can also have a chat box on your website. Being responsive to all these channels, of course, is a given.
7. Enrich their customer experience.
Customer service is a single part of the whole. You may have perfected how to respond to your customer’s issues. But what happens all the other times you’re not engaging with them?
This is where customer experience comes in.
How easy is it to navigate your website? Are the FAQs easily accessible? Do you have a mobile app that allows your customers to enjoy added perks? Part of this experience is gauging how their needs are addressed as well. Is your content easily searchable on search engines? What about your physical stores? Can they be located on the map?
You may not be talking to a specific client at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t exploring your pages. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying out your services. Make sure that their experience can be rated top marks.
8. Give something back.
Don’t just expect your audience to buy your products. Sure, they get your products and services in exchange for their money, but they have to receive something more.
Think about different promos you can launch. Would you like to raffle off a prize? Your audience may even appreciate a few discount coupons here and there.
Adding a few extras like these will make your target audience realize that you’re not just after the profits. It shows that you give importance to them as well.
9. Find brand ambassadors.
You’ve probably given the same advice to somebody else. Give the best experience to your current customers. This will prompt them to recommend you to family and friends. But did you know that millennials actually trust strangers more?
Sixty-six percent of boomers rely on recommendations of family and friends. But only 49 percent of millennials do so. As for recommendations from strangers, only 34 percent of boomers trust them, but 51 percent of millennials do.
So how do you use this to your advantage? You have to start creating brand ambassadors. These are people who will champion your business. It can be an influencer in a specific field. It can even be regular, everyday people. The point is, these ambassadors will be able to influence others to trust your brand.
10. Share stories, and not sales pitches.
So you’ve perfected your elevator pitch. Hooray for you. But millennials aren’t easily swayed. Again, they hate hard selling. What they crave are connections.
This is why you have to give more importance to stories. Gather testimonials from your existing customers. How were your products and services able to help them? What made them realize that they needed your products?
Through these stories you can find a way for your leads to relate with the scenario. Find common ground. Is your potential client a homeowner? Then share stories about other homeowners who have purchased your product. Is your lead a husband and father? Sharing stories about similar people would greatly help.
Millennials may be challenging to reach. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do so. Stop being part of the crowd dedicated to misunderstanding them. Instead, step out of your comfort zone. Get to know them. Know what their interests are. More important, apply the tips above to your financial marketing strategies. This will help you get better numbers and hit more targets.
is the founder and lead consultant for Advisors 2 Inbound, a marketing consulting agency whose focus is to help insurance agencies use social media and digital marketing to grow their businesses. As a sixth-generation insurance professional, Milner's own insurance career started as a high school senior, when he interned with the The Milner Group, a nearly 60-year old life insurance brokerage general agency in northeast Atlanta. He learned the business by working in the marketing and business development departments. He then attended Emory University in Atlanta, earning his Bachelor's Degree in U.S. History and Economics. After graduation, he began his career in digital marketing, joining creative Atlanta-based inbound marketing agency Marsden & Associates. There he served as project manager for several Fortune 100 clients, as well as small-to-midsized businesses in the financial services sector. In 2014, he left Marsden and partnered with The Milner Group to form Advisors 2 Inbound. To learn more about Milner and Advisors 2 Inbound, you can connect with him on Twitter (@ReadeMilner) and on LinkedIn (Linkedin.com/in/ReadeMilner), or visit his website Advisors2inbound.com. Milner can also be reached via email at: Reade@Advisors2inbound.com. Phone: 678-863-0982.