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The Millennial generation has long been analyzed, with many business professionals wondering how to market to Millennials. Yet while this generation may seem mysterious to some, the good news is that all the research on this group means there’s a lot of good answers regarding how to market to Millennials. Effectively reaching this group is particularly important, as even the youngest within this generation are now adults and many have started their own businesses.
Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Having grown up alongside rapid technological change, this generation is largely tech-savvy, though many are at least old enough to remember a time when things like social media were not pervasive. So, while it’s important for insurance agents to know how to market to Millennials online, that’s not to say every tactic has to be 100% digital.
Perhaps what’s more important than the medium regarding how to market to Millennials is figuring out the types of messages that resonate. Whether you’re on social media, blogging or sending out a direct mail ad, it’s important to be genuine and demonstrate what you care about.
In this guide, we’ll explore more how to market to Millennials in terms of both the messaging and the medium.
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Understand What Millennials Value
The first way to solve how to market to Millennials is to try to connect more with what they value. This includes both connecting with what Millennial small business owners care about on a personal and professional level, as oftentimes these are intertwined.
More Than Profit
Many Millennials care about businesses being a positive force in the world. In fact, “83% of Millennials find it important for the companies they buy from to align with their values,” finds 5W Public Relations.
So, rather than just blogging about business issues like budgeting, listen to your Millennial customers and prospects to see what other issues they like to engage on, such as sustainability. From there, you might decide to create blog posts on topics like how being sustainable can positively affect a small business owner’s profitability, e.g., by drawing in new customers or reducing waste.
Engaging in marketing like this not only can help your own business have a positive effect on society, but it can also be a good business decision. That’s because “brands with a strong purpose grew their value by 175%, more than double that of brands with weak purpose,” finds an analysis by Kantar, an analytics and consulting company.
However, be sure to find values that you truly align with, rather than just hopping into whatever conversations Millennial business owners are having as you try to figure out how to market to Millennials.
“Social media has brought transparency…If you can’t genuinely act on your purpose, don’t do it,” says Kantar.
Addressing Economic Uncertainty
While Millennials often care about more than profit, that’s not to say money doesn’t matter, just that it’s not the only factor. In many cases, Millennials have a lot of economic worries. Some of the older members of this generation entered adulthood around the dot-com fallout at the start of the new millennium, while many others had to look for their first jobs in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. That set many Millennials behind the curve, and while they may have gotten their careers back on track and started their own businesses recently, they were then hit by the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While Americans of all ages are being hit hard by the economic upheaval sparked by the coronavirus outbreak, millennials are especially at risk…they have a much smaller financial cushion than prior generations had at their age to protect them from job losses and economic uncertainty,” reports Tami Luhby in CNN.
Altogether, that means insurance agents may want to think about how to market to Millennials in terms of addressing economic uncertainty. Small business owners from this generation may be worried about another downturn, lack the budget to pay for unexpected expenses, or they may simply have less to spend on premiums.
As such, your marketing and sales strategies should be mindful of these circumstances. For example, your content marketing might cover topics like creating a business emergency fund.
Going Digital Is a Must
Be Genuinely Social
A big part of digital marketing, but one where many professionals struggle with how to market to Millennials, is social media. Rather than trying so hard to come up with the most intelligent, impressive posts, however, you may have better success by being more casual and, above all, honest with the business owners you want to reach.
So, instead of, say, creating a Facebook ad with copy targeted to Millennials that overpromises, like saying you’ll transform their business, you might instead write about how starting a business can be scary yet rewarding.
“Millennials are willing to share good advertising but dislike when advertising feels deceptive,” says the University of Southern California Dornsife.
When you get this right, it pays off.
“Millennials are 25% more likely than older generations to buy a product or service because of an ad on social media, and they’re 25% more likely to engage with online ads in general,” finds Clever, a real estate platform.
If it feels like it’s within your capabilities, you might try to create humorous content on social, as Clever finds that funny ads resonate with this generation the most. But don’t worry if that’s not your forte. You can be informative instead, which is the second most common type of ad that resonates, finds Clever.
Just remember to be genuine whether you’re creating an ad, commenting on a business owner’s LinkedIn post, or sharing a tweet about a business lesson you learned.
Selling Insurance Online
As you learn how to market to Millennials, it’s important to be able to connect your lead generation success to closing deals. That means not only excelling at digital marketing but also digital selling.
“A majority of Gen Z and Millennials around the world (69.5%) can imagine a future where 100% of purchases are done digitally/online,” finds LivePerson, a business messaging solutions provider.
Again, this doesn’t mean you have to be all-in on digital, since there’s still a significant segment of Millennials who don’t purchase everything online. Still, the trend points towards the importance of being a digital insurance agent.
So, if you don’t already have a process in place to sell policies online, such as through Wheelhouse, it’s important to set that up. And if you do have online sales capabilities, see how you can incorporate that into your marketing to Millennials, particularly when interacting with those in the later stages of the funnel. If you know a prospect is interested in purchasing a commercial insurance policy and is weighing their options, you could direct them to a landing page where they can compare quotes from multiple providers.
Taking these types of steps won’t work 100% of the time, but the more that you can tap into the ways that Millennials like to engage and can discuss what matters to them, the better your chances will be of closing deals.