Developing a New-Age Branding Strategy.
There are a lot of negative adjectives describing the Millennial generation. In fact, it makes Millennials not even want to be Millennials! But where are these labels coming from? Generation X & Y, the Baby Boomers? Studies have shown that Millennials are all about change. That is not said for the generations before them. When you have a group that was born into creative technology like the Millennials you better believe they are going to think and act differently. But instead of labeling and cringing at a culture built on expressing themselves, let's dive in and understand why they act and react they way they do. After all, there is money to be made.
Who Are Millennials?
Millennials were born from about 1983 to 2000 and they will make up about 75% of the work force by 2025. They have a lot to offer if you or your company can connect and engage with them. I am sure the Negatives will ring a bell. We've got your typical Lazy, Broke but Spendthrifts (interesting), Short Attention Spans, Narcissistic Urban Hipsters, Less Religious, and my favorite Phone Zombies! The list can go on for days and we are all too familiar with them.
Ok, so now let's take a look at the positives. They aren't just embracing Diversity, they are expecting it. They are Creative, Independent Thinkers, Adventurous & Trailblazing. They are Digital Natives that grew up with a level of technological literacy that is new to the market (and unfamiliar to those older generations). They are the most Educated generation yet! And with all that debt there is bound to be motivation. They are Loyal to their brands, Passionate, born Multitaskers (hence those Phone Zombies engaging in one digital platform to another). Entrepreneurial - Reasons Magazine did a survey finding 55% want to start a business and 70% see themselves working independently one day. That's huge! They are considered Try-sumers, this generation is obsessed with trying new products and reviewing them too. They are Enthusiastic and are Problem Solvers. There are some really neat traits in this group.
Millennials grew up during the Great Recession (2008-2012) when there were historically high levels of unemployment. The great debate is 'Will this have long-term damage to the generation?' So when many of them were thrown into the workforce, there wasn't a surplus of jobs, maybe that's why many went on with their education more so than previous generations.
What makes up a marketing plan? There is no exact formula and each company can put together a plan that best suits them. When Knoxville Graphic House builds a Marketing Plan the topics usually consist of Company Goals & Positioning, a Budget, Market Research, a Content Plan, Estimated ROI, and an Action Plan. How in depth we get into each category depends on our clients needs.
Goals & Positioning - Newer companies need to write them out and take them seriously. A company that has been around needs to revisit and freshen up every couple years. Things aren't the way they used to be and successful businesses grow and participate in todays market. A business that is static is just that, static.
Budget - You can dream all you want but if you haven't thought out a proper budget you might not get to far with your plan. Or on the flip side you might end up spending way more money than necessary.
Target Market Research - Remember that if you are targeting Millennials there is a big difference between 18 and 34 year old's buying habits. The older Millennials first tech device was a pager, flip phone or iPod, the younger Millennials started out on an iPhone. Stay away from broad marketing.
Content Plan - This involves the Calendar of Campaigns and an outline of the Content involved for success. Don't forget to include those Social Media Platforms! It has been said that Social Media is the Heartbeat to the Millennial generation. Because Millennials are multi-taskers and switch from platform to platform it is important to have a multi-platform social plan for your business to ensure a larger reach.
Estimated ROI - If your company has a past marketing plan then you can analyze those numbers to create estimates for this year's plan. Are you starting from scratch? Don't worry, give it a guess (an educated one after you have done your research, just be sure it is a realistic one).
Action Plan - The most important part that sometimes gets left out. The Action Plan! Who is going to do all of this work and make sure your research and content gets utilized as you intended? Did you think about Instagram and how it is difficult for some businesses to run? Most instagrammers are on after work hours. Even though Instagram is now owned by FB it does not approve any scheduling Aps. Why? Because they want their users to post in Real Time with Real Photos. If you use a non approved IG scheduling Ap what will happen? You run the risk of being shut down. This is why you have to do it yourself, or hire a company to do your social media management PLUG KGH!
What To Capitalize On
Don't forget to get your Hashtags in on Twitter and Instagram. In fact, today Twitter announced that you will be able to use 280 characters instead of the 140 previously allowed. You have more room for those Hashtags! As silly as it sounds, they work. Each day, even each week a hashtag trends. Within that hashtag different content trends. Attaching a broad hashtag like #Happy, then using a hashtag that is very selective like #KnoxvilleGraphicHouse or create your own hashtag for your campaign, and lastly a couple that are a little 'meet in middle' like #Knoxville & #WomanOwnedBusiness. Having a happy balance is the way to go. Typically content that trends in a hashtag has about 500 or more likes within a couple hours making it a target, but anything goes. Lastly, don't forget to hashtag those days of the week. My favorites are #ThankfulThursday and #SundayRead.
One of the most important things to remember is that Millennials are loyal to the products and companies they love. But they lean towards companies that they believe have purpose, are doing their part and have a positive social impact, along with the quality products they believe in. So don't just be a generic business with a generic logo and a bunch of boring stock images as backgrounds. Show your spirit, show your clients that you are real people behind those phones with real personalities that want to engage and get to know their customers. Every business has a story and it's up to you to share it in a beautiful way. That is exactly what Knoxville Graphic House does and that is why we love our jobs!
What Social Media Platform does the best job at quickly telling a story to Millennials? INSTAGRAM! With over 500 million active monthly users and 48.8% of Brands creating their story, this has become hands down the perfect place to see the true personality of a company. You can even direct traffic to your website through the link in your bio.
Call Knoxville Graphic House today to find your story! 865.971.1007