To a lot of businesses garnering the youth vote is important. Catching the attention of the younger audience can benefit you down the road as they become older and start families. The youth of today are all about mobile and instant gratification. If they buy a product online they want it to show up at their door without defect or hassle. Visiting your store they want the product in-house, working and available to buy it right then, right there. Having clever marketing and a unique online presentation is a step in the right direction for attracting the youth audience to your business. Below are some clever tips from entrepreneurs on how to appeal to a younger audience.
The principles of good design apply
When seeking loyalty from a younger customer base, the same principles of good design still apply. My website–My Dream Teacher–is geared toward children. Any marketer knows the challenge of creating a kid-friendly business: How do you craft your business to attract children while not alienating their parents? After all, the parents are the ones who make the purchasing decisions. My team and I made sure to create a vibrant, colorful look that children could find engaging. At the same time, we wanted to maintain a professional look so as to appeal to parents and teachers. Implementing the principles of good, professional design, we were able to achieve a look that was both inviting to younger clients as well as attractive to adults.
Thanks to Mimi West, My Dream Teacher
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Design is the silver bullet
Design is the silver-bullet in creating appeal. The hippest brands today are thoughtfully designed to emote what younger people care about whether that be non-conformity or eco-friendliness. We all make decisions based on both rational and emotional factors. The younger your market, the more emotional and less rational the buying decisions are likely to be. Design is the art and science of communicating information and evoking emotion. One of the reasons design is such a distinguishing factor for youth appeal is that bad design is associated with large, thoughtless organizations. Everything we do at my company, from our website to our business cards, is painstakingly designed to evoke the emotions we care about.
Thanks to Charles Pooley, Workfolio
Make an effort to target young adults
We specifically target college age young adults to serve the community. We have college student interns and volunteers that table at the 5 major schools here in San Diego to provide information about serving the community through Embrace (www.Embrace1.org) Just about 100% of our volunteers use Facebook daily. We provide all volunteer, job, and volunteer appreciation opportunities on our Facebook fan page wall. While using Facebook, by tagging students in photos that were taken while serving the community, we ensure that those photos have a chance of being shared virally, which often happens. We also create pre and post community service event videos using college students to create the videos and star in the videos, this way, the students do our marketing for us by passing along the videos to their friends and family, who pass it on to their friends and family and so on. Our brand stays on the minds of young adults in college, in large part, because our Facebook posts and videos feature familiar faces, if not themselves. We have several weekly volunteer opportunities that we notify them of via Facebook and they enjoy receiving the notifications. Each Embrace post presents and opportunity for the students to not only serve the community, but it also presents the opportunity for the students to appear in a video or photos that capture them doing something good where they receive kudos from friends and family for doing so. Because thousands of college-age young adults serve the community through us, a very attractive demographic to certain companies, corporate sponsorships from Coca-Cola, Jack In The Box and San Diego Gas & Electric are “easy” to come by.
Thanks to Sean Sheppard, Embrace
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Pay special attention to social media
Bikes are for all ages, but our target demographic falls within the teenage to early thirties range. How do we appeal to this younger audience? For one, we pay special attention to social media. We linked our Instagram feed to our site, so we could make our young and web-savvy users a part of our content strategy. We also try to fill our blog with content that will appeal to their generation. For example, check out this blog post we wrote about single-speed bikes. Yes, it has a lot of information about the difference between a fixed gear bike and single speed, but it also offers information on sustainability and DIY mentality – two widely trending topics among our target age group.
Thanks to Briana Anter, Critical Cycles
Keep them wanting more
Importantly for entrepreneurs, big ad spends are not enough to sustain relationships with Millennials. Having a trusted inner circle of a few go-to brands is becoming the norm for this generation. Increasingly, they feel ‘burdened with choice,’ so much so even big brand activity can fail to register. As in real life, the acid test of a satisfying, loyal brand friendship is rooted not in the occasional grand gesture, or in constant talking and not listening, but in thoughtful, empathic actions, and the many small, meaningful gestures that both simplify and enrich Millennials’ lives. Based on our research, here are some tips on how to connect with a younger audience: * Treat them as a valued friend, not a consumer – Curate individualized experiences based on what you know about their interests. * Mirror their personal values – Millennials have the strongest connections with brands that mirror their personal values and interests. * Make them proud – Being accepted by the group is a more natural state for Millennials than being the lone promoter. * Make their life less complicated – Millennials see their favorite brands as essential hubs through which they manage their daily routines. * Deliver what you promise – Trust is based in consistency and Millennials become disconnected from brands when the delivery doesn’t match with them. * Keep them wanting more – Millennials value innovation that excites them about new possibilities, redefines the way things are done or experienced, connects them with the ‘current’ conversation and progresses society. * Have a meaningful back story – Millennials love brands with a history, regardless of whether it’s an old one or not; they appreciate it when you credibly mash-up different influences to create a cultural legacy. * Be bigger than your product – Millennials want relationships that provide opportunities to co-create things, be mentored, extend their networks, form new social groups and help them feel like they’re doing good for the planet and contributing to society (all w/o sacrificing anything)
Thanks to Anne Bahr Thompson, Onesixtyfourth
Reach your audiences early
One of the main components for small and large businesses alike is to reach their audiences EARLY with SUPPORT. By supporting school initiatives with the financial and/or product support that so many of them desperately need (in this economic environment), companies are able to make an indelible impression upon the students as well as their parents, teachers & staff at the school/organization, and even their grandparents. That is hitting THREE generations of potential loyal customers. The increased benefit is that most/all institutions have their alpha volunteers – schools have their parents that are on most of the boards & committees and are extremely influential with all of their friends, relatives, and colleagues. This is a fantastic prospective loyalist for company ‘sponsors’ to pay close attention to. These are the people that will ‘tell a friend, who will tell a friend, and so on, and so on…’. These are the people who have a large Facebook base that see their posts and react to them. In the coming years, it is absolutely critical for brands to see beyond traditional advertising and look to sponsor worthwhile efforts, such as school fundraising/sponsorship opportunities. It is not enough to market, for marketing sake – it is a cycle of support that will drive economics and loyalty from early childhood into adulthood.
Thanks to Abbe Murray-Cote, Opportunity Knox
Utilize social media networks
For your business brand to appeal to younger audiences, you have to utilize social media networks. And not just any social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, but as many channels as possible. These include Pinterest, Google+, Reddit, even YouTube, and so on and so forth. In this day and age, members of the younger population are disproportionately represented on social media networks. As a result, in order to grab their attention, your company needs to have a strong foundation in social media, where all the conversations are today.
Thanks to Ian Aronovich, GovernmentAuctions
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