Youth marketing paradigms have shifted over the past five years due to more young people having access to technology and the internet. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram came with new dynamics. We have since seen the growing digital marketing trends in these platforms.
Facebook and Instagram have significantly influenced how brands advertise and develop campaigns for new products. These social media platforms introduced the world to trends. The way young people engage and interact with brands on these social media platforms has challenged companies to move from traditional marketing tools and to embrace social media platforms in their strategies.
The younger generation is purpose driven and has became very conscious of who they are. They engage with and support brands that contribute to the wellbeing of their communities, environment and those that resemble with their values.
Strategies for millennials
Companies need to understand the different attitudes and thinking of millennials in order for them to develop meaningful marketing strategies that resonate with them. In addition, understanding and knowing the difference between the older generation millennials and the younger generation millennials has become imperative for any company targeting youth.
The younger generation millennials (known as generation Y) are not as fixated on material things compared to the older generation millennials (known as generation X). Generation Y invests on products that give them a new experience and that resonate with their values.
Generation Y is more tech savvy and has access to information. Thus, they are more conscious and want to know everything about the products or services they consume. Brands must always starve to be authentic; their brands must share the same values as their target audiences for them to stay relevant and cool. For example, the Levis brand had to under go through a serious brand change and transformation to stay relevant to the younger market by introducing new denim material and styles. The brand had to move away from the old trusted styles and denim material that it was famously known for for many years.
Millennials do not only use social media to share their lives but share information, pictures and videos of the products or services they consume and how they rate brands. 78% of the millennials buy online and post pictures of their brand experiences and products they consume on their social media. Companies have to make their brands personal and memorable.
Millennials are highly influenced by their peers and are always looking for the next best and cool things. Brands should be engaging and pay more attention to what millennials are passionate about. These millennials also have high expectations of brand experiences.
Brands are attracting more audiences by showing authenticity through social influencers campaigns. They give social influencers the products to use and show their followers the benefits of the products.
Kulani Mashele is communications officer at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa, working on various social democracy-related projects. She is also interested in South African youth marketing trends and strategies. Follow her on Twitter @kuli_mashele
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