Local Marketing for Millennials: 7 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

When it comes to marketing to millennials, many brands struggle to find the right approach to engagement. Outdated models and an inability to tailor messaging to reach this audience continues to infringe upon building awareness for future customers.

Right now, there’s no generation more important to local marketing than millennials. That comes as no surprise when you take a look at the stats for this audience.

  • There are 80 million millennials in the U.S., roughly ¼ of the total population
  • American millennials spend more than $200 billion annually
  • Today, millennials offer the strongest lifetime value to brands of any generation

Despite the value offered by millennial consumers, many local businesses struggle to reach this generation. Strategies that worked for Gen-X and the Baby Boomers seem to fall flat with millennial consumers.

If you want to connect with millennials, you simply can’t afford to use outdated models. Instead, you’ll need to tailor your local marketing efforts to millennials’ habits, personalities, and preferences.

For local marketing via digital media, you’ll want to follow these do’s and don’ts when targeting millennials.

7 Local Marketing Do’s for Millennials

#1. DO Keep Things Short

Attention spans today aren’t what they used to be. This is particularly true among millennials who’ve grown up on digital technologies. Marketing to millennials requires short and to-the-point messaging. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture their attention, so make those seconds count. 

#2. DO Offer Convenience

The instant gratification of digital media has put a premium on convenience. For proof, look no further than the impact that free one-day shipping has had on Amazon, or the explosive growth of food delivery apps. Millennials want convenience, and they’ll reward brands that provide it.

#3. DO Focus on Mobile

Today, “mobile first” is a maxim of digital marketing, especially for local businesses. But it’s even more important for brands targeting millennials. In fact, they’re the only generation with smartphone ownership rates above 90%, and they spend far more time on mobile devices than desktop computers.

#4. DO Stay Socially Active

In addition to high rates of mobile usage, millennials use social media more than any other generation. Brands that want to engage with millennial consumers need to be active on social media, especially on major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

#5. DO Promote Your Reviews

Millennial consumers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations. In fact, many millennials put more stock in online reviews than the recommendations of friends. To reach millennials, local businesses should focus on generating and promoting positive reviews.

#6. DO Make Positive Change

More other age groups, millennials spend their money on socially conscious products and businesses. By advocating and fundraising for charitable causes — especially local causes within your community — you can build a stronger rapport with this generation.

#7. DO Be Authentic & Considerate

Millennials gravitate toward authenticity, and they’re quick to detect inauthentic messaging. So don’t try to make your business into something it’s not. Instead, focus on what makes you great. Showcase what makes you the best at what you do and make that the core of your local marketing strategy.

3 Local Marketing Don’ts for Millennials

#1. DON’T Misunderstand Who They Are

When brands talk about millennials, they talk about students and younger adults. But today, the oldest millennials are nearly 40 years old, and the youngest are already in their mid-20s. If you focus your marketing efforts on the just-out-of-college crowd, you’re missing the mark on millennials.

#2. DON’T Treat Them as a Monolith

Millennial consumers share a number of traits that can be useful for local marketing. But it’s a mistake to treat millennials as a monolith. Among millennials, there’s an almost limitless array of micro-markets. An effective local marketing strategy won’t simply target “millennials.” Instead, it will target niche markets within this generation.

#3. DON’T Ignore Their Input

One of the easiest and smartest ways to develop a local marketing strategy for millennials is to get input from, well, actual millennials. Yet many local businesses fail to make millennials a part of these efforts. Others seek input from millennial consumers and employees, but they don’t make millennials a part of the decision-making process. Their feedback is downplayed or minimized, and the resulting campaigns fail to connect.