Attracting a younger demographic can be challenging, especially with the competition of online-only financial institutions and fintechs. Do you feel like you have a good understanding of what it takes to market to a younger audience?
In marketing, it is essential to really understand your target market. American millennials have an average net worth of less than $8,000, meaning they're financially worse off than any other generation before them. On average, they earn $35,592 and have average savings of less than $5,000 according to a SmartAssest Survey.
A variety of circumstances contribute to millennials’ well-being, including student loan debt, rising cost of living and smaller salaries. You may be wondering, why you should even market to millennials if they are not as financially stable as previous generations! According to Adweek, 93% of millennials have purchased a product after hearing about it from a family member or friend, and 90% of millennials will share their brand preferences online. Millennials are more brand loyal than previous generations, and according to Bank of America's 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report, more than half have a savings goal and are actually working toward it.
To help you reach these socially conscious, brand loyal, digitally savvy (and active) millennials, here are some best practices so your credit union can become the greatest of all time!
An effective referral program is key to capitalizing on millennials that make purchase decisions based on a family or friend referral. When creating or reviewing your referral program, keep in mind that millennials are looking for instant gratification when it comes to the reward. According to Hawk Incentives, 65% of millennials say they prefer digital rewards versus 45% of boomers. The instant gratification encourages them to refer more of their network to your credit union.
Content written for millennials resonates best. Does your blog write about topics such as student loans, refinancing or the cost difference between renting or buying a home? These are critical topics of concern for younger millennials. Older millennials may even want retirement savings advice or growing family-related materials, such as the safest SUVs. Regardless of the content, it’s important that your brand is relatable, and if none of your content or photos are relatable, then they will look for alternatives.
Inbound is In
Millennials want a highly personalized experience when it comes to advertising. Content is king, and it can come in all forms. You can create a podcast focused on saving when you have student debt or to buy your first home. Your credit union should be seen as a trusted adviser, and your advertising should lean native. When you think of the path most millennials will take to enter your sales funnel, it will be through a digital means. Your blog or video content, which when very educational and helpful in nature, builds trust between your brand and them. They are looking for support and advice when it comes to financial literacy issues. In the age of influencers, content that captures your unique culture and offerings will be highly valued among millennials.
Living Their Best Lives
Image Source: Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019
Millennials prefer experiences over material goods. As a marketer, think about how you are going to provide them with an experience they will talk about for months. You could send an influencer on a trip to every state you have a branch to get across the point of how you are there for them on the go. Establish a credit card with travel rewards that allows them to use their rewards to pay off student debt. It could be as simple as re-evaluating the community events you are sponsoring and ensuring they are millennial centric.
Methods for marketing to a younger audience abound, and traditional forms of marketing are not cutting it for younger generations. Marketing changes every year, but the key pieces don’t change: Develop the persona for a millennial. Create small focus groups of millennials who know about credit unions and others who only shop banks, and then pick their brains.
It is easy to get bogged down with the latest shiny technology but tailoring your marketing and creating authentic content will always make you the GOAT.