It’s no surprise that millennials and social media marketing are a match made in heaven.
Millennials primarily use digital channels to help them with their buying decisions.
In this post, we break down the most interesting millennial data from a recent report and tell you how to better market to this growing group.
Millennials B2B Report
Sacunas, Inc. released a report entitled, “The Next Generation of B2B Buyers: How the Millennial Business Buyer is Changing B2B Sales & Marketing.”
The report, along with Pew Research Center, gives the following stats and status of millennials:
- Millennials have surpassed Gen X as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force
- In 2015, there were approximately 55.2 million millennials in the U.S. workforce
- By 2025, millennials are predicted to grow to include 74 million millennials (44% of the workforce will be made up of millennials)
What this means for marketers is that the millennial group has surpassed Boomers by numbers, and by midcentury, the Boomer population will dwindle to 16.6 million.
That puts the buying power directly in the hands of the men and women whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015.
And when you think about shifting from selling to Boomers to Millennials — there’s a lot that needs to be done differently.
Millennials Are Digital By Default
As Google’s ZMOT study found years ago, digital channels are increasingly important for researching during the buying phase.
“The majority of millennials (56%) indicate that digital channels such as search engines, vendor websites and social media are the most important channels for researching new products and services.” [source]
And though social media ranks as “important”, it’s not nearly as high on the list of factors as SEO, websites, and peer-to-peer recommendations.
Additionally, the report found that mobile device ownership is near saturation for this group with:
- 86% of adults ages 18-29 having smartphones (compared to 83% for ages 30-49)
- 50% of adults ages 18-29 having tablets (compared to 57% ages 30-49)
Reading into the data, it may be concluded that millennials are moving away from devices like tablets and sticking to their mobile device as a second screen.
Millennials And Social Media Marketing
When it comes to millennials and social media marketing, the report found:
- 85% of millennials use social media to research products and services for their jobs/companies
- Facebook is the millennials’ primary choice (40%) for a social channel
- YouTube is the millennials’ secondary choice for social media
- Millennials with a household income of $100k+ use LinkedIn more than millennials with a household income of $35k or less
There was no mention of SnapChat in the report, possibly due to the B2B nature of buying patterns for millennials (but still interesting to note).
And when it comes to content and social media, millennials prefer the following formats:
- Video (29%)
- Case Study (19%)
- White Paper (16%)
- Brochure (15%)
- Webinar (11%)
- Infographic (11%)
- *(content formats preferred for researching a new product or service for their company)
Millennials want to see it work before they talk to sales, and prefer helpful content like:
- Training & Demos (39%)
- Product News (29%)
- Industry News (12%)
- Company News (8%)
- Thought Leadership Topics (5%)
- None of the above (8%)
If you’re B2B and marketing to millennials, my guess is you will need to think about your newsletter and email content long and hard (if going off of the above stats) before you hit send.
What The Above Means For You
If your company or brand offers B2B products and/or services (like us!), it’s time to start thinking about the new decision makers (aka: millennials).
I know for our team, this means spending less time on sales content like webinars and infographics, and more time on video and case studies — we start with our video marketing next week, and by the end of the year plan to have at least three case studies available on our website.
And being that our newsletter is mostly compiled of industry news, we’ve got to brainstorm an overhaul.
You should also consider these channels at the forefront of marketing to millennials:
- Your website
- Live training/demos
- Facebook (because everyone else says millennials are LEAVING this platform)
- LinkedIn — especially for millennial decision-makers with higher incomes (check out this LinkedIn + Millennials Playbook)
And one last area we’re focusing on, not mentioned in the report (and good for B2B or B2C), is customer service.26% of millennials say using the phone for customer service is 'inconvenient.' Click To Tweet
Furthermore, according to this CIO article, 80% of Americans in general are not apt to use the phone when problems arise.
For us and our clients, that means putting an emphasis on processes and workflows that utilize social media for customer service initiatives.
Have you thought about millennials and social media marketing changes that need to take place to create better messages for this group? Let us know how you’re preparing for the largest buying group in the comments section below!
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