The term “Millennials” refers to the 76.6 million people born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, one of the largest generations in history. And this massive generation is about to enter its prime spending years. Born in a time when technology was exploding and new discoveries and innovations were making it easy for their generation to have very nearly anything they wanted, the Millennials will ultimately re-shape the economy. Savvy marketers are poised to fulfill any wish of this generation, and will need to be aware of where to find the Millennials on the web, as well as, why they are there and how to get their attention. Let’s take a look at the preferred web hangouts of this new generation of movers and shakers set to change the world:
Millennials don’t want to have to pay for information, news, stock information, etc. Facebook provides these things and more at no charge. The Millennials also use Facebook to connect with one another, plan and fill their social calendars. It’s ever so easy to keep track of and definitely preferable to calling everyone all the time.
Surveys have determined that Millennials love Twitter for its quick and easy entertainment qualities more than anything else, although they also indicate they like the ease of sharing news of events. They also very much enjoy the ability to follow along with a live televised event and post in real time about it.
Millennials prefer BuzzFeed to mainstream television news networks like CBS, FOX, NBC, etc. BuzzFeed’s use of the listicle (basically placing news stories and topics in list form, making it easier to choose topics relevant to the individual) is especially appealing to Millennials as it saves time and is more efficient than having to watch an entire broadcast simply to get information on one or two stories or topics.
Millennials are all about customization and personalization in order to have their favorites on hand without wasting time searching. Surveys have indicated that nearly 8 out of 10 Millennials use Internet radio. Pandora provides the ability to choose what they want to listen to right now and to share it if they wish.
Millennials find YouTube to be the perfect source of entertainment. It is estimated that Millennials visit YouTube at least once a day. Videos provide music entertainment, funny clips, inspiring and upbeat messages, and some full-length features. This is Millennial Shangri-la, with everything they want in one website.
Wattpad is THE Millennial hotspot for indulging their love of the written word. It is a place to discover stories on absolutely any topic they can think of and to slow the pace a bit and just enjoy and escape for a while. Not ebooks, but stories as diverse as the Millennials themselves, shared in one place. No need to download books to a Kindle or search for an engaging novel. Wattpad puts it at the fingertips.
This counterculture website predominantly draws the younger Millennials with its unorthodox and unconventional news stories and videos. It explores subjects that many find too uncomfortable to deal with, although Millennials are known for their open-mindedness. Here is where the fringe element can be found.
BONUS: 8. Investing Blogs
Saving for retirement, budgeting and financial planning remains a challenge for Millennials. Overwhelming student loan debt has stalled the generation’s investing options and the Great Recession has made many wary of taking on financial risk — particularly in the stock market. The financial planner William Bevins blog provides guidance and investment advice for Millennials and how Millennials can achieve their financial goals. There are many other bloggers you can follow to get budgeting and financial advise to reach your goals.
Any marketing specialist worth his salt will see the incredible amount of potential in grabbing the attention of the Millennials using advertising on any of these websites. Facebook already offers everything from hand-made hemp clothing to information on burial in the form of a tree pod following death; what CAN’T be marketed on Facebook? Extra points for the fact that Millennials are very much a “green” generation with care and concern for the environment, and marketing such things as the tree pods is just one example of brilliant target-group connection. With your proverbial ear to the ground, these websites will do the work for you and provide you with every bit of information you need in order to offer products and services to Millennials via these websites, tying in and taking advantage of the specific focus and qualities of each site. The potential is there, some 76.6 million strong, just waiting to be tapped into by the enterprising marketer.