If you want to market to Millennials—and you do—you need to get inside their heads. You need to go where they are, provide them information they care about, and do it all with lightning speed. You should also strive to be as flexible and diverse as they are. You need to be a marketing multitasker, willing to reach prospective students wherever they are, whatever they might be doing.
But before you can market to millennials, you need to know who they are.
Understand the demographic
Millennials are the largest and most diverse demographic cohort in the country. They accept and even embrace that diversity. They eschew the social mores of the past that dictated whom they should and shouldn’t call a friend and they do not judge people or institutions the same way their parents did.
They are hyper connected. Whether in the bedroom or the bathroom, 2 millennials rarely put their cellphones down. More than half of them constantly check their cellphones, many of them admitting that they check their cellphones every 5 to 10 minutes.3 The cellphone is their go-to device for communication, information, research, and more. It helps them plan and record their lives. Whether they’re researching a restaurant, a school or a date, they’re likely doing it on their phone.
They share, trust and believe. More so than previous generations, millennials share personal information and trust that it won’t be misused.4 They’re also more likely to trust the advertising messages they receive, especially when those messages are an authentic and consistent representation of your brand.5
They’re multitaskers. Millennials rarely dedicate their time to a single task. If they’re studying for an exam online, they’re probably also listening to music and texting with friends. This divided attention is both a challenge and an opportunity.
They find more than they search. More than 90 percent of “millennials discover content while browsing social or content feeds, as compared to just 8 percent via search and 2 percent from direct sharing such as email.”
Engage with them
So how do you connect with the people who could be the very lifeblood of your school’s future?
Be a marketing multitasker. Millennials are devout multitaskers, so you need to be too. “While an integrated, multi-channel approach is best across all generations, it carries even more importance when reaching Millennials.” That means you can’t just hit them up on Facebook. You need to find them on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and wherever else they may roam online. If the prospective student you hope to engage with is on Snapchat, then don’t be afraid of it. Get on the platform and engage! Answer the questions they type into a query, but also show up on their feeds and the apps they use the most. Whether they’re watching YouTube videos or swiping right on Tinder, be where they are online.
Be engaging and honest. If you want to turn prospects into students, first get to know them and let them get to know your school and your programs. Be a resource and a guide –an online friend and advisor they can trust.
Charge them a fee. No, not money! Millennials don’t mind handing over their information if they feel that what you’re giving in return is worth it. Provide prospective students with the high quality content they need and don’t be afraid to gate that content.
If you want to attract and engage with prospective students, you need to be relatable. Learn how from the HigherEd Geeks at Effective Student Marketing.