Marketing to Millennials? Influencer Outreach, Not Facebook, Is The Key

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Want to market your product or brand to a Millennial? Never mind Facebook; the key to marketing to Millennials lies in reaching the complete strangers who influence them.

Bazaarvoice CMO Erin Nelson recently wrote in Forbes magazine that Millennials making a buying decision are likely to seek advice from “those with relevant experience,” rather than friends. Equip those influencers with tools to create content about your brand, says Nelson.

Why Facebook Marketing Misses the Mark

I’ve always been skeptical of companies that focus too much on Facebook. Sure, Facebook has 4 gazillion users, and yes, the average user spends 32.7 hours per day there. But Facebook marketing has always focused on status updates, which only reach the Newsfeeds of your existing fans. The real gold is in reaching Friends of Fans.

Reaching Friends of Fans (FOFs) got easier in late 2011 thanks to new features Facebook launched — primarily the ticker. But getting fans to interact with you in a way that’s visible to friends is still a challenge for marketers. And as Nelson points out, Millennials place limited stock in the advice and recommendations of their friends.

Beyond Facebook: Reaching Influencers

One of my favorite marketing tactics, blogger outreach, works because you’re tapping trusted bloggers to carry your brand message. A credible blogger can wield tremendous influence with your target market. And bloggers help you reach new audiences, whereas Facebook updates primarily reach existing customers.

Influencer outreach is about more than publicity campaigns. Your customers — the very strangers who influence Millennials’ purchasing decisions — are already creating content about you, some good and some bad. Nelson says finding this content and making it easily accessible to Millennials at the moment of their purchasing decision is key.

So who are these influencers? It used to be simple: Mainstream media, celebrities, etc. Today, the most influential voice in your customer’s purchase decision might be a blogger, a Yelp reviewer, or a MeetUp group organizer.

The challenge for marketers is discovering — and winning over — those influencers.

For more information on creating an influencer relations strategy to win over those who influence your customers and prospects, contact us today

  • FirequillPublications

    Fascinating. I have much to learn about Social Marketing