5 Ways to Make Your Brand Appeal to Millennials

12/20/2016 08:55 am ET Updated Dec 20, 2017

Millennials now occupy the largest segment of the population, so if you are a business-to-consumer company, it's important to figure out how to engage this younger demographic. If your target audience is in its 20s and 30s, use these tips to help make your brand appeal to Millennials.

1. Shift your focus online.

Millennials do everything online -- when they want something they immediately go online. There is no other thought process involved. If this is your target demographic, you need to shift the majority, if not all, of your focus to marketing online.

The online environment is extremely competitive for brands -- that's where the attention is, and it's going to cost you to place your brand and products in front of the Millennial audience. You must be prepared to pay to play. If you don't, your competition will.

2. Assume every website visitor is mobile.

If your website isn't already optimized for mobile devices you are at a severe disadvantage and more than likely losing business daily. The Millennial demographic is glued to their mobile devices every waking moment -- either in hand or within reach at all times.

Mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic back in 2014 and hasn't looked back since. It continues to increase, to the point that you have to almost assume every visitor will be hitting your website on his or her mobile device.

This isn't limited to only Millennials, either, as every demographic is using mobile devices more to access websites and make purchases. If you look at Canvas and Decor, an online canvas printing company, you will see their entire process is mobile optimized. Yes, Millennials are dominant mobile users, but every age demographics' mobile use continues to increase as well.

3. Run paid social ads on Facebook.

The average time that users spend on Facebook is nearing an hour -- it's currently about 50 minutes. That's more than any other leisure activity surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Millennial audience is on Facebook every single day, and when you combine that with the targeting options offered to advertisers, it makes it possible to place your product and brand directly in front of your ideal customer.

Facebook gives you something that not every online advertising platform does -- and that's access to virtually every single consumer worldwide. It takes some testing, but once you develop a successful campaign it's easy to scale because of the sheer audience volume available.

4. Tell your brand story through content marketing.

Millennials are immune to traditional advertising. They can see right through it, so you need to get creative to get on their radar. They love stories -- how your company started or how it helps solve problems.

Content that has a personal element to it will outperform traditional advertisements when it comes to Millennials. Use your company's blog as a platform to tell your story, and avoid blog posts that are glorified ads. This is also a great way to let the personalities at your company shine, as well as giving a peek inside your company's culture. Millennials eat this up.

5. Establish an edgy element.

As mentioned above, Millennials live online, but simply "being online" isn't enough. There are several brands all fighting for the same attention, so you need to do something to stand out and differentiate your brand from the competition.

If you appear to be like every other brand in your category you will be skipped right over. Establish an edge that will command the attention of your audience and communicate that edge through your content marketing and storytelling.

Jonathan Long is the Founder of Market Domination Media®, an online marketing consulting agency. Jonathan also created EBOC (Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Community), a private business forum and founded consumer products Sexy Smile Kit, a teeth whitening brand and Sexy Slim Tea, a diet detox tea brand.