Move over, Baby Boomers, Millennials have taken over as the largest demographic in the United States. They’re the 18-34 year olds who are attending a great deal of your events and have an astounding amount of buying power. So, if you haven’t yet made a concerted effort in marketing your events to this new millennial audience, you are missing out. Why? Consider this fact: 75% of Millennials value experiences over material things. When you are planning out your event marketing and sponsorship strategy, be sure to include these four ways to market your event to Millennials.
1. HANG OUT WHERE MILLENNIALS HANG OUT ONLINE
If you want to market yoru event to a Millennial, put yourself in our shoes. We are a generation that grew into technology becoming second nature to us. We live for virtual connectivity, especially at events, but certainly in our everyday lives. With these things in mind, it’s no wonder we spend so much time online.
Step one in figuring out the best way to market your event to Millennials is to find out where we hang out online. 23% of our time online is spent on social media and blogs, so this is a great place to start. Millennials love interacting with brands, so find out which social network you have the most engagement on. Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and the myriad of free Instagram tools can help shine a line on which network is most worthy of your time. When you find the leading social network (or two!), take time to build content around your event to post. Tell us through social posts what is so special about your event. It could be the keynote speakers, the awesome venue, or the people who have signed up so far. Showing us the why we should want to attend is a powerful message. Plus, it’s never too early to generate FOMO.
And whatever you do: don’t try to market your brand 100%, on every social network, all of the time. It’s not sustainable and you run the risk of marketing yourself potentially to an empty room.
2. MAKE MESSAGING FEEL NATIVE
Another option for marketing your event to millennials is leveraging your digital ads to reach a wider audience. I know what you might be thinking: digital ads have a bad reputation. They are jarring, they are intrusive, and they are hardly ever anything you actually want to click on. So, when it comes to messaging around your event, make it feel native to our social feeds.
This may require a little bit of testing on your end to see what kind of messaging resonates the best with your audience. For example: do animated gifs always earn you a retweet? Are funny posts the way to go? Or is simple, clean imagery the best way to get engagement? Mimic your best performing content when you market your event via a digital ad. The likelihood that you’ll earn a click, share, or best case scenario, a ticket signup, is highly likely.
3. TARGET THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
If you decide to continue on the path of launching digital ads, make sure to target the right audience. And it’s no secret that Millennials look for social proof from their favorite social networks like Instagram or Twitter. So how do you get your event head in front of the right target audience? Most social networks allow you to serve up your ad based on a targeted, geographic area and based on things your followers have liked.
So, if it’s Millennials you’re interested in marketing to, make sure you specify the demographic (18-34 years old), their likes, and their geographic location.
4. DON’T JUST ASK FOR SOCIAL SHARE, INCENTIVIZE IT
It’s always a best practice to add social share buttons about your event. Include social share buttons on blog posts as a call to action, on the event information page, or simply on your website. But, if you want to amp up marketing your event to Millennials with social shares, you can incentivize them.
If you have an event website that also includes an online community of attendees, incentivize social shares with discount referral codes. The referrer can receive exclusives to the event and the referee can get a discount to the event. By encouraging social shares with those who have signed up for the event, you’re activating your attendees to market the event on your behalf.
With the Millennial population taking over as one the largest demographic in the United States, you’d be remiss if you didn’t market to this generation. They’re attending events at record highs which can inevitably mean an increase in revenue generated from ticket sales for you. With careful marketing planning well-before the event happens, you’ll be able to devise a plan to maximize your reach to this demographic.
Which other ways do you market your event to millennials? Share them with us in the comments below or send us a tweet @socialtables!
Laura Lopez is the Senior Community Manager at Social Tables. The award-winning platform has been used to source, plan and execute over two million events since 2011. In her role, she puts the “social” in Social Tables through generating brand awareness both online and off through content, digital marketing, industry partnerships, and events.