How to Target Millennials with a Micro-Influencer Strategy

As the most populous generation in U.S. history, Millennials are now poised to be the wealthiest, with $200 billion in purchasing power and $500 billion in indirect spending power. But they are also the most averse to traditional forms of advertisements, with over two thirds of Millennials using some form of ad blocker.

As digital natives, Millennials also possess the most social capital. They are heavily impacted by peer-to-peer influence, and spend over 5 hours a day tapped into social media on average. Millennials value connecting with each other before brands, with 43% found to rank authenticity over content. 

In order to target a generation accustomed to achieving social consensus before every decision, brands can start by leveraging their own influential Millennial consumers to create content that is both compelling and authentic within the confines of the social media landscape. And what better way to connect with Millennials than through the recommendations and brand promotions of other like-minded Millennials?

Below, we break down five ways that marketers can reach Millennials with a micro-influencer marketing strategy:

1. Encourage UGC

Millennials are masters of self expression. 60% of produced and uploaded content on social network sites comes from Millennials, and over 75% of the Millennial population has profiles on social networking sites. As a generation big on personal branding, Millennials will jump at the opportunity to put their own spin on your brand.  A photo or caption contest is an easy way to encourage UGC from your Millennial base, while also achieving organic brand promotion.  

Starbucks user-generated contentStarbucks UGC Content on Instagram 

2. Rewards & Incentives

Over 80% of Millennials currently participate in a loyalty program of some sort, and this number is rising every year. Providing a branded rewards or incentive program for your Millennial base is proven to drive higher LTV, since Millennials respond positively to VIP treatment. The Millennial generation joins and actively participates in rewards and incentives programs more frequently than any other generation. What’s more, they prefer discounts over any other type of promotion, check their rewards programs daily and are unlikely to continue participating in a program if it doesn’t have a working mobile app. When creating your incentive program or rewards community, make sure it accommodates these preferences so that you best serve your target audience.

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The Bloomingdales Loyallist Program

3. Connect With a Cause

Generation Y customers are proven to connect more to brands that are affiliated with a cause; 90% of U.S. consumers say they would switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. Consider connecting an influencer campaign to a charitable cause; for example, you can tie a reward with a co-developed brand post that includes a hashtag for a charity event that your brand has donated to or sponsored.


Untitled designTOMS ‘One for One’ Campaign Promise

4. Keep Your Content Short & Engaging

Make sure that that any activities prompting your Millennial micro-influencers to create and share content are short and relevant to the moment. The Adobe Global State of Content study found that when consumers had only 15 minutes to consume content, 63% would rather skim articles on trends than read in-depth articles, and 57% would rather watch a video report on breaking news than read an article on breaking news. In other words, keep it bitesize and use visual content to break up your long-form narrative.

Coca-Cola ‘Under Pressure’ Promo

5. Make Your Brand an Experience

Forget ads – go for experiences. In a world where experiences and social currency are more valuable than actual dollars, brands can succeed by delivering brand experience that resonates as much in social & real life. For those Millennials who possess the relevant influence and engaged reach to drive value for your brand, inviting them to join a private VIP, loyalty or rewards community will give them a sense of importance and will strengthen their emotional relationship to your brand. 


Tom’s of Maine Micro-Influencer Community

Instead of aiming to reach as many Millennials as possible, focus instead on the 10% of Millennials who have influence to drive conversions for your brand. Millennials value each other’s input far more than old-school forms of advertising, and they are quick to point out the credibility-or lack thereof- of a brand. Using a micro-influencer strategy is the best way to align with Millennial behavior online, while maintaining trustworthiness in your advertising.

And where better to meet your Millennial micro-influencers than on their own turf? To get started with your micro-influencer strategy, try our Facebook Fan Grader to discover your top 100 most influential fans on Facebook.

Discover your top 100 most influential Facebook fans with Fan Grader!

Grade My Fans

Author Caroline Burke

Content Marketer at Mavrck. Voted the voice of her generation in a unanimous vote of one.

More posts by Caroline Burke

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About Mavrck

We all know word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing, but word-of-mouth automation at scale has always been a challenge. At Mavrck, we harness the power of human-to-human marketing at scale by tapping into your most valuable asset: existing customers with influence.

By focusing on influential customers who engage a high percentage of their friends around a brand's relevant topics or keywords, Mavrck's patented micro-influencer marketing platform powers consumer brands like Hershey's, Sears and Unilever to discover and activate millions of their micro-influencers to distribute content and drive conversions across social networks.

On average, our "always-on" activation engine will get 3 friends to convert for every 1 micro-influencer activated.