DMV Small Business Tactics to Reach a Younger Audience
By David Kim (NHS ’24)
What is the importance of targeting the younger generation? There are around 80 million millennials in the U.S., making them the biggest demographic in the country. Millennials also make up most of the workforce. Basically, the reason why marketers target the younger generation is the long-term potential. Most of the younger generation hasn’t reached their peak buying power as most are bogged down by student loans and starting families. However, by building loyalty with the younger generation, it allows companies to have a more secure future within their respective markets. So here are the top nine ways to market the younger demographic:
1. Take a stance on social justice.
- The younger generation values supporting a social cause, and they’ll feel more motivated if there’s an ulterior motive. Especially in a location like Washington D.C., a hub for socially-minded people, there’s a high demand for businesses that look to improve society. But, make sure your business is not one-dimensional. Adding a social justice message brings depth to your company and builds credibility! For example, Frere Branchiaux Candle Co. in D.C. donate 10% of their proceeds to homeless shelters nationwide.
2. Create value to your product, whether that’s sales or discounts.
- Younger people love finding things on sale and discounts mainly because they like creating value to their purchases. Further, the typical college student may not have the most amount of funds on hand. For example, instead of offering services or goods at original price, bundle 10% off with a subscription to your newsletter to build a marketing presence while bringing value.
3. Use the right social media channels.
- Know where the younger demographic interacts on social media. A majority of younger people don’t even have a Facebook account! Learn how other companies are utilizing TikTok’s algorithm to get millions of views on your product, and research which demographics use which platforms the most. It is even helpful to research which tags are the most popular among your target demographic.
4. Communicate effectively.
- Younger people have short attention spans so know how to get your message across in a few words and pictures. Use bold font and clear colors to send a simplified message too. You want to capture the audience’s attention and hold onto it to share your message.
5. Prioritize the Mobile Experience.
- Leverage the technology around you and make sure to prioritize the mobile experience, whether through websites or apps or social media. You can even optimize SEO for google so it’s easier for consumers to find you. Ultimately, by using a mobile experience, it makes it more convenient for users to access your business, and with SEO, it is more likely they will.
6. Know the trends in music, attire, and yes, even memes.
- Keep updated on recent trends and know how to leverage it correctly. Many products go viral on Tik Tok by using trends. Follow other similar companies and research how the’re keeping up with trends too!
7. Implement the community.
- Hiring younger employees could help to give your business a younger perspective. In addition, partnering with student organizations in the local community could show certain aspects of the younger demographic within the D.C. area that your business is personable, local, and convenient. Offering sales to college students or utilizing student club services could also be an additional benefit.
8. Create consistent, recurrent value.
- Figure out how your business can keep customers coming back on a consistent model. For example, if you don’t post on your Instagram consistently, people will no longer follow due to the lack of value. Make sure you post consistently and the aesthetic looks similar in order to establish a strong and reliable brand image.
9. Let customers know how the company is responding to the pandemic.
- By showing customers how the company is handling COVID, it builds trust and reassurance in people who are more wary of safety and care for other’s health. this can also be through having a dedicated page showing your dedication to safe practices.