Are you a small business owner that caters to those in their teens or 20s? Maybe you operate a website and your market spans a wide range of ages, from 16-year-olds to retirees. Your Internet marketing tactics have to be tweaked to directly address what younger generations want. Since you’re probably not in your teens yourself, this will take a little adjustment.
The younger your market is, the shorter their attention span. This means your marketing tactics have to quickly grab them and speak to them in just a few seconds. Otherwise, you risk losing them and an entire market. Internet marketing isn’t quite like traditional marketing, so here’s a cheat sheet on snagging that younger audience.
This Is Boring
Even if you operate a blog about something exciting like running pool races or regional upcoming concerts, you still have to play entertainer. You need to be in marketing mode when designing and updating your website, blogging, posting on social media and email blasting. The true, yet sad, fact is that fewer people are reading so you need to change your approach.
Younger generations especially like video marketing. However, just because you put your message into video format does not automatically make it interesting. Try turning on MTV, even if you haven’t watched it for years. It’s the uber-short clips, shaky cams and taglines that make it appealing to younger generations.
What’s In It for Me?
Internet marketing is about selling your products and services or gaining readership. This means you have to offer something of real value to your audience. The key phrase here is “real value.” You need to figure out what your younger audience values and offer that in exchange for their business or readership.
This might mean offering a steep discount only to your Facebook followers or even providing a giveaway. If you’re operating a monetized blog, this will require you to give true entertainment that younger audiences really enjoy. If this is the case, consider a focus group or research study to determine the right direction. Ideally, you can hire or contract a marketing pro with a proven track record of marketing products geared towards younger demographics.
What About Those Email Blasts?
Email blasts are largely deleted right away or even filtered. The chances of many teens actually reading your emails are slim. Instead, approach them on their territory: social media sites. This is where you can engage this demographic on their level, which is what they want.
Anytime you’re investing time and energy into Internet marketing efforts that don’t work, you’re wasting money. Just because email blasts have been around forever doesn’t mean they’re still the right tactic. Keep tabs on how much business you’re getting from email blasts and act accordingly. That time can always be spent on better endeavors.
Respect is Paramount
It’s easy and natural for site owners to talk down to younger generations, even if they don’t mean to. You want to give advice and help steer them on the right path (like buying that new product). However, just like anyone else, teens and young adults respond to being respected and being treated like equals. Keep in mind, in this scenario, you need them — and it’s not the other way around.
You might clearly remember those awkward high school days and some themes (like finding yourself) never end. However, younger generations are much more in tune with technology and are used to instant gratification. Ensure that your site works on every platform, which requires testing and maintenance every few months. If you dedicate yourself to serving younger demographics and thinking from their perspective, you’ll be on the fast track to securing this large and important group.
[box]About the Author
Katie Elizabeth is a freelance blogger and content coordinator. She loves writing about tech, social media, careers, business and more on her blog, BlogKick. She also loves writing for the web – follow her most recent posts on her Twitter account.[/box]