Keys To Remember When Connecting With Millennials
“Here’s something you may not know: Millennials are more optimistic and entrepreneurial than Gen Xers. And the good news is that they can absolutely be marketed to — provided that they’re getting something of value that doesn’t feel like an interruption. The key is making them feel they’ve been entertained or enlightened by your brand.”
Penry Price, the vice president of Global Sales Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn, knows that tech-savvy millennials are quick to roll their eyes at most traditional attempts of advertising. “Digital networks like AwesomenessTV and Maker Studios…specialize in video content for cord-cutting younger people.” Quality content, accessible wherever and whenever millennials want, and able to be shared easily across a variety of platforms.
“Millennials also trust social networks more than older people do,” Price continues. His advice for reaching millennials is straight-forward, “Initiate a dialogue with your younger target consumers with engaging content that nurtures their trust and affinity through social networks. If it sounds simple, it half is and half isn’t. The formula is straightforward, but content creation and distribution are both like muscles; you’ll need to truly invest if you want to make them strong.”
“Marketing” is a word many churches use, often trying to find the quickest or cheapest solution — doorknob hangers, zip code mailings, mass emails. Churches use these and other similar methods to spread word of special events or services that take place at the building, which sounds more like an interruption instead of an invitation, and is far from personal.
In what ways can your church market better to millennials?
- Content is king. Know what your message is. The church is the voice of hope and forgiveness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Don’t be afraid to speak the truth plainly and creatively. Invite conversation and dialogue.
- Engagement not interruption. Churches that effectively reach out to millennials will find ways to share all of life. One church recently added a “sweaty section” to their worship services. This section is reserved for those who run and exercise before the worship service. The hope is that those who sit in this section will time their runs to come to the church in time for worship. Since its conception, the church has seen an increase, not only in sweaty worship attenders, but in a community that is forming around faith and exercise.
- Fail and learn and fail and learn and fail and grow. Create an Instagram account and learn how to create visual stories of hope. Create a Tumblr account and share pictures and testimonies about the daily following of Jesus. Create a Periscope account and host a conversation over lunch. Chances are, the first twenty, or even the first one hundred, may not get much of a response. But you will learn in the process. Work with the millennials you know and start exercising your marketing muscles.
Price also shares some good news, “The notion that millennials love brands but hate advertising is oversimplifying a bit, but there’s truth in it: They tend to be loyal customers of the brands they like.”
Spend the energy and time wisely, and you will reap a harvest of new friends.