By population, millennials are one of the largest generations in America – and a growing audience for private schools. However, many schools have struggled with effective millennial marketing strategies. A deeper understanding of how to market to millennials is an opportunity for schools to target this population more effectively than ever.
Who Are Millennials?
Definitions vary, but most researchers define millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996. The oldest are turning 41 this year, while the youngest are 25. Millennials are no longer the up-and-comers; Gen Z has taken over that distinction. Instead, millennials are no longer in college and are settling into their careers.
Interestingly, 25 percent of millennials are now parents, but that number is expected to skyrocket to 80 percent in the next 10 to 15 years. Source: Snipp
Millennials are a high-tech, socially-minded generation that’s interested in innovative ideas. They don’t respond well to traditional marketing. It will take some work, but school marketers need to start understanding how to reach millennial parents.
How to Market to Millennials
Focus on mobile
Almost all millennials use smartphones, and they are tech-savvy. Millennials are more likely to discover your school through organic search, social media or mobile ads than other types of marketing, simply due to how much time they spend on their phones.
Strengthen your social media presence
The majority of millennials are active on at least one social media network; many are active on more than one.
Social media marketing is a common marketing strategy for private schools, and a good strategy will require a presence on multiple platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and LinkedIn. Familiarity with marketing on these channels will give you the opportunity to target millennials and other generations.
Step up your video production
Millennials spend a considerable amount of time watching videos. Most notably, they prefer YouTube and Instagram. They also spend time researching before they buy, so it’s very important you scale your video marketing strategy as you anticipate more millennial parents looking for private schools in the future.
Build trust with authenticity
Millennials appreciate real, human experiences that are in alignment with their values. For millennials, showing your school in a transparent and authentic light is more important than ever. Millennials don’t trust traditional marketing; they want to be engaged and have real conversations online.
Bold claims and flashy marketing probably won’t get you too far with millennials as they will just click away.
Millennials are the most diverse generation so far. They are more likely to belong to a diverse population. More than half of millennial populations belong to a non-white minority.
Millennials have grown up with the idea diversity is important and expect marketers to portray families who are diverse.
Give them opportunities to get involved
Millennials care about social causes. They tend to be generous with their money, time and influence. To attract millennial parents, be sure to demonstrate your mission and give them opportunities to be involved in your school.
Millennials are looking for ways to make a difference; give them a way to feel like they’re changing the world for the better, and they’ll be more likely to support your school.
Focus on content and contextual marketing
Millennials really don’t like traditional marketing. They don’t like being marketed “to”. Instead, they prefer to explore, read your content and respond to things that interest them. That’s why you need to consider inbound marketing strategies that are relevant to them where they are in their enrollment journey.
Millennials respond best to authentic, inclusive, content-based marketing. Be sure to use mobile-friendly strategies if you want to capture the attention of these technologically-savvy millennial parents.
Marketing to millennials can also act as a form of future-proofing for schools. The generation has a lot in common with Gen Z, who you will graduate from college and become parents. The two generations share many of the same values, especially regarding internet use and opinions about traditional marketing.
Connect with them on their terms, and you should have successful marketing campaigns.
Are you targeting millennial families with your marketing? Please share your experience with the rest of the school marketing community by leaving a comment below…