I ignore twitter advertising. Paid posts on Instagram get scrolled past. Facebook’s targeting is admittedly more advanced, but still, it doesn’t garner massive results. The generation that was susceptible to paid social marketing has grown up, gotten smarter, evolved past being sold to.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Paid social media marketing, from the outlook of #Millennial @Rhian_Wilkinson” user=”comparethecloud”]

Pushing unwanted content onto a reader will not make them engage with it. You can put a photo in front of my face as many times as you like, it doesn’t mean I’ll open my eyes to see it. Paid social marketing works in one industry, music. You know your audience, you know that their friends probably like your product too, and you can target them based on knowing that if their friend likes a band, they are also likely to buy a ticket to a show, purchase an album, or stream a song.

Pushing unwanted content onto a reader will not make them engage with it

You may be thinking to yourself, but all marketing works like that! Sorry but it doesn’t. Marketing your technology product to me through social media in the hope of making a sale is pointless, I am not in a position to purchase your offering. Seeing a twitter advert for a piece of tech does not interest me at all, the focus needs to move away from paying for social media banners and adverts, and towards quality content that builds branding. 

My twitter feed right now is serving me advertising from an online shopping boutique, a herbal tea company, and a web advertising company which is imploring me to increase stack availability and get a free ‘Data Nerd’ t-shirt.

I don’t care about any of those things. The shopping boutique is targeting me because I’m a 23 yr old female, without considering my full social profile. I do not buy luxury boutique goods, especially not things that come in rose gold. Unless you have incredibly advanced analytics, don’t try targeted advertising, because chances are, you’re just wasting your money and annoying a potential customer. Had I found this particular shopping website on my own through organic search, I may have visited their website, but because they served me a poorly targeted advert, they have ostracised me. If I come across them organically now, I am much more likely to skip visiting their site due to the fact that my first impression of their brand is not favourable.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Do you know how to talk to a millennial? Let alone market to them? ” user=”comparethecloud @rhian_wilkinson”]

Targeting ‘millennials’ is such a craze in marketing right now, the problem is, there isn’t enough millennials in the marketing department to make effective decisions. Regardless of your high opinions of yourselves, you probably aren’t ‘in touch’ with ‘the kids’ and it’s almost guaranteed you’re not ‘down with pop culture’. If you are over 40, chances are high that you don’t know how to hold a conversation with a millennial, let alone effectively market to them.

I don’t remember the last billboard I saw. I don’t remember the last leaflet or freebie I got given at an expo. I have branded sticky notes on my desk that I was given months ago, and while I use them frequently, I can’t tell you who the company is, or where they gave them to me. But I can identify quality content that has helped me understand a product, giving me more confidence in that brand’s knowledge in the market.

Traditional marketing tactics are no longer effective for millennials, my generation is too fickle. We have the internet. If we want to know about a company we ask Google. We read feedback, and before we even approach you, we have almost definitely already decided if we want to buy from you or not. You need to capture our attention in a genuine way.

You need to capture our attention in a genuine way

Stop wasting your money on paid advertising on social media, redirect your budget into marketing that actually builds your brand. Millennials buy into brands, not products. I can buy a pair of sneakers from hundreds of different suppliers, I choose Nike because of the brand. Branding is everything, if a great band signs to a record label that is undesirable to their fans, they’ve ‘sold out’, and often they’ll lose a percentage of their fanbase. When an average band signs to a huge record label, they’ve ‘made it’ and will gain fans. Cloud services are the same. Focus on building your brand through quality content and engagement in the right streams. 

Acquiring a fantastic product for your range doesn’t mean that people are going to buy it from you. If your brand isn’t desirable, and your services aren’t up to scratch, customers won’t come to you. Consumers are savvier than they used to be, and much more aware of what they are getting when they pay for services.

Marketing and advertising are changing, so pack your bags and jump on the wagons, because if you stay stuck where you are, you will wither away.