Small Business Owners can use Print Advertising to Target a Millennial Audience

 In Small Business Advertising

While younger audiences command a huge amount of buying power every year ( $200 billion and growing ) many small businesses are still unsure of how to economically take advantage of these profitable demographics in a way that makes sense for their ROI. Surprisingly enough, small businesses can actually benefit the most from print advertising to target a millennial audience.

While bigger businesses are all about advertising to younger audiences only about 15% of smaller businesses do so at all. Each business has it’s own unique reason as to why they may not think this market is a good fit due to budget  (26%) effectiveness ( 7%) or even that they are a good target audience for them at all ( 25%). From the sheer number of Millennials alone it is clear that small businesses are going to have to begin to get on board fast to capture this crucial demographic.

One of the biggest challenges in reaching this demographic is that many of the other generations have tried to spend so much time “ labeling” them based on what they see outwardly. Thinking mostly that if they are spending so much time on their “ devices” then they  really be interested in digital advertising. This just isn’t true. In fact, while it is true that younger generations are constantly connected they barely notice digital advertising even when it’s right in their face. What is more surprising is that Millennials are huge consumers of Content, and love Print!

Millennials spend more money on Print than Digitial

Study after study and article after article shows that Millennials and most other adults would much rather read printed articles, books , magazines, and papers, and textbooks as well as pay for these things, than pay for their digital counterparts. Even though most publishers thought that their digital solutions were going to be their saving grace, unfortunately they failed to take off.What researchers realized was that even though some people do read digital papers, and some people will read both digital and print, most people still prefer the printed copy.

This has left a lot of businesses a little bit unsure of what to do and where to spend their money in advertising. Many times small business owners are very surprised to find out that they can use affordable advertising options like print advertising to target a millennial audience  because they still do in fact, eagerly read magazines and newspapers quite frequently.

So why is this exactly? That using print advertising to target a millennial audience is such a good first step in the right direction for many small business owners who are looking to capture this predicable demographic? Actually, it’s pretty simple. For most people, picking up a newspaper, magazine, or going through their mail is more of a conscious choice. Most of the time you go to your mail box at a specific time, and flip through your mail and look at it then, Consciously. The same goes for newspapers and magazines. When you are thinking about reading something it’s quite easy to pick up your phone and open Huffington Post app or get on your laptop and go to yahoo homepage to find a article and mindlessly scroll through the first paragraph. Picking up a publication works differently. First, you have to get up, because, it’s most likely not in your pocket, ( Gasp! ) and you have to open it and begin sifting through the pages to make a decision about what to read. This is a “active looking process” versus a passive waiting process that scrolling offers. If  you have ever taken the time to look at a person on their phone of at a meme that shows a bunch of mindless teen ” phone zombies” you will understand what I’m talking about. People are not on their devices to be “active” they are there to be “mindless.”

So now that it makes a little more sense that there is a conscious choice involved it is more understandable that when people make the Choice to look at something they are more receptive to any type of offer that they see while flipping through the pages of that publication. They may not be looking for any one thing specifically, but the point is that they are on the lookout. Other things that play an important role in this is that the tactile components of print advertising meant that advertisements found in newspapers, magazines and direct mail hits more of the senses than other types of advertising. Brand images and messaging sticks in the brain longer and recall is much faster and in turn influences higher conversion rates.

QR codes

To effectively use print advertising to target a Millennial audience you want to take time to create an authentic and artistically compelling  campaign. One that also offers the efficiency of the digital components that an online or mobile campaign would provide. This might include a QR code, a coupon code, an app, or a free download, which can to help you track but also get them to your website.

Small business owners want to make sure that their websites are mobile and can easily adjust between apps and websites with a very quick buying process with only one or two clicks. Younger generations are all about “real time” they don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time typing in all of their credit card information so offering them an easy checkout option like PayPal (that does all of the auto filling for them). This increases your chance that they will see your ad someplace, go to your site or app to check it out and purchase quickly because it was convenient.

What’s even better, because these younger buyers are incredibly social if they like your product they are very likely to leave good reviews and share it with their friends online. To increase the chances of this happening offer incentives for them to do this, like discounts on purchases through mobile coupon offers that optimize the customer experience and increase the likelihood that they share your product or service to their friends.

As a business owner you want to understand that any advertising that You runs on Facebook may be ignored or seen as a turnoff to Millennials. However, when they share it for you that becomes an “Endorsement” from the Millennials which is much better than spending tons of money to run Facebook ads that people really are not paying much attention to.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Lindsey

    Good read!! Great article!

  • Jade

    We’ve found a way to change with the times and adapt to the shift in the advertising landscape while still delivering amazing results when our clients need a creative print ad. We have grown our services to offer digital strategy in keeping up with advertising developments but we still remain attached to
    creative design and branding of traditional advertising.

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