Digital natives are those who are born after the emergence of all-powerful digital technologies. They are familiar with staying connected 24/7 and trust themselves and their peer group more than anything else.
The oldest digital natives are somewhere in their mid to late-thirties. A vast majority is in the workforce and earning, and constitutes an important segment of the market.
When you are marketing your product or service it is indeed important that you engage this key audience.
If you want to grab the attention of digital natives it is essential that you be creative, innovative and credible.
Let’s see what you need to do for this.
Get on the Social Media Bandwagon
Airport lounge, restaurants, cafes and even at home you find young people engrossed in their smartphones.
It is almost second nature to share, connect and comment real time on what they feel is interesting and novel. They fear missing out on important online action (FOMO-Fear Of Missing Out). They want to be the first to spot and share the best of what’s happening online.
Most young people love to share things that are relevant to their peer group, and will arouse interest and win approval. It is necessary you create content that is in some way related to important happenings in real time.
It’s for nothing that marketers can now no longer afford to miss out on popular events like the Super Bowl and Oscars.
You need to create content that the digital natives cannot resist share, pin or tweet. The more engagement you can have with the Connected Generation the better off is your brand.
Credibility and trust are what will build brand loyalty. You need to ensure that your brand appears consistent, honest and credible.
The best forms of content are those that are backed by research data, white papers or credible reports. The new customer craves factual knowledge.
The generation of digital natives loves real engagement and they like to know more about all that they buy.
Write blogs that are data-rich and informative. If you can package this wealth of data in attractive forms like infographics then the digital native is bound to find it more appealing.
Customers want to know more about the food they eat and the clothes they wear.
The McDonald’s Canada campaign and the ‘Motel King’ campaign by Burger King are great examples of customer engagement. There is also a torrent of user-generated content across all social media platforms which build brand chatter.
Try to respond to queries and clear misconceptions as soon as possible. Most big names are now transparent about all aspects of their business, sometimes even dragging in vendors, suppliers and their entire supply chain into conversations.
Another important aspect of reaching out to the digital natives is that you need to refrain from preaching. There may be fantastic new specs and features that you would love to gush about.
But that does not make for interesting sharable content.
‘How-to’ videos and tutorials will be informative and welcome. Also encourage first-time users to post reviews and feedback. Ensure you respond and get back to comments. If there are negative reviews try to address them as well. This will help you appear genuine and involved, and drive conversations.
The more customer-centric are your engagement efforts the better are the chances for success.
Digital natives have very short attention span. You need something very riveting on your website to hold and retain a 25-year old visitor.
According to Gartner well designed, cleverly packaged and smartly conducted games will be very important for a brand’s image. Monetary prizes are not necessary, and badges and mentions are great to begin with.
Some of the biggest names in business like Nike, Coca Cola and Heineken have employed it with success.
Connect with Something Bigger
The best social media campaigns have been about social involvement for a bigger benefit.
The No-Shave November movement on Instagram by Newton Running helped raise money for cancer research.
Try to remove yourself (your brand/product/service) from your engagement as much as possible.
Digital natives are also more aware of their responsibility towards the world. They are among the most vocal of Greenpeace supporters. They view the world in a non-hierarchical manner and feel that they need to contribute to those less fortunate than them.
So think beyond your profits if you want to score with the digital natives.
Digital natives are hard to impress. But if you think out-of-the box, raise your social awareness and can get the 20-something’s ‘friends’ impressed, then you are well on your way to marketing success.
May 5, 2015