If you’re thinking about marketing to teens you could be entering cringe territory
Marketing to the younger generations has always been more complex that marketers imagined. The problem these days is that many marketers think that it’s gotten easier. That social media has made them automatically attractive to younger audiences. But advertising for today’s teens is definitely more complex than that. It’s important for you to understand this!
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The dangers of digital
I hate to break it to you, but you’re not “down with the kids” just because your marketing is digital. A lot of business owners make the mistake of assuming that being involved in the digital world will make all the difference here. That the “millennials” will automatically connect with you a bit more because your adverts are on Twitter or Facebook. Sorry, it’s not true!
The digital world doesn’t really have a unique “wow” factor to kids or students. It’s just always been there. The idea that a student will be impressed by a Twitter advert just because it’s on Twitter? It’s no different to the idea that someone in their forties will be impressed by a TV advert because it’s on TV. You need to try a bit harder than that!
Specialists in the field
Perhaps no-one in your business is in their twenties. Perhaps your business is completely made up of people in their twenties. Maybe everyone is in their forties, but they all have teenagers of their own. Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Any one of these hypothetical workforces could fail when attempting to market a product at younger consumers. Yes, including the people who are younger consumers themselves!
It takes a lot of work to understand how your campaign will be seen by kids, teens, and students. It’s much more complex than people think. That’s why there are entire businesses who have specialists when it comes to marketing in this demographic. A lot of experts in this area work as social media managers; you can read more about this if you click here. Others may work directly with students on college campuses, ensuring that the word gets spread around in the exact areas in which your target demographic appear in droves.
Subtlety is key
Kids – by which I mean anyone from the age of 14-21 – are much more cynical that the kids from previous generations. A lot of people may think that they’re completely hypnotized and malleable thanks to so much exposure to online media. But all that experience has actually given them a more nuanced understanding of how media communication works. Put briefly? They know when they’re pandered to. They know when something is just marketing. They know when a company is trying too hard to be “down” with them.
Many businesses have attempted to incorporate online phenomena into their marketing campaigns. Many have failed miserably. You can’t just go around using this meme and that meme left, right, and center. You can’t just assume hashtags are going to trigger some biological response in kids that gets them Tweeting about you. You’ve got to use a more subtle approach. Humor is definitely the right way to go about things. But please be careful – marketing to the younger crowd could see you entering cringe territory!