A millennial is someone between the ages of 18 and 34 [source]. In thinking about millennials, one strategy for a destination marketing organization (DMO) to consider is to think about what the target audience cares about, what their habits are and what the destination offers at the intersection of these two generational attributes.
What do millennials care about?
Millennials care about experiences – arts & culture, entertainment, concerts and just plain fun [source]. And millennials crave authenticity. These two attributes make the Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) or DMO uniquely positioned (because of their inherent objectivity) to curate content aimed at millennials. And when that DMO can highlight authentic experiences in their destination, the content entices a millennial traveler to visit. Content should include fun photos not only of the destination’s attractions and events, but also user generated content. When users provide photos through a contest or some fun event, visitors see it as more authentic to a destination than if an organization, whose job it is to market a place, posts the photo. Whenever possible, try to curate user generated content.
Another method of harnessing social media a DMO could consider, is hiring an agency to create personas to be used in social media content creation. A persona is defined as the way a person behaves, talks or thinks that characterizes the individual. Think “Foodie Fran,” “History Enthusiast Hank,” “Nightlife Junkie Jane,” etc. Naming the individual and defining their age and interests helps with content generation for social media. Personas help the social media manager personalize content which in turn creates authenticity that will resonate with a millennial. Personas also lead the content creator to think about a call to action (CTA) that the person can click to find out more. Clicking the CTA leads to conversions.
What are millennial social habits?
Facebook is still the number one choice for social platforms among millennials with 84% of them following brands on Facebook. But, Snapchat and Instagram are not far behind. And since they are more image focused, they are definitely worth integrating into your social strategy. A DMO can consider a geo-filter and submit it through Snapchat’s network that includes the name of the destination and entices young travelers to engage with the destination through Snapchat if that’s their channel of choice.
After you have considered millennial interests and habits, look at channels that you either have or are considering creating and develop a content marketing strategy overlapping your channels, millennial habits and desired experiences that will create exposure, engagement and create conversions.