With an annual buying power of $200 billion, millennials are currently the most lucrative market in the US. If you aren’t targeting them, you’re losing out on a lot of dough. Here’s the problem, though: 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. What worked in the past isn’t working anymore. Businesses are recognizing the need to change to better reach millennials. Here’s what you need to know: The End of the Hard Sell Before the rise of the internet, the hard sell worked because companies could easily control their message. Now, because of review sites and social media platforms, your brand and products are freely scrutinized and evaluated by the public. This has all but destroyed the hard sell. In fact, a recent survey revealed that only 1% of millennials believe a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. Millennials don’t care what you say about yourself, they want to know what other people think about you. Forward-thinking brands understand this, and are adapting their marketing strategies. For example, watch this video by YouTube influencer Andrew Huang unboxing and making a beat with products sent to him by Native Instruments. When a millennial sees someone they’ve developed a rapport with give their honest opinion about a product, it builds trust. So what do millennials need to trust your brand? How can you appear approachable without scaring them away? Millennials Need to Feel a Personal Connection Blogs are an effective way to reach out to millennials. 33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines and books. Millennials like blogs because they’re more personal. Often, a blog is written by a single person who is engaged in the comments section and is willing to interact when readers have questions. This personal touch goes a long way because it turns a faceless brand logo into a real person. And that’s what millennials want more than anything: interaction with a real person. They want to talk to you, get to know you, and message you on social media. In fact, 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. If your business isn’t on social media, you don’t exist to millennials. The Internet Is Their Stomping Ground Most millennials are spending 25 hours per week online. It’s there that they network with their friends, read interesting articles, watch funny videos, and search for communities that share their values. It’s your job to be part of their regular routine. Remember, if you come off as an advertiser trying to sell something, you’ll scare them away. But, if you offer them content that they feel you created for their interest and not their wallet, they’ll start to trust you. When millennials finally do trust you, they’re very loyal: 60% have said they’re often or always loyal to brands they currently purchase from. Final Tips Here are a few more statistics to guide your decision-making: \t75% of millennials say that it's either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit \t42% say they're interested in helping companies develop future products and services \t43% of millennials rank authenticity over content Millennials just need to know you’re a nice guy who wants to help out. They want you to be a real person, engage with them online, and dish out enjoyable content. If you can do all that, you’ll win over the modern millennial.