Millennials, born between the years of 1982 and 2004, grew up in an expanding world of choices and options. They experienced the birth of the internet and have quickly become used to having all the information that they need right at their fingertips. Nearly half of millennials name the internet as the one thing they could not live without. For this reason, travel agents must truly master and use to their advantage the power of digital channels.

When it comes to who millennials trust, they rank their closest friends as the most trustworthy source of information. They rank advertising and sales people as the least trustworthy.  That being said, according to a survey done by the McCarthy group, 35 percent of millennial respondents cited websites as their preferred source of getting informationbefore making a purchase, proving word-of-mouth both online and offline integral to success when marketing to a millennial audience.

In this article you’ll find five essential tips to keep in mind when marketing to millennials.

1. Use Social Media

Social media has taken over the way millennials interact with each other. Within these platforms, millenials have found far more than just a way to connect. Today, you can find numerous ways to use social media beyond its original messaging functions. Remaining prevalent across all platforms can make or break the way you grab a millennials attention. Instagram, a picture sharing platform, has become one of the most important platforms to use when marketing to millennials. Millennials prefer images over words, therefore visual content proves critical with social media use. Millennials get bored easily, so you must entertain them in order to catch their full attention. The minute your pitch does not impress them and they find themselves bored with the experience, they will find their information elsewhere. Many millennials seek travel inspiration and will look to you as their trusted source of knowledge and expertise. 

One specific tactic that many travel companies have found effective is running an “Instagram takeover”. If you have a regular client who is good with a camera, they are a great candidate for this campaign. In giving a client temporary access to your Instagram page, they will have the opportunity to post fun pictures and videos while on their amazing vacation planned by you! By giving an influential traveler or talented content producer permission to post on your behalf for a couple of days, you can sit back and enjoy the exposure with minimal effort. Continually putting out high-quality content can become tricky if you are not constantly on the road, in the air or performing site visits, so having your travelers take videos while experiencing an authentic vacation is a great source of user generated content.

2. Provide Transparent Pricing

Millennials know their way around a Google search. This makes it increasingly easy for them to see when your pricing doesn’t match another source online. Transparency is key to keeping a millennial happy.

If you are able to expertly communicate your value, millenials will be more likely to pay higher rates for your expertise, don’t try to beat around the bush when it comes to disclosing your service fees. Let them know that while you do charge an additional fee on-top of the face value of the tours, but at the same time, explain what value you add. Whether its a strong relationship with local vendors or the knowledge of the best taxi services and restaurants around town, millennial clients want to know that it is worth the extra money to book with you, versus just planning the trip themselves. 

3. Keep Up with Popular Trends

When it comes to travel, millenials are always seeking out the new, coolest place, and oftentimes their dream travel destinations are inspired by their favorite television programs. You don’t have to know every current piece of pop culture, but you need to be aware of trending topics and places that millennials will likely bring up during their planning process. One great way to stay on top of those trending destinations is with our Viator Most Popular Destinations pages. Here you’ll find a selection of great Viator tours from the “Game of Thrones”- famed castles of Dubrovnik to the scenic Grecian scapes made famous by the hit movie “Mamma Mia”. Also make sure to check out this article on TripAdvisor on trending travel.

4. Respond Quickly and Make Things Simple

Because the millennial generation has grown up with computers, they have also grown accustomed to short response times. Millennials now expect immediate answers and user-friendly websites that they can navigate on their phones. Learning how to accommodate this tech-savvy generation can truly be a life or death situation for your business. When given the option, millennials will often pick the business with the superior online presence, so investing in a web designer can often prove useful. 

One specific tactic that may prove advantageous is creating an autoresponder on your website. Autoresponders are sent automatically to your clients when they submit their information through a form either on your website or your facebook page. A welcome newsletter explaining who you are, what you specialize in and the value you provide is the perfect introduction to hook your clients right away while you are able to gather more specific information for them. Take a look at this link to learn how to set up yours on Facebook today!

5. Sell Experiences, Not Products

When looking for their perfect vacation experience, millennials, probably more than any generation, prefer experiences to products. To truly hook your clients, show that you can provide unique, fun, Instagram-worthy moments that will reinvent the way they travel. Millennials aren’t looking just for the classic tourist stops anymore, now they want the hole in the wall restaurant, the personalized local dance classes and the vintage car rides through the countryside.

With all of these tips in mind, there are a few things that millennials seem to love universally—mesmerizing food experiences, places with a “wow” factor for photos and an active hike or bike ride. Throw in a few conversations with locals and Instagrammable hotels and you’ve designed the perfect trip for a millennial.