Millennials are a generational group as large as it is complex and hard to please, yet one of the main targets for most brands and companies.
Are you reaching out to millennials with your marketing? If so, you can only benefit from reading this list with 8 great, simple visual clues to select and use millennials stock photos that hit it home for your audience!
Millennials in the Consumer Market
Making up for 25% of the U.S. population and the largest population segment, generation-wise, millennials (a.k.a. generation Y) are complex from the get-go.
For one, nobody can actually agree on the age gap that marks this generation! In general lines, young adults and not-so-young adults born between the mid-1980s and early 2000s can be considered millennials.
Such a large age gap explains some of their complexity: lifestyles, goals, and consumer behavior varies according to where they are in the age spectrum.
That said, the main characteristic of millennials is being a hybrid between old and new schools. Unlike Generation Z who only know digital life and the Internet, millennials grew up with computers, were the precursors of social media and selfies, and are highly tech-driven, yet they also know how to operate a dial phone and love good ole’ word-of-mouth promotion.
When you market to millennials, you need to know they are early adopters of new technology (such as they did with the first mobile smartphones), perceive themselves as system-disruptors and world changers, they are on average highly educated, smart, and ambitious. Social networking, startups, and activist movements are fields populated by millennials. Images of millennials need to convey all this accurately.
Where to Go to Reach Out Millennials
Two words: social media. Millennials are all for interactive, personal experiences. Social media –and other interactive platforms like Yelp and similar– are full of them. Facebook is by far the favorite, followed by YouTube, Instagram, and, in less relevance, Snapchat.
If you’re catering to millennials, your marketing strategy (visual and otherwise) needs to happen on these platforms and be focused on human, personalized exchanges.
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So, let’s see how to tap on these personality traits through millennial stock photos!
8 Pro Visual Clues to Attract Millennials
When it comes to appealing to these complicated folks, it is often trial and error. But here we give you 8 proven tips to make sure your visuals are going to be millennial-approved:
#1 – Beautifully Unique
Everything in your visual branding, from photography to web design, should be eye-pleasing in an unconventional, custom-like way. Think of quirky-looking photos, bold graphics, exotic models. Photocase’s library is an ode to millennial-appealing style!
Equally important, you should go for a minimalistic look, with simple lines and avoiding visual noise at all costs.
#2 – Highly Interactive
Millennials need interaction. Especially on your website, always make sure your images of millennials are part of a responsive, interactive design that involves them. Don’t be afraid to use engaging content like raw-styled photography, video, and more. Just remember, aim for simplicity.
#3 – Socially Engaging
Millennials love to interact with brands on social media and connect with them eye-to-eye level. The best images to use are those that either are or look like UGC, where the consumer is highlighted as much as the product. Strategy-wise, polls, and contests are a great way to get them to participate and feel involved in company decisions.
#4 – Super Intimate
Your visual content has to feel honest and transparent. They want to see the people, not the business. Display the team that makes your brand happen, and choose photographs that portray emotions in a relatable way. It’s very important to be inclusive and diverse, to accurately portray the multiethnic society we live in.
#5 – Strongly Committed
Support a cause. Millennials choose and become loyal to companies that support causes they are aligned with, over companies with better prices or products. They want to know their consumption is contributing to help relevant issues –such as feminism, multiracial unity or ecology– and change the world.
Warning: they smell BS from a mile away, and fake activism or self-serving charity put them off big time, so don’t do that.
#6 – Peer-Approved
The most effective convincing resource for millennials is social proof. They distrust ads but believe in user reviews and friends’ recommendations. Case studies and relatable photography go a long way with them.
Note: While stock photography can be tricky to use for this purpose –as you cannot fall into direct endorsement or other unauthorized uses–, authentic stock photos are really useful to illustrate case studies and similar content.
#7 – Visual and Action Driven
For millennials, your images are you. They don’t want a sales pitch nor super-obvious marketing visuals. Use photography to show them what you do, what your brand, product, philosophy, and customers are like.
#8 – Identity Consistent
For a millennial to trust in you, your branding has to be rock-solid consistent. Everything from color choices to photos used and copy included, has to project a personality and be clearly a part of a whole.
Best Stock Photo Sites with Millennial-Approved Images
See a roundup of top stock photo agencies where you can find perfect photos for millennial-oriented visuals:
Photocase – Quirky & Unique
Photocase’s library is a millennial dream come true. Thousands of high-resolution, fun-loving photos that break the stock photography mold in more than one way without loosing visual appeal.
Shutterstock – Commercial-Ready
Shutterstock has the largest stock photo library on the web. It specializes in a polished, commercially valuable style and hosts millions of modern images perfect for millennial-targeted visuals.
iStock – Exclusive yet Affordable
iStock is famous for its catalog divided in budget everyday imagery, and exclusive high-end photos at a convenient price. In both of these main collections, you’ll find authentic-styled pictures that resonate well with millennials.
Adobe Stock – Trendy to the Max
Adobe Stock is a stock photo service by Adobe, and as such it keeps a strong focus on creative trends, resulting in a library packed with the latest, most accurate representations of popular topics that millennials love.
Stock Photo Secrets – Budget-Friendly
The Stock Photo Secrets Shop offers high-resolution stock photos at flexible and low pricing to fit in every budget. In the 6 million files collection you can find great millennial-themed stock images.
Market your Brand Effectively with Millennial Stock Images
Following these 8 pointers, you’ll be able to select stock photos that truly speak to the millennial generation, to make them know, interact and adopt your brand.
So go ahead and choose a stock photo agency, pick some great images and design away!
Header image: Copyright by criene/Photocase.com, all rights reserved.