4 Reminders When Marketing to Young Professionals

By Callie Walker, Senior Inbound Marketing Specialist, MemberClicks

You’ve heard the saying, “What you say is not as important as how you say it.” Well, what you say is certainly important, but when it comes to marketing - and particularly, marketing to young professionals - how you say things is key.

To successfully communicate with both prospective young professional members and your existing young professional members, we highly recommend being mindful of the following:

1. Be authentic

First and foremost, young professionals are seeking authenticity. They’re used to seeing ads and sales pitches left and right, and as a result, they’re used to tuning those out.

To make your organization’s messages stand out and resonate with young professionals, focus on authenticity. Avoid fluff language and try to be as personable as possible. And be transparent in your messaging as well! Approach it like this: Rather than marketing to young professionals, think of it as simply talking to young professionals. Your messages are bound to come across as more sincere.

2. Be succinct 

YPs are very protective of their time. They may want to hear from you, but they’d likely prefer those messages to be brief. That said, make your content “snack sized.” You can always link to longer content, if necessary, but in emails, and on social media, and in your blog, keep things short and sweet. By doing so, that also makes your content more shareable - which is an added bonus!

3. Leverage FOMO

You’ve heard of FOMO, right? Fear of missing out. Well I’m here to tell you, it’s REAL, especially with social media playing such a prominent role in YPs lives.

But FOMO can actually work to your organization's advantage, so leverage that in your communications. For example, if you’re marketing an event, say something along the lines of “Join 50 other young professionals as they network with some of Atlanta’s best and brightest!” This prompts the thought, “Oh, a lot of my peers are doing this. Maybe I should too.”

4. Prioritize word-of-mouth

You likely already know the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, but when it comes to getting in front of young professionals, word-of-mouth recommendations are of UTMOST importance. That said, if you’re relying on word-of-mouth recommendations to happen organically, now is the time to really put a strategy in place for that.

How are you (or are you) encouraging your existing young professional members to spread the word about your organization to their peers? Do you have a referral program in place? Do you have a “bring a buddy” special for your events? Do you make your content shareable (going back to the importance of point #2)?

Yes, word-of-mouth marketing is a little bit out of your control, but there’s no harm in taking the reigns and initiating it when and where you can. Get that ball rolling!

By now, you probably understand that the way you communicate and engage with young professionals should be a little bit different than the way you communicate and engage with others. YPs have their own unique sets of likes, needs, and interests. For more best practices regarding YP recruitment, engagement, and retention, check out our free guide, Recruiting Young Professionals for the Long-Haul: A Guide for Associations and Chambers!


Hear Callie speak on how to market to all generations at this year’s Trend-E, November 21 at Tinkerhouse in Indianapolis.

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