How To Attract Millennials with Financial Services Inbound Marketing

Table of contents

By generating content that prospective customers actually want to seek out and consume, inbound marketing is an excellent way to give a soft sell of your company’s value and offerings. In a previous article, we discussed the value of inbound marketing for financial services companies.

This digital-first inbound marketing approach can be especially effective for reaching tech-savvy consumers like millennials who are used to finding information online almost instantly. Below, we’ll discuss how inbound marketing can help businesses in the financial industry attract millennial customers.

Why Financial Services Firms Need to Target Millennials

In 2020, millennials (individuals born between 1981 and 1996) surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the United States, with a total population of 72 million. This shift came after another milestone in 2016, when millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, at 35 percent.

Although millennials aren’t yet as wealthy as older generations, the next several decades will see a gradual but marked shift, as baby boomers retire and pass on their inheritances to their children. According to Accenture, this intergenerational “Great Transfer” will comprise more than $30 trillion in total wealth.

As the millennial generation ages, their financial priorities look very much like those of their parents: purchasing a home, paying down debt, and saving for retirement. It’s fair to say that any financial services company that ignores the concerns and desires of millennials (and their younger cohorts, Generation Z) does so at their own peril. 

Millennials and Financial Services: Facts and Figures

Let's take a look at millennials’ relationships with financial services companies by the numbers:

  • • The average millennial has over $27,000 in non-mortgage debt and an average credit score of 658. Meanwhile, their average salary is just over $47,000 annually. Millennial households have an average income of $69,000.
  • • According to the Millennial Disruption Index report, many millennials are dissatisfied with the services of traditional banks. 53 percent don’t believe their bank has any standout offerings, and 1 in 3 are open to switching banks in the near future. Meanwhile, leading banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo are all among millennials’ top 10 “least loved brands.”
  • 61 percent of millennials would like to have video meetings with financial advisors, and 57 percent would be willing to change to a more tech-friendly advisor.
  • 27 percent of millennials say that they have never visited their bank in person, while just 14 percent prefer in-person banking.

Best Practices for Marketing to Millennials for Financial Services

With these statistics in mind, how can financial services companies best use inbound marketing to attract millennials?

1. Approach with caution

Many millennials are suspicious and distrustful of financial institutions, especially after the generation-defining global financial crisis of the late 2000s. A survey by the World Economic Forum found that 45 percent of millennials disagree that they can trust banks to be “fair and honest.” This means that hard sales pitches are much less likely to succeed than inbound marketing efforts that focus on offering valuable content and nurturing relationships over a long period.

2. Prioritize ease of access

Millennials are the first generation to grow up with digital technology at their fingertips, which is one reason they prefer online and mobile banking. Making it easy to set up accounts and offering 24/7 access to financial services is crucial in order to attract and retain millennial customers.

3. Focus on budgeting and automation

With so many financial priorities on their plate—from rent and healthcare to saving for down payments and retirement—millennials are interested in financial services that help them create and stick to a budget. Apps such as Mint help users track their monthly and annual spending, while financial automation services offer a “set it and forget it” approach: users define the rules about how much, when, and where to save, and then sit back and relax.

4. Emphasize brand loyalty

Various studies have found that millennials are the most brand-loyal generationbut also willing to jump ship if a current brand no longer meets their needs. Financial services companies can use this to their advantage by creating inbound marketing content that appeals to their prospective millennial customers. For example, content that speaks to millennials’ experiences and emotions, such as buying a house or paying off student debt, is more likely to succeed than content that focuses on sheer wealth accumulation.

Final Thoughts

As the millennial generation continues to become more powerful and influential, reaching these customers with inbound marketing is increasingly important. To learn more about financial marketing and sales strategies, check out the latest articles on our blog. You can also get in touch with our team today for a consultation on how can help you meet your business needs and objectives.