FlockU if You Haven't Figured Out How to Market to Millennials

A site for college kids by college kids should be an advertisers dream come true.

learn more about Tracy Byrnes

By Tracy Byrnes


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You can't market to a millennial.

Unless, of course, you're a millennial.

Then it's a lay-up because the only people they listen to are each other. They are instant crowdsourcing and follow each other like a flock of sheep.

And yet so many companies haven't figured out how to tap into that herd mentality.

Well, Josh Verne thinks he has and is attempting to be their shepherd.

He launched FlockU back in February 2016 as a site for college kids, written by college kids, marketed to college kids.

It's peer-to-peer everything.

And thanks to social media and a syndicated partnership with The Huffington Post, co-founder and CEO Verne says he has 3.8 million monthly impressions and a 35 percent click thru rate.

That's a lot of sheep.

His writers are students and he has over 400 of them whom he calls -- wait for it -- Flockers. They write about everything -- and I mean everything -- that a college kid could be curious about. From The One Where I F&$ked on a Rooftop to What You Need to Know About Hillary Clinton's Email Investigation.

Related: 3 Essential Tips for Marketing to Millennials

And while the topics may seem strange and risqué, they are very relevant to them.

"We may not understand them, but they understand themselves," says Verne. "So they're basically curating what's going out there."

And he's hoping that advertisers wake the flock up and take advantage of that.

He already has some branded content -- like I Hooked Up With An Amish Boy was sponsored by Good Vibrations (no, not the Beach Boys).

And when companies send product samples, Verne resends them out to his Flockers in a FlockBox (you knew that was coming). Every week he gives away a box of free stuff to a lucky Flocker. Readers just have to sign up to be eligible. And its pretty cool stuff. Check out the Father's Day FlockBox here. And you guessed it, there's a sex box. But hey, its incentive for the kids to engage and sign up.

Related: 4 Tips for Marketing to Millennials

In addition, if he sees that the kids are talking about a particular brand, his team will reach out and suggest they get involved. "If a peer likes it, others will too because they create a trust factor, says Verne.

Granted, the site is relatively new and Verne is not making money yet, but he's seems to be closer to corralling the herd than most.

He never went to college so maybe he's just reliving his youth. Or maybe he really does have excellent sheep-like senses.

Related: 3 Brand Experience Strategies to Attract Millennials

Either way he's on to something. Because college kids will eventually grow up, get married, have kids, be homebuyers, etc. And they'll probably stay faithful to the brands that understood their needs.

This all may be flocking brilliant someday.

Tracy Byrnes

Principal, Wine on the Street

Tracy Byrnes has what many might call a dream gig, matching a career as an experienced and well-respected business journalist with her passion for wine. She began a wine column, Wine With Me, for FOX News Channel in 2010 and later started Wine on the Street as a way to educate professionals about wine and provide an open forum for content around the wine business. Prior to founding Wine on the Street, Tracy was an anchor and reporter for the FOX Business Network, a writer for TheStreet.com and an accountant with Ernst & Young. She is also the author of Break Down Your Money: How to Get Beyond the Noise to Profit in the Markets. 

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