We all think of ourselves as being honest, so we expect others to believe the things we say. If we tell someone our age or where we grew up, we’d be shocked if they demanded proof. We want others to take us at our word. No proof required.

Unfortunately, after decades of reading signs with claims such as The World’s Best Burrito, or Home of the Original Shrimp Cocktail, or The Lowest Prices in Town, many Americans have become increasingly skeptical of advertising claims. Demographically, millennials are the most skeptical group. A recent poll showed 33 percent of millennials, 18 to 24 years old, think the Earth might be flat. Now, that’s skeptical.

For many businesses, millennials are the target audience. They’re young, diverse, educated, affluent, and over 75 million strong. What’s the best strategy for reaching an audience who possibly doesn’t believe a word you say? Here are some tips to turn skeptics into believers:

Understate, Don’t Exaggerate

You can gain the trust of millennials with high-quality copy that is smart, clever, and true. Micah Solomon of Forbes gives the example of a bar with the sign, Probably the Best Beer in Town. That sign elicits trust because it doesn’t make an unsubstantiated claim, and it invites the customer to be part of the process of evaluation. Position your company to exceed your customers’ expectations. Extravagant claims can only end in disappointment.

Search Out Your Audience

Wherever your audience spends time, that’s where you need to be. One-third of millennials purchase in response to sponsored content. Whether it’s through a sponsored post or influencers, millennials will respond if the content is relevant, interesting, and brief. Ninety-one percent of millennials get content from digital marketing by browsing social media or content feeds, and 44 percent will visit a business’s website or social networks site based solely on the headline in the feed.

Get Real

Millennials know an ad when they see it. They also know honesty when they see it. Create content which provides useful information in simple language, whether it’s with blog posts, videos, or infographics. Become an asset in the lives of your customers. And tell the truth. The demand for truth in advertising has been around for decades. With today’s millennial skepticism, being truthful and believable may be the key to survival.

If you would like help in creating marketing campaigns that appeal to a skeptical audience, contact McFadden/Gavender. Our social media, digital, design, content, and public relations team can put together a marketing plan that will connect with even the most skeptical millennial audience.