Did you know that Americans aged 25 to 34 had the highest monthly internet usage recorded in 2017? It’s no secret that with more and more people going online globally, we’re more connected than ever before. But the one group you should be considerate of are the Millennials. It’s an important market that is often difficult to attract using old school practices. In this article, we’ll go over how you can use your website to attract Millennials.
Classified generally as individuals born between 1980 and early 2000s, Millennials are not only utilizing the internet the most, but they’re known for expecting transparency, personalized experiences, and a deeper social impact from brands with whom they engage. The big question is, is your website built to speak to them? And if not, how are you going to build a website to attract Millennials and engage with them in an authentic way? Think about the statistics below to orient you to the way a Millennial thinks and operates.
- They touch their smartphones 45 times a day.
- They spend about 25 hours per week online.
- They are far less likely to buy something because it’s convenient, something many companies capitalize on. Rather, they’re focused on value.
- Eighty-four percent of them say that user-generated content has some influence on what they buy.
- Worldwide, 69% of Millennials want businesses to better facilitate customers getting involved in social issues.
- User-generated content is a great way to push Millennials further down the conversion funnel, especially since they trust it 50% more than any other type of media.
Thanks to technology and the internet itself, you don’t have to embark on this journey alone. And no matter the type of business you’re operating, being mindful of these statistics and how to make them make sense for you is going to be key. So let’s unpack them a little bit to get to a few tips you can implement when it comes to using your website to attract Millennials.
Millennials Use Their Phones (A LOT!)
Gone are the days of the dial-up. Businesses used to get away with a static page with oversized graphics, crazy fonts, and hidden calls to action. And they could, because internet access was a luxury once upon a time. But fast forward to 2018, and everyone seems to have access to the internet. Furthermore, they’re spending more of that time online via their phones.
In 2017, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time, and we’re not going back. You now not only need to think of the desktop visualization and experience of your website but also how that information is going to be translated to a mobile experience. Do your users see the most important information first? How easy is it for them to navigate your site on their phone? If you’re an eCommerce store, how quickly does your site load and what is the checkout process like?
A quick user test by loading your website onto a mobile device (our recommendation is to check both Android and Apple devices) can help point out blind spots and give you good direction. Analyze the responsiveness of your website. An experienced developer will know how to help you get a responsive website that helps cater your desktop site to mobile within one design. Additionally, you may need to check with your web host about the speed of your site specifically when it comes to mobile. Google has a mobile speed test that can help provide a quick analysis of how your mobile site is performing.
Millennials Want Personalized & Authentic Content
Your brand needs to evoke emotions within Millennial customers. They don’t care how long you’ve been in business but care more about the story your brand tells. Partnering your marketing efforts with user-generated content that speaks authentically to your end user is the way to win their hearts.
Brands who have done a great job at implementing this are Aerie and REI. Aerie uses the body positivity movement to build positive brand equity by using “regular women” in their marketing, leaving consumers to feel as though they can relate to the brand. They see themselves in the ads. Aerie has even gone so far to incorporate popular Instagram users and bloggers into their campaigns and website content, an effort know as influencer marketing, which further establishes that the brand knows its target demographic.
Millennials don’t want to hear why you, the brand, think you’re a good brand. They’re more likely to trust a peer who has experience with you. Activating and partnering with those types of people (influencers) and then incorporating those partnerships into your content will set you apart.
The other great brand that I love referencing is REI. If you love the outdoors, chances are you love REI. But again, the brand stands for so much more than recreational equipment. It’s a movement. The REI lifestyle is about actually getting out into nature, exploring, and then encouraging consumers to share their stories with the world.
On the REI website, you’ll find their hashtag #optoutside being leveraged, whether they’re encouraging a site visitor to tell their story, or they’re showcasing photos from their Instagram profite, utilizing the hashtag. Their added success has been displayed based on how they listen and incorporate their consumer into the online experience.
- What is the motivation behind my brand?
- What am I trying to evoke within my consumer?
Then, try to do things that put the consumer front-and-center in all of your content. Help them see themselves there. Answering these questions can help guide you to a great space for authentic content creation, which you can then feature on your site. I always like to remind myself and our team that people like to do business with people. Shoot straight, be authentic, and focus on telling a great story.
One More Thing…
When it comes to social media, you know what is best for your brand. Don’t feel persuaded to use a specific social media platform just because that’s a popular channel for Millennials. There is something to say for being true to your brand, and if having a Twitter profile doesn’t make sense, then there is no need to invest in something for the sake of investing in it. But I do encourage you to think of the totality of your brand. What Millennials see on social media should be reflective of what they see on your website. The experience you offer to someone when they engage with your brand should be consistent and thought of holistically, as opposed to fragments.
I think this is even more crucial for brick-and-mortar stores to be mindful of and keep in mind. Every interaction someone has with your brand is either bringing them closer or pushing them further from doing business with you. Practice going to your website as a consumer, or even perform informal user testing. Have your grandparents go through your site, your parents, and your teenage daughter or son. It will give you a good gauge into things you may be missing from your site and what your user is probably also looking out for, whether it’s identifying where a button should be or pointing out a particular color that is too hard on the eyes.
The great thing is that a website is dynamic. So if your site isn’t there now, it doesn’t mean it can’t be. And thankfully, we have some expertise when it comes to building not only highly performant and secure websites but also beautifully thought out and designed ones too. Please check out our portfolio to see our work, and feel free to reach out even if you have questions about this blog. We’d love to discuss this with you!
Also published on Medium.