Millennials are often the punchline of a bad joke. The “Me Generation” is spoiled and entitled — the list of eye-rolling insults from older adults is virtually endless. But any company, group or political party that doesn't take this generation seriously is making a monumental mistake. Millennials, no matter what you think of them, are the largest eligible voting base in many developed and developing countries and now hold more purchasing power than any other generation. For better or worse, they are the future of the economy.
Millennials (also called Gen Y) also don't shop like their Gen X and Boomer predecessors:
• Millennials are less compelled by traditional advertising (less that one percent polled said an ad makes them trust a brand more, according to Forbes)
• They spend more time reading reviews and researching products before buying
• Change in wealth won't likely affect millennial buying habits (when baby boomers retire)
• They engage with brands on social networks
• Millennials are extremely brand loyal (Apple vs. Android, for example)
Millennials and Your WebsiteThe question isn't how millennials view your website (or any website) but if they visit your site at all. With every type of medium blasting them with information, millennials are looking for the essential details when visiting most websites today. For example, a restaurant's website needs nothing more than location, hours, menus and specials. Anything more is just noise to the average young reader.
But millennials are still heavily involved with websites that offer editorial content. Everything from Buzzfeed and Gawker to Medium and Vox see millions of page views from millennials every month. Even to a generation with a shorter attention span, good content matters.
What You Can DoA restaurant menu isn't thrilling content, but that restaurant can produce a great food blog. Brands are connecting with potential customers through editorial content all the time. Whether it's outdoor retailer REI and its blog about national parks and great hiking or Amway and its blog about makeup and cosmetics, a blog can be a powerful tool to reach millennials. Start a blog about your industry and find contributing writers to give it life and diversity. The key is to not over-promote your own brand or make it too heavy handed. Remember that if people are reading the blog, that means they're on your site — it's a win.
Millennials are also more involved with brands on social media, and there's an opportunity to connect your website through your social media channels. Every time you or a contributing writer publishes a blog post, post the link to your social media channels. Use social media for your customer service and have a series of FAQs and tutorials on your website. The key is to stay engaged with a millennial audience on all possible channels and use your website when appropriate.
Above All, Be GenuineIf millennial consumers have a super power, it's the ability to spot a fake. Social media and editorial copy that is salesy or overdone with brand promotion will be discarded faster than MySpace. If your product and brand are good and your content is from the heart (it sounds corny but it's true), then millennials will want what you have to offer. But if your pitch is fake and forced, your website will be a wasteland to the largest purchasing generation in the country.
The Psychology of Successfully Marketing to MillennialsClick image to enlarge.
Infographic courtesy of: USC.
Top image credit: bigstock