Updated May 4, 2022
The time has come: millennials surpassed the baby boomer generation in numbers and purchasing power. Born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, millennials are the first digitally savvy generation and are known to be ahead of the curve with technology.
Marketing to high-tech millennials will require new strategies for businesses, and the first place to start is your website. More so than any other generation, millennials will assess your business through your site and online presence before contacting your team.
Targeting millennials and other generations? Read through our report on Visual Objects about the top sites that engage different generational groups.
5 Tips to Create a Website that Engages Millennials
- Invest in a high-quality, modern design
- Go beyond mobile responsiveness
- Make your site easy to use and relevant
- Use video and interactive components
- Take risks, but be authentic
1. Invest in a High-Quality, Modern Design
Millennials are more internet-savvy and discerning than previous generations when it comes to your company’s online presence. Your website is the first, or perhaps second impression of your business, so invest in upgrading your website to a modern and high-quality design. Keeping your site fresh and high-caliber is essential.
Today, web visitors tend to scroll vertically through sites very quickly, scanning text and images as they go. Use this to your advantage, and work with a skilled web designer who can use white space and graphics to guide a visitor’s eyes to certain information and make the page easier to read.
Consider building the site on a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. With a popular CMS platform, you can stay on top of the latest trends without having to undergo a full redesign every year.
If you haven’t relied on your website for lead generation, there may be a tendency to put your website as a lower priority. However, with the rise of the millennial generation’s buying power, this can no longer be the case, even if you’re a B2B website and typically receive direct referrals.
Additional Reading: '5 Scrolling Background Tips for Websites'
2. Go Beyond Mobile Responsiveness
Millennials use their smartphones to browse and engage with brands online with 98% of millennials in 2019 owning a smartphone, according to Nielsen Mobile Insights.
If your website isn’t mobile responsive, you can expect these consumers to bounce from your site immediately. Mobile responsive means that the content on your website adjusts automatically to fit the device that a viewer is on.
For example, the popular media site Medium has a web layout full of pictures, articles, and featured stories.
Based on the viewer’s device, the layout will adjust to fit the screen, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.
But a mobile responsive framework and layout are just step one in targeting millennials.
When building a site, your web design team should be familiar with mobile-wise design. This means every aspect of the website is considered from a mobile view, including your navigation, pages, and content.
In the past, websites were built with tons of pages in the top navigation because the majority of visitors were viewing the site on a desktop. On smaller devices, it’s very burdensome to click through a navigation that has tons of pages. Condense your pages and the content on each page, in order to create a mobile-friendly experience.
Also, consider adding a click-to-call phone number on your website. This allows a visitor on a mobile device to easily click the phone number and make a call. This simple step can greatly increase the level of conversions and engagement on your website from mobile devices.
Millennials love convenience, make sure that is displayed on your millennial website.
3. Make Your Site Easy to Use and Relevant
With so much information available online, web visitors are spending less and less time on individual sites, opting instead to access information via YouTube, social media, and media sites.
Even if your website has a beautiful design, if potential customers can’t find what they are looking for, they are going to leave the site very quickly. Organize the pages on your website in a logical and intuitive way to make it easy for a web visitor to navigate, and avoid long pages with dense text. Then add clear calls to action on the home page and in key places throughout the site.
A study by Visual Objects showed that digital communication methods are now more popular than phone calls, when it comes to initiating contact with a business. Email, social media, and contact forms are the most popular methods with social media ranking number 1 for millennials. Make sure to offer digital communication options on your website, including an online form and a link to your social media pages from your site.
To really stay ahead of the curve, consider jumping in with one of the major website trends of 2019: live chat. The use of live chat is on the rise and is a great tool to convert and engage with web visitors. Millennials are already very comfortable with this type of communication method due to the popularity of messaging platforms.
4. Use Video and Interactive Components
Targeting millennials? Start with a video.
Millennials are also known for being visually literate, meaning they are used to absorbing information through imagery and video, as well as text. In a study by TechSmith, more than 64% of millennials surveyed said they understand information faster when it’s communicated visually.
Video is one of the best interactive components as it can rapidly create an emotional connection with web visitors. One option is to add a hero video to your website, which is a video that is displayed in the top part of your website home page.
When selecting a video for this area, pick an extremely high-quality video that ties into your messaging and is captivating but not distracting. Patpatia & Associates, Inc., a dedicated management consulting firm for the financial services industry, revamped their website in 2018 to include a hero video on their main page.
Rather than using an embedded YouTube video, they opted to host it on their site, which allowed for greater control over quality and auto-play capabilities. The video is compelling without detracting from the call to action.
Another great place to use video is in video blogs. Millennials are known for being eager to learn and often opt to educate themselves by watching video tutorials on YouTube or through other means. Video blogs can meet this need. You can also post the blogs on YouTube to gain traction for your brand through that channel.
Additional Reading: 'Types of Videos for Your Marketing Strategy'
5. Take Risks, but Be Authentic
Millennial customers crave the unexpected and search for unique experiences and adventures. So, take some risks on your website and make yourself stand out, while following some basic best practices in order to offer a positive user experience.
Push the limits and try unique things, such as micro animations, fun puns related to your branding, and engaging articles that use down-to-earth analogies to explain complex topics.
If your business and branding were built for the generation of baby boomers, you may need to invest in rebranding work. This could include adjusting your color scheme or updating your logo.
Finally, evaluate how your company is portrayed online, including social media, online directories, and media platforms. Millennials are hyper-social and look for transparency online. The explosive growth of Casper, the online bed-in-a box company, is an example of how it pays off to cater to millennials with social media and online credibility.
Even if your business relies on word of mouth and referrals, start building online reviews and a positive presence. According to research by Bright Local, the majority of consumers now look at and trust online reviews of a business as much as personal recommendations.
Websites Are Necessary Marketing Assets When Targeting Millennials
While engaging millennials may seem like a daunting task, your business will see more success if you start sooner rather than later. After all, millennials are just the start. You can expect the younger generations like Gen Z to push the limits even further in terms of what’s expected of businesses online.
With the immense buying power resting in the hands of the millennial generation, and business trends becoming ever more tech-centric, you’ve got nothing to lose – and everything to gain – by upping your online strategy.
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