U.S. Millennials—people between the 16-34 age group — have recently been the hop topic of discussion, analysis and scrutiny due to their avid use of technology and ever changing buying habits. They have not just entered into the workforce, but rapidly moved up the corporate ladder.
Given the fact that Millennials’ expectations are different compared to the previous generations, businesses have to rethink their brands, business strategies and models, and devise marketing plans accordingly.
Reaching out to the millennial generation seems to be high on agenda.
Although the youngest members of the Millennial generation are still economically dependent, older Millennials are progressing and entering their peak spending period. This game-changing generation engages with brands through innovative ways.
Millennials are brand loyalist who write product reviews and post pictures of their favorite products on social networking sites. They are suave, tech-savvy, and extremely well-networked group who can make or break a brand. And there are an awful lot of Millennials, making them hard to ignore.
In this article, I will be discussing the most effective ways that will help your website reach out to the millennial generation.
#1 Navigation: Keep it very simple
It is important that your site's navigation keeps in minds your target audience and what action you want them to take. Based on your goals, you need to design a navigation hierarchy accordingly. Millennials are often known for their multi-tasking skills and keep many browser tabs open at any given point of time. They prefer clean over clutter and tend to appreciate web interfaces that are easy to navigate, intuitive, and render well on mobile devices.
Complexity scares them away and Millennials conveniently pass over areas that appear to be cumbersome and difficult-to-use. They don't like to read tons of data stacked on the site or hunt for information which is buried under layers of navigation. If your website has complex navigation, use information hierarchies that keep content within two to three layers of homepage. Utilize navigation bars that allows users to easily slide onto the page and explore different areas of the site.
#2 Design responsively
Design your website responsively. When your target audience is the Millennial generation, responsive website is the best way to reach your audience who access the web through their mobile devices at an increasingly high rate. So think responsive and be agile.
#3 It is not all about multimedia and fancy design
While Millennials don't hesitate to post candid home videos on sites like YouTube, they don't appreciate websites that bombard motion, video, and audio all times. On the contrary to popular belief, Millennials prefer sites that look clean and simple rather than flashy and complicated. Millennials often gravitate towards the plain and simple user interface. However, simplicity should not be confused with being old-fashioned.
#4 Don't assume
Millennials have grown up liking products on a brand's Facebook page and voraciously tweeting about their negative experiences. But don't assume that they want everything on social networking sites. They often rely on non-corporate channels and are likely to consult their friends before making purchase decisions. When they are looking for information about a brand, company, government organization, or non-profit agency, they log on to official website first and don't just look for Facebook page or Twitter handle.
Keep your website content updated and don't hesitate in uploading video testimonials. Well, Millennials are more demanding, need more evidence, and are turned off by lack of details, or a website that does not answer their questions.
#5 Never ever try to lure Millennials
Millennials tend to seek multiple sources of information and can clearly differentiate between editorial and advertising. They rely on non-corporate channels and are likely to consult their friends before making purchase decisions. Social media has strengthened the reach and accessibility of individual consumers.
It is important that companies monitor what is being said about their brands and take a proactive approach in participating in the conversation. Perhaps it is about time to evaluate whether current brand endorsers are credible and strike a chord with this audience, because the right brand advocates can work wonders, while the wrong ones can harm you in the long run.
Debunking the stereotypes: Non-Millennials don't think kindly of the Millennial often labeling them as lazy or overly dependent on technology. This stereotype perception often prevents companies from addressing particular product needs of this generation and from establishing strong brand relations. However, businesses need to realize that by understanding Millennials they have the chance to stay ahead of the curve and forge long-term relationships with their customers.
You can't push Millennials. So your hard sell attempt will just not work with Millennials and will simply stay away from you. Rather your website needs to answer their questions, help them stay informed and involved, and acknowledge their needs. And most importantly, be mobile — it's compulsion and you have no choice.