What Your Website Should Have to Excite Millennials

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It's not what you think.  It’s more than mobile-friendly and Facebook ads. Millennials are demanding companies offer more interactive and more meaningful online experiences.

Millennials are now the largest generation in the consumer market. They are determining how products are created, marketed and consumed.

If your company does not integrate these elements in its online presence, it will miss out on major sales and growth opportunities.  So here are some suggestions:

1. Educate first, sell second.

There’s a reason we don’t kiss at the beginning of the date.

Abruptly going in for the kill before building rapport is not only ineffective, it’s downright tacky.

Content marketing isn’t a new concept. Selling titan Brian Tracy has long preached building relationships with one's customer before asking customer to pull out the wallet. Nothing's changed there, but the nature of buyers has changed. Businesses must master the changes in order to capture the Millennial market.

Millennials want to trust you before they buy from you. And Millennials won’t trust you until they like you. The fastest way to get someone to like you is to give them something and expecting nothing in return.

It should be something related to your industry that hits one of their primary pain points. For example, a car dealership could offer a coupon for a professional car wash, a video on how to get the best deal on financing, or a ticket to a car show the next weekend.

2. Ask their opinion.

Fifty-seven percent of Millennials admit they want to help a brand a product.

Too many companies I work with market like it’s the 1990’s. In the tech mania days that characterized the late '90s, a false sense developed that internet-focused businesses could build anything and someone would buy it. Not anymore. Now the best businesses roll out products while inviting the consumer to help create the good. 

Take a line from the Doritos “Choose your flavor” campaign. They received millions of submissions from Dorito lovers giving their idea on what a good flavor would be—from macaroni and cheese to pesto salmon. Haribo has done the same with its Gummy Bears. 

3. You have five seconds.

The Millennial attention span is…. well, short. 

They will go on your site an average of 5 seconds before deciding if they will go deeper with your materials.

If your site is bogged down with text, photos or distracting videos, you’ve already lost them.

The cleaner the better. Think minimalistic rather than over-performing.

Old school websites used to throw everything they knew or had done on the site and hope that it convinced the customer to make a purchase. Not anymore. Customers trust quiet confidence and would rather watch a 30 second video on what the business does rather than scroll through outdated stock images.

Here is a quick list of things that shows you are out of touch with Millennial customers:

*     The business has outdated stock photos of people high-fiving, meeting, or laughing

*     It has headshots that were seemingly taken more than 3 years ago

*     The website has multiple pages rather than one continuous page

*     The only videos on the page have outdated graphics

*     The site is busy, with lots of dark colors.  Lots of white space is more appealing to the modern eye. 

*    The company logo is not flat or modern

*    The site has a tagline that says nothing about what the business actually does (i.e. we treat our customers like family)

*      It takes more than 15 seconds to find an answer to their most important question

*     There is no way to ask a question (i.e. no message bot or chat function)

*      The site fails to betray the personality of the company founders

*     Pricing is hidden

Some things to think about as businesses proceed.  Perceptions aside, Millennials represent a massive market.  To the extent that businesses are more capable of meeting their needs, everyone wins.  

Gabrielle Bosché is the Founder and President of The Millennial Solution, America’s fastest growing Millennial strategy firm. Gabrielle is a bestselling author and popular TEDx speaker. She has advised presidential candidates, top military generals and Fortune 500 CEOs on strategies to reach and retain her generation.

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