35-and-under consumers are the first generation to reach adulthood after growing up entirely in the digital age. Our subsequent scroll-and-move-on attention span creates a challenge for every business: how to penetrate our multi-tasking focus and pique our finicky interest.
If you’ve been able to tap into this market, you probably agree with Time Magazine’s assessment that we are the next Greatest Generation.
If not, you’re banging your head on the table in frustration. You’re agreeing with The Newsroom’s Will McAvoy that we’re the “Worst. Generation. Ever.”
Despite your business’ clean, easy-to-use, image-heavy site with an equally clean, easy-to-use, image-heavy mobile platform, you haven’t been able to capture our buying power. Here are the seven reasons why.
1. Your Mobile Site Requires Too Many Clicks to Complete an Action
It’s no secret that we almost exclusively search for products and services on our mobile devices. The mobile market is a fast-moving, profit-making space. You should have a mobile site that matches that space’s potential.
It should allow users to get clear-cut information about your products and service offerings. It also should allow us to request a quote, fill out a contact form, or make a purchase quickly (read: under a minute).
If we need to scour your landing pages, fiddle with your all-too-long forms, and click more than three times to complete an action, well, forget it. We’ve already moved on to a more efficient platform with the same services.
2. Your Product Information is Nebulous. Or Worse, It’s Hiding Under PR Gloss
Content that lands with millennials is concise and transparent. As we’re scanning your site, we’re looking for a specific service we need immediately and trying to verify that your business offers it. If it isn’t clear you do, we’ll go back to Google search results and find a business that does.
That means three things:
1. You are losing money to your direct competitors
2. You need to drop the fluffy content from your landing pages, and
3. You replace the fluff with precise information about what your business offers.
Pro tip from an experienced copywriter: You can achieve this by providing more detailed information about your services to your in-house or outsourced content creator. Many business owners give copywriters and their account managers the broad strokes about their business. In the interests of getting you the content you need on time, your copywriters don’t want to disturb you with several follow-up questions about those services. They use online resources to research background information and that, in turn, influences the information they choose to put in your copy. The results can be, at best, generic. At worst, it’s fluffier than the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
3. You’re Using the Same Photos and Hashtags on all Your Social Media Channels
It’s easy to throw up a photo on each of your accounts, add the same hashtags, and watch the metrics. It seems like the most efficient way to publish content on social media, and it creates a semblance of brand consistency. Unfortunately, it also skips the customization that allows you reach people within each market.
Think about each social media channel as its own market. You’ll use Facebook and LinkedIn to curate content, and work as your modern-day, digital Yellow Pages. You’ll use Instagram to show a worldwide audience your most recent projects, and you’ll use Twitter to comment on goings on in your industry. If you’ve got all that dialled, then start downloading Snapchat.
4. You’re Deciding Not to Publish Content That’d Build Your Thought Leadership
Take risks with the topics you choose to cover. No single demographic gets bored quicker and easier than millennials. At the same time, no demographic gets more entranced by exciting, helpful information.
I once presented a well-researched beginner’s guide about how small businesses can use social media to market their projects and the products they use. The client, whose goal was thought leadership, declined, preferring only to publish product-specific content.
Resistance to out-of-the-box ideas stops you from providing compelling content to a well-informed audience. You want to publish a solid mixture of bold, new ideas and classic, service-focused content to reach a younger audience. If you resist the former, the latter just looks stale.
5. You’re Focusing More on SEO Than Creating Useful Content
Let’s say you have world’s best SEO strategist pinpointing your industry’s highest-yielding keywords and tracking your site’s metrics minute-to-minute. Your business listing tops Google searches. The Panda loves what your doing. But that’s not translating into sales. Why?
With all the budget you’ve spent on SEO, you forewent spending on useful content. Your services aren’t thoroughly and succinctly explained on your landing pages. Your blog is full of fluffy listicles that don’t provide relevant information.
To a millennial consumer, you quite frankly look like a fraud. Your site, despite all the hits, doesn’t give visitors enough actionable intel to trust you. Because millennials are obsessed with authenticity, that lack of trust translates into a lack of sales.
6. You Aren’t Curating Content About Your Industry
No one likes to promote competitors. And, to be fair, no one is saying you have to do that. However, even in niche industries that reach small audiences, there’s some kind of news happening every day that’s relevant to your industry.
Demonstrate that you’re a generous thought leader, well-versed in the trappings of whatever you sell, manufacture, or trade. Subscribe to a content curation service, browse the headlines every morning, and share what’s most interesting on your business’ Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages.
If you don’t, your brand comes across as self-promoting, self-interested–and worst of all, out of touch. That’s the Triumvirate of Millennial Repulsion.
7. You Haven’t Formed Brand Alliances to Capture Your Audience
Cross-promotion embeds your brand and your partner’s brand into the brains of people who would buy your products. Your alliance shows your customers that you get what they like, that you understand them. Your business doesn’t need to have anything in common with the other company’s offerings, except the psycho-graphic that both companies reach.
For example, I know a female-specific outdoor gear manufacturer who did a cross-promotional event with a female-run tequila company. Outdoor sporting goods and liquor, as commodities, have nothing in common, except that they both appeal to 21 to 35-year-old females with disposable income.
While some ladies probably attended this event to enjoy flights of tequila, others went to check out gear. Either way, the next time these tequila-sipping millennials want to buy liquor or outdoor gear, guess which companies they’ll be buying from.
Author bio: This post was written by Mackenzie Ryan, a snowboarder/writer who has a wide range of interests spanning everything from digital life hacks to fitness and nutrition.