Building a website and marketing strategy for a millennial target audience

Michael Gabrian

by Michael Gabrian on 06/22/2017

Your entire marketing plan revolves around your personas. The features on your website, the content you push, how and where you push that content, and so on. So the questions are: how do you build a website geared towards millennials? What marketing tactics work best on millennials?

Let's find out. 

"If boomers were always looking to shock, millennials are eager to share."

- Nancy Gibbs

Website Best Practices

Focus on mobile

When it comes to actually building and designing your site, it should absolutely be mobile friendly. Nielson.com tells us that 98% of millennials between the ages of 18 and 24, and 97% of millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 own smart phones. I know you've probably heard stats like this all of the time, so I'll skip to the point. If you plan on targeting a persona between the ages of 18 and 34, you need a mobile friendly site.

When considering the buyer journey, you should think about how your visitor will arrive on your site, what they'll go through on their experience, and where they will convert. In this case, the visitor could have found you through social media or asked google for information on their phone. They will want a quick seamless experience, so keep that in mind.

Some other best practices that go hand in hand with mobile friendliness include:

  • Swipe and tap friendly
  • Quick load times (need help? Click here
  • Simplified, intuitive navigation

Content

There are a bunch of ways to really connect with a millennial audience. You could use humor or any other powerful emotion, you could use videos with short bits of information, etc. Regardless, the focus in on making a connection and building rapport.

However, since these mobile moments are supposed to be a mixture of helpful and informative, the layout of your pages should be properly designed and organized. You'll want to keep you content genuine and helpful and avoid any pushy, salesy language and be sure to use clear headings for scanability.

Other Best Practices

Shipping

For those e-commerce sites out there, having shipping that's free and fast could only help you. At this point, 56% of millennials expect a same day shipping option, but only a handful of companies actually offer it to their online shoppers. This means companies like Amazon have this huge competitive edge with one and two day shipping options.

I think it has to do with people in general knowing what they want and when they want it. So companies that could expedite their shipping options really could benefit.

Support a cause

Corporate social responsibility is a pretty big factor when it comes to who millennials want to spend their money on. But I think this could also apply to anyone. Imagine you have two products in front of you, one is a bit more expensive, though the company supports a cause you care about, the cheaper, does not support the cause you care about. Which would you choose?

If you chose the more expensive one, you're with 70% of millennials. They're willing to pay more for a product that supports a cause they care about. This make sense. Supporting a cause that your consumer supports establishes a relationship. It may even encourage them to share your product or service.

Experiential marketing

What exactly in experiential marketing again? Put simply, it's a form of marketing that helps customers experience your brand. This happens through triggering an emotional connection with your consumers. 

To promote the third season of Game of Thrones, a giant dragon skull was placed on a beach in Charmouth. 

Merrell Trailscape was a great example of how virtual reality could be used in marketing. The experience boosted brand consideration, mentions, and sales pretty extravagantly. 

The Harris Group released a really interesting study and here are the main findings: 

  • 78% of millennials would rather spend their money on a desirable experience over something desirable
  • 69% of millennials experience FOMO (fear of mission out)
  • 60% of millennials have posted, tweeted, or shared something about their experiences

What this tells me, is that marketing the experience rather than the product will help you find more success in this age group. Social sharing is a beautiful thing. You have the opportunity to get tons of exposure. Your customers and users become your greatest marketing outlets. 

With all of this in mind, think of how it will affect how you do your online marketing as in-person tactics. 

Inbound vs outbound

Millennials know what they want and know what they don't want. When they seek advice, they will look to their friends and they'll do extensive amounts of research before making a purchase.

So when it comes to inbound or outbound methodology, which do you think would be more effective?

Since so many people are on social media and spend hours on their phone a day, inbound methods like promoting content through social channels seem to be the best option. They're all there and they're all sharing, so it's probably the best way for you to gain a lot of exposure in a short amount of time.

Keep in mind the skepticism that millennials feel when ads are pushy and salesy. This is how a lot of outbound methods come across. So buying a list of random names and calling and emailing them probably won't work.

I think the best option would be to focus most of your efforts on inbound. Boost your SEO so they can find you, remain active on social media, and nurture leads with genuine, helpful, and personal emails.

To conclude:

When creating journeys for your personas, there are a couple important things to keep in mind: how they land on your site, where they land on your site, what they're on your site for, and what your goals are.

For the complete guide, click below.

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