As a marketer in 2017, you’ve probably heard about Millennials and their influence on the marketplace enough to make your ears ring. For example: a long time ago in 2012, an article in Ad Age predicted that Millennials would be spending an annual sum of $200 billion by now.
But, just because so many people are — and have been — talking about Millennials does not mean that you should tune them out. On the contrary: you have the responsibility to investigate whether or not Generation Y is actually as impactful as it has been proclaimed to be.
Our digital marketing agency’s entire content team and two-thirds of our Creative department are proud members of Generation Y. Yes, we’re millennials that are writing about how to market to Millennials! We decided to write this conclusive blog post that finally solves the mystery: “How do I turn Millennials into customers?”
The answer, of course, is a simplified online presence that:
1) Quickly gets users what they need
2) Has the right track record across social groups
In other words: Millennials want a user experience (UX) that solves problems fast. Accomplish this kind of UX through the following web design and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.
1. Navigate Millennials Through a User-Friendly Design
R. R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost…” But, those who are lost will wander to your competitor’s website.To attract Millennials to visit, read and buy, your website has to be both functional and fast. The navigation or architecture of your website must be intuitive. Follow the laws of common sense. As Web Design Depot writes in their blog post, simplicity is one of the most important factors of Millennials’ desired UX. Do not waste readers’ time or effort with too many pages, pop-ups or clicks to get to popular destinations.
If your target audience of Millennials wants to download a white paper or watch one of your new videos, take them to that content! Embed videos directly onto pages that relate to the same theme. Allow readers to download that white paper you just published with a widget in a sidebar. Giving that content creates the conversion that generates a meaningful lead.
In order to accomplish this lead-generation through a streamlined navigation, you must analyze and understand the click-path of the Millennials in your target audience. Answer these questions to know how to create a better UX through linked pages:
On what page(s) do Millennials most often land?
For how long do they stay on those landing pages?
Do they exit your website on any specific page(s)?
What page(s) have the longest session duration?
When you have answers to these questions, you’ll be able to formulate the ideal pathway for Millennials to travel on your website to get to their destination. As a general rule, you should constrain that pathway to three clicks, at the most, to reach the destination. Perhaps it is a “Contact Us” page, FAQ list or a blog. In any of these cases: maintain a constant click-path or funnel through which Millennials must travel on desktops and mobile devices (Web Design Depot).
According to a short survey from Digital Turbine, approximately 81percent of participating Millennials “look at their phones” umpteen times in a day. This is most likely not that shocking, so use this information as a sign that your website needs to function at a high speed. We can all agree that pages that don’t load fast enough are just about the worst things in the world. According to an article from Think With Google, the probability of a bounce increases by 90 percent as the load-time for a mobile page goes from one second to five seconds
To keep your mobile and desktop pages outside of this risky timeframe, remove all of the unnecessary code and elements that slow the loading process. Prime examples are sliders on home pages. It is important to note: no matter which elements you remove, flawless functioning should still be present. Don’t remove links, images or sections that Millennials need to complete their click-path.
2. Consumer Voices Carry Far for Millennials
“Sticks and stones may break my bones” but word-of-mouth may break your wallet. In an era of incredibly accessible and instantaneous communication through social media and mobile devices, Millennials constantly talk to each other. And, they’re often talking about the businesses that they love — and those that they hate.
This information is critical to the UX and in-person experience that Millennials have with companies, everywhere. Before they actually experience a brand or product, Millennials want to guarantee that it will be a positive interaction or beneficial purchase. An article in Adweek with data from the “Millennial Central Study (2014)” reports that 93 percent of participating females tend to read reviews of products or services before purchasing them. Additionally, an article in Forbes reports data from a collaborative study with Elite Daily: merely 1 percent of participating Millennials said that advertising would increase their trust in a brand.
Charismatic, entertaining or persuasive representations of brands do not seem to affect Millennials. Rather, this demographic is searching for honest, genuine interactions and experiences that are not benefitting from the positive message. In other words, Millennials want to hear what real people think. This means that your website and brand representatives must be present throughout the Internet — not just under your domain.
Through your SEO, perform local listings management in coordination with social media marketing to connect with surrounding communities and local businesses that Millennials are already discussing on Facebook and Twitter. Conduct link-building activities to get your brand’s name on various websites, profiles and accounts. These backlinks are gateways that Millennials can use to access your website and generate increased traffic.
Finally, be active on social media — especially Twitter. This particular social medium’s continuous, fluid structure may facilitate a virtual conversation between brands and attentive consumers. Manage your posts to be both regular and informative; lead readers and followers to blog posts, industry-related news and your most recent content. This kind of genuine interaction may very well be more significant to Millennials than ordinary advertising (Forbes & Elite Daily).
What Experience Do You Offer to Millennials?
It is actually not that hard to get Millennials to be your customers. In the end we, as Millennials, simply want a good user experience. This includes both on-site click-paths as well as traffic-sources that direct Millennials to your website. Always remember: UX is a true journey from social feedback or reviews of a brand to the ultimate purchase of that brand’s product.
Build a UX that creates an immersive story for Millennials in which they are the main characters. Because, let’s face it, we’re all characters at heart! Make your website fast and intuitive to use on both desktops and mobile devices, and be alert to social media and other websites that contain reviews to have an active role in Millennials’ conversations. 
Millennials’ Buying Behavior Infographic