Attracting Millennials to Your Small Business


Are your website and brand millennial-friendly? We’re sharing five ideas to help you attract millennials.

Millennials kind of get a bad rap. They’ve been called lazy, entitled, and distracted. Yet, none of that is really true. Research suggests they are actually purposeful and innovative. However, they are a unique generation that requires a different type of marketing plan. In this blog, we’ll look at their habits and buying power. Then we’ll provide some tips on how to attract millennials to your small business.

Millennial buying and technology habits

Millennials are defined as those aged 19 to 35. They are now the largest generation. They also wield tremendous buying power, with $2.45 trillion in 2015. They also have been basically raised on technology. Their smartphones are an extension of their identity. Over 98 percent of millennials have a smartphone. And many in this age group, only connect to the internet with this device.

Millennial buying habits are different than those of the partners. Yes, they enjoy their gourmet coffee, dinners out, and entertainment. But, they also research products intently before they purchase. They look for peer reviews or ratings from users. Millennials do have concerns about debt (typically student loans), but they are planners. Preparing for major purchases like homes and saving for the future certainly guide their buying habits.

So, with all this wonderful information, how can your small business attract millennials? Here are five ideas

Create an amazing mobile user experience (UX)

As noted earlier, millennials love their devices. And, while most websites are responsive and can scale to any screen size, are maximizing mobile UX? The best way to optimize the mobile UX is to design for mobile first. Think about every function of your website, navigation, shopping, blogs, etc., and consider the mobile UX. Is it clunky? Is it easy to maneuver? Is it intuitive? How easy is it to checkout, or request information? Ask all these questions, and give yourself a grade. Better, yet, let others grade you. Usability Hub is a great platform to gauge UX.

Cultivate a powerful social media presence

Millennials still adore Facebook. Sixty-two percent of millennials use Facebook as a way to learn about a small business. They’ll expect to read reviews and see that you are consistently posting content that’s original and interesting. Use Facebook ads that resonate. Yes, they really do click on those. But you’ll need a strategy. Focus on products or services that they most need. Then target their demographic by age and interests. Facebook ads are a relatively cheap way to advertise so you have the opportunity to test and learn.

There are of course many other social media platforms besides Facebook. But you shouldn’t try to be on all of them. Pick three to focus on depending on what you produce or provide. If it’s a consumer product, Instagram can be a great platform to help ignite your e-commerce. While Twitter may be a good application if you create a lot of interesting content. Twitter gives you a platform to be clever and cheeky.

Show proof that your product or service is as advertised

Offering proof that your brand is awesome greatly matters to audiences, especially millennials. They put much stock into peer reviews when choosing a product. They read reviews and research purchases. Providing proof isn’t exactly hard, but it does take time. You’ll want to reach out to satisfied customers and ask for ratings on Facebook, Google, and sites like Yelp. Of course, when asking for reviews, you may have to deal with the occasional negative one. You can’t please everyone. But emphasize getting your fans to tell the world how great you are. Creating a “proof” page on your website helps as well. This page can hold testimonials, customer service ratings, and other evidence that you’re a top-notch brand like awards or seals. In conversion-centered design, this is documented as credibility. Read more about it in our blog.

Incentivize millennials to become your customers

Who doesn’t love an incentive? Millennials certainly do and are more prone to act when presented with one. But what’s the right incentive? If you are an e-commerce site, it can simply be a discount offer. Determine the incentive based on its value and impact to your margin. It could be a percentage discount, complimentary gift, or free shipping. If you provide a service, think about what would make them convert. Can you offer a free trial? An assessment? Valuable content like an ebook? When choosing this type of incentive, look at the buyer journey for your brand. What was the biggest driver of conversions? If you can dissect your buying cycle, you may find some worthwhile information.

Spread goodwill

Millennials are interested in how brands behave in the real world. As a small business, you don’t have the deep pockets of billion-dollar brands that donate lots of money to worthy causes. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a responsible business, acting with integrity and purpose. You can certainly get involved in a local charity. You don’t always need to donate money or supplies. You and your staff can donate time as well.

In addition to being philanthropic, goodwill has much to do with your mission as a company. That means you really need a mission statement. In this, you should include the future evolution of your brand. What will your brand attempt to do in the next 20 years? How will what you do impact your industry?

Goodwill also includes how you treat your employees. Millennials want to know that your employees like their jobs. This absolutely matters to them. If you have a loyal, long-tenured staff, talk about it! This could be on an About Us page or in blogs that spotlight an employee and talk about their accomplishments, both professionally and personally. Millennials want to know that real people make up your brand.

Develop your strategy

So, now that you have some ideas for attracting millennials, it’s time to execute it. If you’re already doing some of these things, great, but don’t consider them one-and-done. Revisit them at regular intervals. If you’re not using any of these strategies, then get started with a plan. We can help. We’ll be glad to develop a strategy for your brand and execute it. Just send us a note.