It’s probably not that much of a surprise to you that a huge majority of Millennials use smartphones. I know I’m not alone when I say that my iPhone is the last thing I look at before falling asleep, and the first thing I look at when I wake up. It’s an ingrained habit, and I don’t know if I’d have it any other way.
You can see from Nielsen’s chart at right that 85% of Millennials aged 18-24 and 86% of Millennials aged 25-34 own smartphones.
Browsing the web doesn’t just take place on computers anymore, and with the massive number of smartphone users amongst Millennials, I can’t emphasize how important it is to build websites that are responsive to the size of screen you’re using. (Google obviously agrees, per its shift in rankings in the last few weeks.)
Millennials also want their information — fast. Just the other day, I looked up a local fast-food franchise’s website for its hours, and surprisingly, it was not optimized for mobile devices. The site was designed so poorly that it took minutes, yes minutes, to find its hours of operation. If I wasn’t so hungry, I would have been off that website within seconds. We want our information fast, and when it’s not given to us within seconds, we’re onto your competitor’s website.
Per my earlier blog post on writing for Millennials, as a marketer, you need to ensure that you’re doing whatever you can to retain our attention.
Three web properties in particular have a lot to teach us how when it comes to keeping Millennials’ attention.
Twitter and the Constraint of Messaging
Twitter works mainly because you’re forced to carefully construct your messages within its 140-character limit.
As my first blog post noted, if you have a limited number of characters to get your message across, what are you going to write? How are you going to attract those who follow you to click your link?
Clicking the “Follow” button is one victory, but it’s an entirely different battle convincing your followers to click through. The character constraint of Twitter helps marketers hone their message and help keep Millennials intrigued.
Reddit and Subreddits Are Real Things
If there’s one thing Reddit has taught me about marketing, it’s that there is an audience for absolutely everything.
The site looks complicated but it’s actually rather simple. Reddit is a message board in which users submit photos, links, and articles. What makes Reddit different is that the content is curated by the community. Users can “upvote” and “downvote” posts depending on a post’s relation and relevance to the Subreddit you’re browsing.
A Subreddit is a user-created subcategory of Reddit’s main site. Any user can create a Subreddit dedicated to the topic of their choice. As a marketer, you have the opportunity to observe an entire community that’s aligned with your target, or in the case of larger brands, devoted to your business.
There are Subreddits for video games, sports, fashion, politics — anything. You’ll find real conversations between real people who are passionate toward the topic at hand and can offer valuable insight that you, as a marketer, may have missed.
If you’d like to learn more, Mashable took the liberty of creating an excellent beginner’s guide to Reddit.
VICE is Nice Enough
I know I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again — authenticity matters.
VICE is a Canadian-based site that pushes the boundaries of journalism and content. It knows its audience and gets how Millennials think, live, and related. Sure, Millennials are judged on how many selfies they take or the number of hours they spend on their phones, but beneath it all are young adults who care about the world and are committed to changing it.
VICE knows this, and creates content Millennials care about. More importantly, VICE creates content that shows you what’s going on instead of telling you.
How are you going build your message with a limited number of characters? What are you going to say to keep your reader engaged and committed to you? Who is your target, and how are you going to get to know them better? What resources can you use outside of Google to learn about them? How well do you know your audience? Is there more to them than just selfies and self indulgence?
I put together a short ebook of quotes from inspiring, change-chasing Millennials. It’s called For Your Inspiration. If you are a marketer or a Millennial, I recommend downloading this ebook. Just click on the banner below, enter your email, and download.