Expert Insight: Millennials Show More Eagerness to Connect with Businesses, But Why? [Interview]

marketing, digital marketing

Visual Objects recently conducted a survey of 537 social media users to learn how they prefer to contact companies and forge a relationship with these businesses, and the results were surprising. For example, 90 percent of millennials said they were more likely to click through to a company’s website, compared to Gen Xers – but why?

For more insight into the statistics from the survey, we spoke to Kristen Herhold, content marketer at Clutch, Visual Object’s sister site.

90% of millennials are more likely to click through to a business’ website from social media than Gen Xers (80 percent), in particular — why do you think this is the case?

Millennials tend to use social media more often in general, so it makes sense that they are more comfortable clicking through to businesses’ websites. Older generations likely aren’t as comfortable using social media, even if they do have a presence on there, so they hesitate more when clicking on links on social media. Millennials are the social media pioneers and aren’t afraid to click links if something interests them.

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Images appear to play a larger role in millennials’ decision to click through to a business’ website from social media (33 percent) than other generations — do you see marketers integrating more images and making changes to adjust to these customer demands?

I think it’s important for marketers to integrate more images and adjust to these customer demands, especially as millennials gain more buying power. Marketers are going to realize that offers/promotions don’t influence the younger generations as much.

Why waste money on a strategy that won’t work on such a huge demographic? It is still important to have offers and promotions, especially for businesses that target older generations, but having an image-heavy strategy is becoming essential.

Most customers (81 percent) click through to a business’ website from social media — do you see more marketers accounting for this when they create their overall strategies? How is spending on social media changing, if at all?

Every year, we find that businesses continue to spend more on social media, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Businesses see the importance of social media marketing and websites separately, but they need to start realizing that those strategies should go hand-in-hand. Using social media to promote and drive traffic to your website is such a great strategy, and I think marketers will start realizing that.

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Nine percent of people now use chatbots, but this number is increasing, according to the report — how are marketers integrating more AI into their strategies? How is AI benefiting marketers who have already started to utilize this tactic?

Chatbots are still a very small part of many businesses’ marketing strategies, but their popularity is increasing quickly. Chatbots make it easy for customers to reach a business outside of regular business hours. Instead of calling and leaving a voicemail or sending an email, customers can use chatbots and get their question answered immediately.

This reduces the chances the customer will give up asking a question and leaving your website. There are many primitive versions of chatbots that businesses are adding to their websites and on social media. They can only answer basic questions now, but chatbots are only getting smarter and will be able to eventually answer more advanced questions.

Offers/promotions appear to be particularly important for driving baby boomers (38 percent) to visit a business’ website — how can marketers take advantage of this tactic to reel in generations across the board?

Marketers targeting baby boomers need to focus on a strategy that heavily includes offers/promotions. Offers/promotions sway baby boomers over any other generation, and they tend to like saving money.

However, to reel in all generations with offers/promotions, marketers can’t be tacky or over-the-top with their deals. They can’t use the phony “going out of business” or another type of deal like that.

They need to create offers that are applicable to their target audience. This can work through retargeting. If a customer visited your website and put a scarf in her cart but never purchased it, target her with a small discount on the scarf, increasing the chances she will convert.

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81 percent of businesses now use social media, and 78 percent have a website — do you see these percentages increasing, decreasing, or staying the same?

I think the percentage of businesses having social media and websites will only increase. Having a social media presence is so affordable, and it’s absolutely essential in this day and age to reach and appeal to customers.

Especially with millennials and Generation Z gaining buying power, businesses see they must be on social media. Websites are also becoming easier to create and maintain, so I believe more businesses will invest in a website, too.

What is the most interesting statistic to you in the report?

It really surprised me that just 16% of people prefer to contact a business via a phone call. I knew the popularity of phone calls was decreasing, but I figured that statistic would still be around 20% to 25%. This shows how much people are relying on the online world!

marketing, digital marketingABOUT KRISTEN HERHOLD

Kristen is a content writer and marketer at Clutch and Visual Objects and writes about social media and digital marketing trends.

Connect with her on LinkedIn with any questions, comments, or concerns

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