Millennials are stereotyped to be lazy, entitled, cynical, and glued to our phones (some would call us the “selfie generation”). Others perceive Millennials to be open-minded, engaged and optimistic. As a Millennial, I see this generation as a group of individuals that are driven, daring, opportunistic, and so much more. This is all well and good but why, as a Financial Advisor, should you care?
- Millennials are the most educated generation, in American history, with over 63% of Millennials earning a Bachelor’s degree (Aabaco)
- By 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers globally will be Millennials (Aabaco)
- Millennials make up one third of the workforce (Aabaco)
- Millennials are worth over one trillion dollars in purchasing power (Bazaar)
- By 2018, Millennials will have the most spending power of any generation(Bazaar)
As a Financial Advisor, ignoring the Millennial generation means that you are ignoring future and current investors. The future of your businesses could very well lie in the hands (and pockets) of the Millennial generation. So, just how can you reach us?
We are mobile
Whether it’s email, social media, applications, or most importantly web browsing, the smartphone is more than just a phone for the Millennial generation. 78% of Millennials spend over 2 hours a day using their smartphones (CMO). As a Millennial, I personally rely on my smartphone for a lot and there is nothing more frustrating to me then visiting a website that is not mobile friendly. In fact, 30% of mobile users abandon a transaction if the experience is not optimized for mobile (Mobify). So, what does this mean for you?
If you’re an Advisor that is trying to market yourself online and are targeting Millennials, it is important to adjust to our digital preferences. Providing your audience with a consistent online experience across several devices will help you stand out from other Advisor websites. A positive user experience will help you build trust, and increase the likelihood of a user returning to your website. This is also great for improving your search engine ranking (to expand your digital reach).
We are social
33% of Millennials identify social media as one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses. To put that number into perspective, only 5% of those 55 and older agree (MarketingSherpa). Whether it is Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, we love our social media. Gone are the days where direct mail is the best form of marketing, to Millennials.
As an Advisor, some social media platforms are better suited for you and your target audience. LinkedIn, for example, is a great platform to connect with Millennial prospects because they account for 38% (87 million) of LinkedIn’s user base (SocialTimes). LinkedIn recently conducted a comprehensive survey of Financial Advisors and found that 75% of Advisors who gained clients from LinkedIn stated that they use the site to improve their referral network. So, if you’re unsure where to start, LinkedIn is a great first step to grow your advisory firm’s online presence, strengthen and nurture your relationships, and reach more Millennials.
We crave content
Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts than advertisements, and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites (Hubspot). Nowadays, it is rare for a Millennial to make a purchase as a result of a smooth salesperson. Yet, if an expert whom they admire and trust recommends a products or service, they’re sold. Lucky for you, you are an expert in your field. But, do people trust you in the digital space? When building relationships with an online audience, the face-to-face interaction is not there to help build trust. So, how can you get people to trust you in the digital realm?
Keep in mind that more than 70% of the buyer’s journey is completed before a prospect reaches out to you. Nowadays, consumers, particularly Millenials, do extensive research about products and services before choosing which one they are going to go with. Our buying decisions are less influenced by repeated exposure to the same message or brand, but rather built off of conversations and information we receive. In other words, we base our decisions off of the content we are exposed to.
Content marketing is a great way to engage the Millennial generation. This technique means helping to solve, educate and inform your audience on problems they may be facing through content. By providing prospects and clients with readily available information online, you’re able to build a more trusting and valuable relationship with them. If you were to ask me the benefits of a TFSA compared to an RRSP, I wouldn’t have a clue what to tell you. But, just like a lot of other Millennials, I love to learn and would prefer a Financial Advisor that would not only advise but also educate in a non-salesy way. Let’s say I was in a situation where I was picking between two Advisors: one has a helpful, informative blog that helps to answer some of my questions without having to contact them. The other Advisor’s website is static with generic content describing their services and business. As a Millennial, I would definitely be drawn to the Advisor providing informative content on their blog.
If you are looking to reach more Millennials, you need to start with building a strong digital presence. Millennials are mobile, social, and crave content. First things first, start by checking if your website is responsive, sign up and stay active on at least one social media platform, and start blogging. Millennials make up one third of the workforce and soon enough will be worth over one trillion dollars. Ensuring that you reach us digitally is key to the future growth of your Advisory Firm.