Today there are 75 million millennials in the U.S. making up about 20-25% of the population. They have the largest population of any generation in American history, and they are starting to dominating the market place.
As Tina Wells, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group, puts it, “They definitely have money to spend.” Millennials are projected to reach a cumulative spending power of $1.4 trillion in four years.
According to Attorney Nika Kabiri, Director of Strategic Insights at Avvo, “Right now, approximately 1 in 4 Americans are dealing with some sort of legal issue. Half of those people are Millennials.” If you want your firm to thrive, you must connect with this new and influential audience.
How To Connect
To connect with millennials, it is important to first understand how they make consumer decisions and, more specifically, how they hire lawyers.
The first key to understanding millennials is understanding where their attention is and how they are processing information. A shocking stat shows that they are spending 3.2 hours per day on their phones – almost a full day every week. TNS Connected did a study showing that, of the 3.2 hours per day spent on mobile, 2.3 hours of that time is spent on social media. There is no question as to where your time and money is best spent.
Social Platforms Your Law Firm Should Use
Note that not all social media is the same. Millennials consume information differently on different channels. The platforms that stand to have the most benefit for your firm are Linkedin and Facebook. Linkedin is an obvious one to talk about. While fewer millennials have Linkedin accounts than Facebook profiles, Linkedin remains as a trusted, professional source of information (what they don’t know is that Facebook is more accurate than Linkedin for reviews/job titles– the general impression still hasn’t changed). The “dark horse” is Facebook. The marketing opportunities on Facebook remain largely untapped and unoptimized in legal.
Utilizing Facebook and Catering to Millennials
Optimizing your marketing messaging on Facebook is one of the quickest ways to build an audience and increase your brand recognition with millennials. Let’s drop the buzz word “optimize.” What I mean to say is that Facebook provides unmatched opportunity to create, share, and relate to your audience with relevant, viral content like videos and infographics. These are two common formats through which millennials regularly digest information. It’s time to drop the overtly formal, long-form blogs and time to start uploading 30-60 second iPhone videos showcasing your firm’s culture and community engagement. Give your potential customers and clients a colorful infographic with a check-list about what to do after a car accident. Don’t write 1,000 words about recorded insurance statements and at-fault liability. They won’t get to the bottom of the page, especially if they are searching from a mobile device which they probably are.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
On that last point, you MUST BE MOBILE OPTIMIZED. This is more than essential in today’s world. Google is even prioritizing mobile first indexing. Translation – if you’re not mobile optimized, you’re falling in search rankings. “But I pay for ads, so I still show up.” Sure. We have seen it in the past – firms pay for Google AdWords ads that land on a home page that isn’t mobile optimized. That’s one of the quickest ways to waste money. Millennials searching for your services will land on your home page and say “see ya” within the first few seconds because your site is frustrating and cumbersome to navigate on a phone. Get mobile optimized. There are free responsive templates on most all site builder platforms for you to use.
With this mobile first revolution, comes the notion that things are “always available.” Millennials expect 24/7 service, and they want to be able to text your firm for help. What you might not know is that you can give that to them. By using live chat, a piece of code that sits on your website, you can provide visitors to your website the option to speak with a live representative any time of the day. We conducted an internal study of our clients that have live chat and found that 20-25% of leads were coming outside of normal business hours. You can now integrate this into your Google AdWords campaigns to capture leads in your sleep.
What They Actually Want
The behaviors and tendencies of how millennials interact with digital media are reflective of their personal preferences in their real-world buying decisions. They don’t necessarily want an attorney with a perfect, custom-tailored 3-piece suit. On the contrary, appearing rigid and, quite possibly, intimidating puts distance between you and your millennial audience. It’s the same reason politicians opt to wear jeans during certain speeches on their campaign trails. Relate, relate, relate. Today, there are corporate lawyers in California that go to work in shorts and t-shirts. Millennials are dropping non-essential formalities and prefer to be engaged in a more intimate, casual way.
Take an objective look at your firm. Are you marketing to millennials, or are you just going through the motions? Stay tuned for our webinar on marketing to millennials this month. Click here to register.