Today, about half of all Internet users are under age 35. These people grew up in a world where the Internet has always been around. For these users, having only text as a medium to consume content just flat out isn’t acceptable — plus, your brand is likely to be ignored. Rich media, social networking integration and the ability to pull up a site from a smartphone are important aspects a website can bring to this demographic. Knowing how best to optimize for the users of today and tomorrow will help your business stay relevant.
Rich media integration into your website is a great way to attract younger users. With the ubiquitous nature of sites like YouTube and Facebook beginning to get into live video, young people are used to seeing video to discern information. In June 2016, Instagram announced it had surpassed 500 million users, with 300 million of them visiting daily. This statistic cleatly shows photos and video is becoming more and more important in today’s sharing economy.
Because good, quality photos and videos are so easy to make, investing in a team that specializes in media shows you are willing to be forward thinking. A video with poor production quality will not attract any customers. It may even drive potential customers away, as you may be perceived as not having your act together and because there is an alternative company that has attracted the attention of potential consumers.
For good or bad, many millennials get their news from Facebook over sources like CNN or MSNBC. With over 1 billion daily active users on Facebook, that is a lot of eyes that can see the information your company puts out. In a poll, nearly 60 percent of respondents indicated they use Facebook daily to get their news, while another 30 percent use it occasionally.
Make it a point to set up social media channels for your business — and make sure to maintain each one with relevant content and offers, which will foster consumer sharing. Part of the appeal behind social media is seeing what types of content your friends and contacts are interested. The goal, then, in integrating social media into your business is to give a good enough experience for someone to share with their circle of connections.
Social media is also a great way to run promotions or contests that help to engage your audience and build brand loyalty. Social networks implicitly need some sort of back and forth between users and being able to engage on a regular basis is the start of that.
The percentage of Internet traffic seen on mobile devices vs. laptops and desktop computers is growing every year. As of 2015, for every 2.4 hours someone spent on a desktop or laptop browsing the Internet, another 2.8 hours are spent on mobile. Make sure you are not frustrating potential customers because of their inability to access your website via a smartphone; it just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Designing for the small screen is the trend de jour due to these statistics. These days, larger screens like desktops and tablets are dropping off in usage, though this trend could change. In any case, designing your website to today’s mobile preferences prevents customers from being frustrated by unnecessary scrolling or zooming in and out.