Written by: Thomas Scott
How to Capture the Attention of Millennials and Gen Z
In today’s world, younger generations are more interested in entrepreneurship and business ownership than ever before. Millennials and Gen Z have graduated from school and are looking for opportunities to take control of their own lives. Franchising provides an attractive option for those seeking the independence of owning a business, while also benefiting from the support of an established brand. At Brand Journalists, we help brands recruit younger franchisees, defying conventional wisdom.
Consider these stats: according to a survey conducted by America’s SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and the Center for Generational Kinetics, which focused on U.S. Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Gen Zers (born after 1997), here are some statistics about younger people choosing entrepreneurship:
- 61% of Gen Zers and 49% of Millennials have considered starting their own business
- 29% of Gen Zers and 22% of Millennials have already started their own business or side hustle
- 74% of Gen Zers and 69% of Millennials believe entrepreneurship is a good way to achieve their career goals
- 56% of Gen Zers and 49% of Millennials say that being their own boss is a top career aspiration
- 45% of Gen Zers and 41% of Millennials say that a desire for more flexibility and work-life balance is a key factor driving their interest in entrepreneurship
Advertising for a New Audience
Reaching and engaging younger buyers requires a different approach to franchise lead generation. Here are some tips for capturing the attention of Millennials and Gen Z entrepreneurs.
Focus on Digital Marketing
Younger buyers are digital natives, meaning they spend most of their time online. As a result, it is essential to have a strong online presence and invest in digital marketing strategies such as short-form video, personal branding, conversational marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing. Word of caution: younger buyers have radically different ideas about what content they should have access to, so make sure to invest in video and broader website work geared toward this audience.
Use Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers have become a significant force in marketing, and partnering with them can help you reach a wider audience. Find influencers who align with your brand and have a following that matches your target audience, and leverage their influence to generate franchise leads. Don’t forget that you are always influencing your audience through your personally branded content too. Produce the same type of short-form video content as an influencer would, and interact with other users using this base. Personal branding such as this is now the price for admission for franchise recruitment, and it isn’t optional today.
Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
More and more people are accessing the internet on their mobile devices, and having a mobile-friendly website is essential for reaching younger buyers. Ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices, loads quickly, and is easy to navigate. Younger buyers don’t trust forms and are not as likely to complete requests for information forms, especially on mobile devices. You can either publish much longer content that earns trust and/or use other forms of website conversion. Integrate Calendy links, add in Facebook Messenger to the site, and have ways for prospects to ask questions that don’t involve them giving you their information. Forms are no longer the only way to get people into your sales process!
Offer Flexible Business Models
Younger buyers value flexibility and work-life balance, and offering franchise models that accommodate these needs can be attractive. Consider offering part-time or home-based franchises, or franchises with low start-up costs. Younger buyers may need payment arrangements to make the initial costs lower, or need side-hustle versions so they can stair-step upward to growth. Be creative with younger buyers, as they have much more energy and drive than older franchise owners.
Younger buyers are tech-savvy and appreciate the use of technology in business. Consider incorporating technology such as virtual reality or augmented reality into your franchise marketing efforts to demonstrate the benefits of your franchise system. Younger buyers respond more to videos, both traditional and short-form videos. They expect to be able to DM (direct message) you and get a real person, not a chat bot. Leverage these technologies and train your staff so you can respond better.
Generate Franchise Leads Creatively
Recruiting and engaging younger buyers requires a different approach to franchise lead generation. By focusing on digital marketing, using social media influencers, creating a mobile-friendly website, offering flexible business models, and leveraging technology, you can capture the attention of Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs and generate franchise leads for your business.
Curious about what this means for your franchise brand? Schedule a discovery call with us, and we can share best practices, audit your website, and talk about what recruitment of the future looks like – it’s already here, and the sooner you get a plan in place, the faster you will grow!