The internet is for everyone. Or so it seems! The content that you publish for your brand targets consumer groups. But this kind of targeting happens deeper down in the marketing funnel. It is for people who are looking to buy products or services that you sell. For the general online user at large, you have to develop content that appeals to every one of them. It is not easy for a variety of reasons. The most pertinent of them is the generation gap between online users. The aged, the middle-aged and the youngster, all of them are online. Can you come with content that appeal to all of them at the same time? Let’s find out in this post!
Nomenclature of the Three Generations
Before we take up the discussion on what you need to do to bridge the generation gap, let us look at the nomenclature of these three generations. A survey by BuzzStream categorized the three groups as Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 through 1964), Generation X (1965 through 1976) and Millennial (1977 through 1995). I will use these terms to denote the three generations in this post.
Fact 1: Baby Boomers lead Content Consumption
Let us now look at the results of the survey. According to it, Baby Boomers consume the most number of content online. They are also leading the way in devoting more time to read a piece of content. Moreover, they prefer to read it before the other two generations even go online! If you want to use content that will be read by this generation, you need to publish them live early morning, 8am being the peak time for the Baby Boomers to go online. Another interesting piece of information is that 43% of them read their content on laptops or desktops. 40% of them surf the internet through tablets. Only a minority of them use smartphones to read content. Millennials use mobile devices primarily.
Fact 2: Content Length Matters in Generation Gap
The survey reveals that the type of content, be it an article, blog post or eBooks, does not make a difference in the generation gap. All these types are equally preferred by them. Similarly, the least favorite types of content, like white papers, flipbooks, webinars, are also the same across generations. The difference comes into play when you look at the length of the content. Baby Boomers like their content to be limited to 200 words. Generation X readers like their content to be about 500 words. In fact, this is the only group that prefers this length of content. In the same vein, Generation X readers do not like their content to be less than 200 words.
Let us now look at what kind of topics they prefer. The results are on expected lines here. Baby Boomers enjoy world news and politics. Millennials prefer technology. Generation X readers like to check up on finance, health and parenting.
Fact 3: Everybody likes Facebook!
Facebook is where the three meet! Across the board, Facebook is where they prefer to share their content. In fact, Baby Boomers share more content on Facebook than Millennials! YouTube comes in second and Twitter is a distant third. Google + and LinkedIn are the also-rans. But Google+ is most preferred by Baby Boomers. 8% of the respondents picked it.
The type of content shared varies with each generation. Baby Boomers walk the traditional path, sharing images and videos. Millennials, on the other hand, share infographics and memes.
The Final Word
As it is obvious from the above discussion, it is a mean task to develop a content strategy that can reach out to everyone. If you have a product or service that should find resonance with all of these groups, you need to find a broad approach to put out as much varied material as you possibly can. Moreover, these should be panned out over a wide network of platforms. That will shoot up your costs quite a lot. The middle path is to segregate these generations according to your marketing mix. Instead of going for everyone, go for people who are more likely to buy your product. And use appropriate platforms to correspond with your content.
Let me know what you think!