The generation game: Is your content marketing targeting the right generation?

Written on 10 September, 2015 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories: Online Marketing | Tags: content, customers, online business, online marketing, social media

Different generations tend to see things a little differently – and online content is no exception. Make sure your content hits the right demographic with a little insight into the ways various age groups read online.

Influencer marketing company BuzzStream and content marketing agency Fractl recently joined forces to survey over 1200 people and discover how different generations consume content. The results are invaluable when it comes to writing your own content strategy.

How the generations differ

The three generations identified in the survey are:

  1. Millennials – born between 1981 and 1997.
  2. Gen Xers – born between 1965 and 1980.
  3. Baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1964.

The survey found that each generation showed clear preferences and habits when it came to consuming content, making it easier for you to time, tweak and create your content to suit your customer demographics.

Times they consume content

While baby boomers tend to consume the most content in the late morning, activity peaks for the majority of millennials and Gen Xers at about 8pm.

For the largest possible audience, be sure to post your content in the later evening, from around 7pm to 10pm, and avoid late afternoon (between 3pm and 6pm), as there's a significant drop in engagement for all three generations then.

The devices they use

There are also some significant changes when it comes to the types of devices used. For example, while more than a third of baby boomers read content using their desktop computers, only 28% of millennials do the same.

However, more than a quarter use their mobiles as their primary viewing device and of the people viewing content on mobile, millennials represent 52% of the audience – so if you want to reach younger readers, be sure to optimise your content for mobile.

The type of content preferred

When it comes to content type, the three generations have some interesting similarities as well as differences. All chose blog articles as their top read, followed by images, comments and ebooks.

The first change in preference is in their fifth favourite item, where baby boomers switch to reviews, while millennials prefer audiobooks and Gen Xers dig into case studies.

Use these handy facts to create a content plan that targets the users you most covet with tailored content delivered at just the right time.

Do you already take generational differences on board in marketing strategies, or are you willing to start?