There have been many reports on the different media consumption habits of each generation, and how you need to take that into account when planning on how you’re going to reach your audience, but there’s fewer on how, exactly, each generation is different.
One of the most difficult elements of this is that the Milennial generation, the one that every brand’s so keen to reach, is huge. Millennials (those born between 1981 and 2004) are now the largest generation in America, covering a wide spectrum of varying people – too wide, by most accounts, to actually be used as a demographic divider.
In practical terms, it makes more sense to separate this group into Gen Y (1981-1999) and Gen Z (After 2000), which is more likely to be indicative of habitual behavior – which is what Hand Made Writings have done with this new infographic, examining the key content habits and behaviors of the different generations online, based on various research reports and studies.
And while there are still some wide generalizations implied by the data – and the only true way to know your audience habits and preferences is to study your own audience analytics – the insights presented do provide some important considerations worthy of factoring into your plans and testing.
One size does not fit all
With such a variety of content types available for marketers, it’s important to pick the right types of content for your target audience for maximum benefit. Content marketing can be time-consuming so it’s important to know which types of content works best for your target audience.
While your target audience could be segmented in a number of ways depending on your product or services, such as job title or location, we want to have a look at what types of content can appeal to different age groups.
For the sake of this article we are focusing four different age group generations:
Baby Boomers (Roughly 50 to 70 years old)
Generation X (Roughly 35 – 50 years old)
Millennials, or Generation Y (18 – 34 years old)
Generation Z, or iGeneration (Teens & younger)
What content features are most valued?
Before looking at the type of content, we need to understand how age groups like to consume information and the features that appeal to them the most. These can then be translated into types of content that meet these qualities.
- Place importance in accuracy to detail and ease of use
- Consume printed materials but also still actively online (and will keep rising)
- Simplified design – want to find out information easily
- Primarily desktop-driven or tablet driven (less mobile)
- Enjoy clear and concise information
- Mixture of mobile, tablet and desktop consumption
- Enjoy comparisons and reviews/ testimonials
Millennials aka Generation Y
- Large internet users and can regularly multi-task so content needs to be attention grabbing
- React to incentives and offers
- Brevity is key – want information quickly
- Mobile driven (and tablet use)
- Articles or written content should be short and concise
- Imagery driven
Generation Z aka iGeneration
- Used to changing media, apps and content
- Very mobile driven
- Often enjoy whatever is most popular as they will be embracing this first
- Sharing content easily is important
- Enjoy visual and interactive experiences