March 20, 2019
Generational content marketing
Customizing your marketing efforts to specific groups of people can help you save money, increase sales, and drive conversions. The hardest part is determining how to segment those customers and market to them based on their collective values, needs, or fears. An effective way to segment your customers is to categorize them according to the generational cohort they are part of. Generational targeting makes sense because generations often share common characteristics and beliefs.
Who are our generations?
Grouping consumers by generations can help you segment your message with greater precision, increased interaction, and less ad spend per quality lead. According to marketing agency Convince & Convert, there are currently 6 generations alive today but only 4 of them are active participants in the digital media world. Here, we break down the current US population into the 4 generations:
- Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964): 74 million
- Generation X (1965 to 1980): 66 million
- Millennials (1981 to 1996): 71 million
- Generation Z (1997 to 2012): 60 million
How digitally savvy are our customers?
Knowing your audience only comprises one component of the equation. You can then further segment your audience by looking at valuable metrics such as location, smartphone usage, social media platform use, and more. Using data from an eMarketer survey of generational use of media, we can find out what percentage of each cohort use smartphones and what social media platform they prefer:
- Baby Boomers: 67% use smartphones. Favorite platform: Facebook
- Generation X: 85% use smartphones. Favorite platform: Facebook
- Millennials: 92% use smartphones. Favorite platform: Facebook
- Generation Z: 95% use smartphones. Favorite platform: Instagram
Incorrect messages or wrong platforms can mean wasted budgets, time, and resources. And knowing all that information is the first step to winning at generational marketing, whether you’re selling face masks to a Generation Z customer on Instagram or cruise packages to Baby Boomers on Facebook.
What sort of content does my target generation prefer?
The next step to reaching your audience is to find out where they’re at in their customer journey and work out what content speaks to them most powerfully. A study by direct response agency Koeppel Direct found the following:
- Baby Boomers preferred text-light content on Facebook (approximately 300 words)
- Generation X consumers were happy to watch long videos, with 30 seconds being the sweet spot for mobile video ads
- Millennials really enjoyed online shopping
- Generation Z consumers preferred video content over text and were profoundly influenced by social media
These are all interesting (and useful) findings. Don’t take them all for gospel though; we suggest using Autopilot to test these findings with your segments.
With your Baby Boomer audience, you can run a series of AB split test on your Facebook ads to see which one proves to be most effective. The Autopilot template below shows you how it’s done:
For your millennial customers who love to shop online, you can create personalized offers on your website to target those who haven’t yet clicked the ‘purchase’ button. The following Autopilot template shows you how to use Headsup to display a CTA prompt (for example, an offer) when these users visit your website and how you can send emails to the users who don’t respond to your offer:
Today’s ultra-fractured audiences can be hard to reach. However, this shouldn’t be seen as a deterrent. Segmenting your audience according to their age groups and optimizing your content accordingly will help you increase your brand reach. We also encourage you to experiment with different platforms or approaches until you nail your generational content marketing strategy.