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Knowing the Content Consumption Trends of your Target Market Can Result in Greater Success!

Reaching the Generations

In content marketing, you need to know your audience and their browsing habits, otherwise you’re going to have a pretty difficult time engaging them. Being in touch with your core demographic is the difference between keeping up with your competition, and eating their dust.

This is why we paid especially close attention to some recent research on generational trends by BuzzStream and Fractl. It divided users into three groups – Baby Boomers (b.1946-1964), Generation X (b.1965-1980), and Millennials (b.1981-1997). We looked at the data they compiled and what it means, both for us and for you, when considering a content marketing strategy. Here’s what we figured out:

Boomers Consume the Most Content

Next time someone says young people spend too much time online, you can remind them that a quarter of Baby Boomers spend more than 20 hours online every week. Another 17% spend 15-20 hours, edging out the other generations, who lean closer to 5-10 weekly hours. Interestingly, Boomers do most of their browsing in the morning, while Gen-X and Millennials tend to stick to the evening.

Use this information to syndicate your content during the times and days that your targeted audience is most likely to be online, ensuring that your message is received and your content strategy doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Between 8pm and 12am was determined to be the most popular time overall to consume content.

If your company is guilty of ignoring Baby Boomers while spending all your attention on the younger generations, try not to be so neglectful – depending on what your business is offering, you could be missing out on some great revenue opportunities.

Different Generations Prefer Different Devices

Boomers lead the pack in home computers and tablets, but Millennials take the cake for smart phone usage with over 52% using mobile as their primary device. However, people in every generation love using multiple devices. To take advantage of that, your content strategy should employ responsive design – in doing so you can reach anyone, any time.

Entertainment is Always Big

For the top content genre, entertainment was consistently the favourite for all ages (no surprise there). Inserting elements of entertainment news every once in a while and relating it to your industry can help keep the attention of your audience. For example, if you are writing a blog for a dental clinic, why not talk about celebrity “grills” or famous people who have gotten invisible braces? It’s certainly not going to make the reader smarter, but doing something fun with a topic that people might otherwise find dry will do wonders for engagement.

Millennials took the lead for tech news, and Boomers were the most invested in world events. If your content marketing focuses on healthy living, personal finance, or parenting, then you should be targeting Gen-X, who were on top of these three categories.

The Medium is the Message

The biggest surprise? All three generations had nearly identical preferences in content mediums. Blog posts, comments, eBooks and images are universally popular, while webinars and white papers are just as universally unpopular. When it comes to article length, everyone was in agreement that 300 to 400 words is preferred, so don’t over-do it and lose the reader you’re trying so hard to attract.

If you’re aiming at Boomers, don’t bother with memes – this kind of unique and often bizarre internet humour is wasted on the older generation. Content sharing looked the same: Facebook is the most popular platform, followed by YouTube, regardless of which generation you are looking at.

The Big Picture

These three generations have more in common than you think. Knowing your way around the subtle differences in their browsing habits is an indispensable asset, but recognizing these similarities is just as important. This is why your content marketing strategy should always be focused on quality and value first – once you know that your content is worth someone’s time, then you can worry about making sure it reaches them.