Each generation has its own behaviors and ideals that it holds dear. Your marketing people should learn what makes your target age group “tick.” We live in the age of instant and lightning fast information; presenting good information – but using a format that does not appeal to the readers – will prove to be a futile effort. More than the substance, form also has to be taken consideration.
But despite the differences in the preferences of readers across age groups, there are some points where readers find common ground. In as much as content marketers must know the unique preferences of each audience group, they should also know what formats are generally acceptable by one or more groups. That way, they can pitch their products and services to multiple audiences using one format. One size fits all still exists, though the fit might not be that snug.
Here are a few commonalities and unique findings for readers belonging to Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
- 300 words.
- Who spends the most time online?
- Audiobooks, anyone?
- Case studies still deliver.
For all three age groups, 300 words seem to be the ideal length of articles online. This is a far cry from the usual 800 to 1000 word “short” articles that once dominated the internet. Nowadays, people love short paragraphs that convey the main ideas straight to the point. Going less than 300 might be good, but substantial information may have to be omitted in order to reach that word count. Going beyond 300 will only let your readers lose interest the longer your content goes.
Baby boomers do. One in every four Baby Boomers spends more than 20 hours of digital marketing content every week. This is how engaged this age group is, which also shows their openness to absorb lengthier and more detailed content. Thus, lengthy blog posts and regular article issues are not a problem to Baby Boomers.
Millennials appreciate audiobooks more than any other age group. In fact, audiobooks are the fifth most desired digital format for millennials, just after blog articles, images, comments, and eBooks.
Generation X readers still prefer the traditional case study format for digital content. Out of all possible formats, case studies are the 5th most preferred format. This is a testament of Gen X’s preference for the good old ways of viewing content.
While it may be true that there are commonalities among age groups, it seems that much more attention must be given to the preferences that make each age group unique. Content marketers must study these in order to make a mark in their readers’ minds.