How to Tailor Your Content Marketing Strategy to Different Generations
Written by: Scott Baradell
Developing a cohesive content marketing strategy may seem simple to some, but making it effective is another task entirely. It’s like Black Friday shopping. You have to spend twice as long researching what you’ll be doing before you can even think about getting started – why do you think stores release their circulars a week or two early?
So when it comes to million-dollar campaigns, big businesses know to do their homework first. The first step is to know what audience you’re targeting, and what type of marketing they respond to best.
Generation Y (1978 – 1994)
Generation Y grew up with a roller-coaster economy, acceptance of alternative lifestyles and the technology boom. They are incredibly tech-savvy, self-absorbed and know how to block out unwanted information. The growth of Internet fame has revived the idea that people can achieve their dreams, no matter how grand.
Developing a content marketing campaign for this group means producing a product that has a subtle message. Generation Y also appreciates humor, creativity and image- or video-heavy campaigns. They do not respond to traditional media like direct mail, so email marketing is a safer bet. Blogs or content marketing sites centered around a topic are more effective with this group.
Generation X (1965 – 1977)
Unlike their parents, Generation X grew up without the safety net of a flourishing economy. As a result, they are more focused on earning a living than staying loyal to a company, but they are not as work-focused as previous generations. They like to get the most out of their money and can be persuaded by a good deal.
Content marketing campaigns directed at this generation should stress the value of a product or service. Don’t make grand offers or claims, because Generation X is the ‘Show Me’ generation; they believe actions over words.
This generation is very tech-savvy, so digital marketing is a must. They also respond well to direct mail, word-of-mouth and the advice of their peers.
Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)
The Baby Boomers grew up in a time of economic prosperity and social upheaval. They enjoy individualization and self-empowerment. Of the four generations, they have the most disposable income and are the only generation to fully embrace print and digital media. The Baby Boomers also have a distrust of government because of the social revolutions they lived through.
When marketing to this generation, avoid referencing retirement or growing older. Many Baby Boomers enjoy working and see growing old as something they can avoid. Instead, appeal to their desire for products that will make their life easier.
This generation reacts well to traditional and digital media, but they prefer to be given information they can use to make their own decision and like to shop around for the best deal.
Traditionalists (1927 – 1945)
Growing up during the Great Depression and World War II, the Traditionalists have a profound pull to patriotism, rationing and spending wisely. They think of themselves as active, hard-working individuals and have a strong military connection, having lived through four major wars.
When developing a content marketing strategy, aim for characterizations that show this generation as active and independent. They value discipline, working towards a greater good and traditional values.
Although they are becoming more tech savvy, they are much less responsive to web and mobile marketing than other generations. The Traditionalists respond best to traditional media like print or face-to-face campaigns. They like to be acknowledged for their service to their country and respond positively to messages that convey respect and appreciation.