We’re sure you’ve heard the generation stereotypes… millennials and their avocado toast, Generation Z and their TikTok dances and baby boomers with their Facebook blunders. While these stereotypes may be slightly true (we love a good piece of avocado toast here at KM&A), they aren’t what make up a generation. To strategically target your generational audience, it’s important to understand what each generation responds to. We’ve compiled a guide to targeting your audience’s generation, so read on for a bit of generational wisdom.
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers are one of the most significant generations, with the second largest population and greatest overall economic impact. Looking for an age demographic that’s willing to spend? According to Visa, baby boomers are dominating consumer spending by purchasing more than any other generation.
Let’s dive into the baby boomer box. If you’re looking to market through social media, you’re better off focusing on Facebook—it’s the top social media platform used by this generation. Facebook advertisements are an efficient way to market towards boomer prospects. Through Facebook’s demographic targeting features, you can ensure your message is received by your target audience. Be sure to stray away from slang terms though—baby boomers are less likely to find them funny or engaging. Instead, keep your copy clear, concise and focused on your message. (If you’re looking for more copywriting tips, check out our latest blog, A Guide to Writing Clever Copy).
Copy doesn’t need to be your only communication channel—boomers are inclined to engage with video content, as it can be more detailed and efficient than longform writing. According to Sprout Social, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, so be sure to add closed captioning to your videos. Accessibility is key when marketing to boomers—use a larger font and button size and incorporate contrasting colors for better readability.
The millennial generation consists of anyone born between 1981 and 1996. They’re tech-savvy, socially conscious and have the largest generational population. When targeting millennials, make social media a priority. According to Sprout Social, 72% of millennials see social media as an essential part of their lives (we can’t blame them). Platforms like Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are prominent within this generation and can make a great impact on the millennial consumer if strategized correctly—think influencer marketing, brand engagement and features such as polls, stories and live streams. A USC study reports that millennials are more likely to interact, follow and discover brands through social media compared to other generations, so get out there and craft some superb social media copy.
Appealing to millennial interests is a key marketing strategy as well. The USC report focuses on social consciousness, claiming 87% of millennials are willing to purchase products that are affiliated with an environmental or social benefit. Participate in community outreach projects, showcase ethical production practices and create a company cause—this may attract an entirely new audience to your brand.
Concert tickets vs. a new t-shirt? Millennials are more likely to choose the concert tickets. They’re attracted to experiences, rather than physical products, so if you want to make a millennial sale, market your brand as an experience within itself. For example, your new shoe line isn’t just a physical product, it’s a means to adventure and the exploration of new encounters.
“I’m a savage, classy, bougie, ratchet, sassy, moody-“ oops, sorry … we were just trying to attract Generation Z. For those trying to target the generation born between 1997 and 2012, TikTok is a marketing goldmine. According to Forbes, over 60% of TikTok users are comprised of Gen Z. This is a sign to make a TikTok account if you haven’t already (if it makes sense for your brand, of course).
Apart from TikTok, there are other ways to market towards Gen Z. According to BigCommerce, Gen Z is the most advocative, change-inspiring and politically active generation yet. Sharing your brand’s values or partnering with a cause your brand believes in may create a better relationship with this generation’s consumers.
Influencer marketing is also an extremely profitable approach, as influencers can create a sense of inspiration and authenticity within their audiences. In fact, Morning Consult reports that one in four Gen Z women say influencer posts are where they most often learn about new products. The study reports that Gen Z trusts influencers more than celebrities as brand spokespeople… maybe it’s time to reach out to TikTok stars like Addison Rae or Dixie D’Amelio.
Curating content specifically for your target audience is the main goal in a marketing/branding/communication plan but knowing how to curate your brand’s communication efforts is key to reaching this goal. Understanding your target audience’s generational digital habits is the first step. However, just because that’s your target market, doesn’t mean you can’t reach other generations too. And remember, if you’re stuck and need some marketing insight along the way, KM&A is here to help lead you in the right direction!