If you are making an effort to reach a target audience, you need to have the right message, channels and timing to find real success. If you are appealing to a multigenerational audience, this is a very challenging task. Different generations, such as Millennials and Baby Boomers, have different characterizes and ways of interacting with content. Different generations will go towards different channels and different types of content.

A marketer must find the right content and channel to deliver their message in an effective manner, especially to reach multiple generations. This will not only ensure success for the entire campaign, but it also benefits your marketing and sales goals.

Let us look at the five major content considerations you must make, and how they can help you appeal to different generations:

Content Length

Content length must vary if you are appealing to different generations. Long-form content does provide good engagement according to experts, but this is not a reality for all generations. Millennials and Generation-Xers will enjoy long content from time to time, but Baby Boomers prefer content that is shorter and providing them with the most relevant information.

Related story: Marketing Across 3 Generations

According to a survey called The Generational Content Gap, it is important to target Baby Boomers with short and engaging video content. If you really want to appeal to a wide audience, you must have content that finds a happy balance between being too short or too long.

Content Type

If we look back at a decade ago, we see that most content was contained in newspapers, radio or television programs. But now content comes in so many different forms. We have videos, webinars, whitepapers, Slides, infographics, eBooks, articles and podcasts. There are so many different types of content available to consume, which means each generation will gravitate towards certain content types.

Visual content is great if you want to appeal to the younger generation. Gen Xers and Millennials love video content, while Baby Boomers are more attached to text. This means you must choose the right format when you are creating a content strategy. If you only want to target one or two generations, you may get by with one type of content. But to target all generations, you must have multiple formats for your content.

Device Preference

Even though devices do not have a huge impact on the content you create, you should know how your audience is consuming their content. Understanding how content is being consumed will help you when you are formatting, releasing and marketing this content. It is not surprising that Gen Xers and Millennials are consuming most of their content through mobile devices and tablets, while Baby Boomers are more likely to use desktops or laptops.

If you want to reach a young audience, make sure you have a site that is mobile friendly. It is even better to create a mobile app as a vehicle for your content.

It is not hard to optimize your site and content for a mobile device. Simple tweaks such as altering the text size or making your site more responsive on mobiles can go a long way towards improving the engagement from visitors.

Content Types

Even though there are genres that have an appeal with all generations, having different topics is a way to appeal to multiple generations. For example, Baby Boomers will care more about news and politics, while younger generations are more concerned with technology or entertainment news.

This is not surprising when you consider the fact that Millennials have grown up with technology. But understanding the topic preferences of each generation does not mean you should exclusively write about those topics, but it does give you an idea for how to resonate with a group of people. For instance, the examples used in your writing should reflect the preferences of the generation you are trying to target.

If you take a concept or a topic that a generation finds interesting or familiar, you will have a better chance of reaching that generation and getting them to relate to the pieces you are writing. The analogies and examples used in your writing should reflect the generation or target demographic you are attempting to reach.

Headlines

This is one area where each generation has some common ground. Every generation wants to see creative and descriptive headlines. In fact, many readers will say that the headline is the most important thing that gets them to read a particular piece of content. Headlines often trigger responses from people, while they also help when you have people searching for particular types of content.

When you are crafting the headline for content, make sure it has enough detail that the reader can understand what they are about to read. But you also want to pique their interest without giving away the lead, because this may lead them to skip reading the article altogether.

Having sample headlines is a very good way to get input on whether you are going in the right direction with your article title. Others can tell you whether your sample headlines are too catchy or too boring. And the more sample headlines you provide to your “testers,” the better sense you get regarding the words, phrases and adjectives that can trigger a response.

Mastering Content Across Generations

Content plays a huge role in delivering a message regarding your brand, while it is also crucial if you want to capture the attention of new readers or customers. It is important to create the right recipe for providing effective content. This will help you while creating and distributing this content across various channels.

When you are trying to breach a generational divide, you must consider the different content characteristics you need to reach the target audience. This means you must adjust the length of the piece, its format, the topics, headlines and the distribution methods to match what you are trying to achieve. Your policy must differ when you are attempting to reach Millennials, Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.

Before you start this content marketing campaign, you must have a clear definition of your target audience. If you are unsure of who will take interest in your message, you may have to do more research before you can begin writing and marketing.

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