Generational divides are nothing new, but technology certainly seems to have exacerbated them. This presents significant challenges to businesses who don’t want to have a different marketing strategy for each age group but know how different the languages between generations can be. From young, Gen Z consumers who have grown up on tech and are extremely savvy online to Baby Boomers who have wildly different approaches to technology, finding the right messaging to appear to all groups can be difficult.
When faced with a need to reach a broad audience with digital marketing, is there any hope of connecting with multiple generations at once? These ideas will help you develop a digital marketing effort that connects with customers of all ages.
Find Your Target Audience
The first question in connecting the generations through your digital marketing is to be sure you really need to. This is a good time to re-evaluate your target market and refine your ideas about your customers’ identities. If you find that your main audience is Gen X and Baby Boomers, then don’t waste time targeting a younger audience who is not likely to embrace your brand.
If you do decide that you need to speak to a wide range of generations, the next trick is to locate where your target audiences spend time on the web. For instance, if you’re advertising on social media, know that Baby Boomers and Gen X people are most likely to be on Facebook. Gen X and Millennials use Twitter, while Millennials and Gen Z use Instagram. Gen Z and younger Millennials also embrace TikTok. Various generation use YouTube, but in general, Gen Z is the least likely to get on YouTube, but the most excited about visual content.
Understanding where the generations are online will help you make informed decisions about the kind of digital marketing that will help you find them. It is equally important to keep in mind, however, that generational identities aren’t hard and fast rules. They are broad strokes of consumer identities.
Focus on Marketing Efforts That Appeal to Shared Preferences
Every generation is unique, but they also have some shared preferences in how they are marketed to and how they purchase products. One thing that is prized by every generation is choice and flexibility. Lean into things like products that can be personalized or that can be upgraded with different features according to what the user wants. These things work well for all generations, especially when the choice comes with price differences. Baby Boomers are considered the wealthiest generation and are generally willing to pay more for upgraded features, but younger consumers want the ability to purchase quality goods that don’t have features they don’t want, so they can customize to save money.
A good way to emphasize these shared preferences is to utilize cross-platform marketing efforts. For instance, if you make a Facebook post, you can automatically share it on Instagram. The same holds true for Twitter, though it is important to keep in mind that there are different norms for each platform. Crafting messages that can work in each place will make sure it gets in front of the largest audience possible without needing to work out multiple posts.
Emphasize Your Company Values
Younger generations are more likely to be moved by a company’s values than older consumers, but the impact is still there for all groups. Make sure that your company’s values are on display on your website, social media, and other marketing materials, so that consumers who are looking to spend their money with brands that resonate with their values know how to find you. Younger Millennials and Gen Z are particularly motivated by values and will actively research brands before giving them their business, so leading with yours is a good addition to your marketing efforts.
Where possible, demonstrate these values with actions that you can highlight in your marketing efforts. Philanthropic efforts can be a good avenue to connect with generations, especially when there are ways for customers to get involved in efforts that align with their goals. However, this is a fine line to walk. Be sure that your efforts are legitimate and impactful. Consumers are very savvy at spotting marketing efforts masquerading as good deeds.
Create Opportunities for User-Generated Promotion
One of the easiest ways to connect with multiple generations through marketing is to allow your customers to speak to each other on your behalf. Use your social media to incentivize sharing of your posts with contests and other rewards for engaging with your content. Your customers are the best brand representatives you have, and they are adept at making sure your information gets to the right people in their circle, bridging the gap across generational divides.
Your marketing efforts can also create organic opportunities for sharing, even without incentives. Video marketing is shareable and can resonate with all generations with ease. Story-based videos work on nearly all social media platforms and appeal to all age groups, setting up an easy opportunity for your customers to promote your brand for you, across the generational divide.
Connecting the generations with your digital marketing requires understanding both the differences and the similarities of different age groups, from their product preferences to their spending power. Part of your time may be spent targeting one group or another, but there are ample opportunities to find messaging that works for everyone. That is where Salem Surround enters the picture. Whether you want to generate leads, drive engagement, or just get discovered, we can help your business find the right marketing strategy for your needs, audience, and budget.
We have helped national brands along with small, local businesses succeed in the complex world of digital marketing, and we’re ready to help guide your business to a new approach to your online promotion. Learn how we can help you by signing up for a free digital evaluation or call us at 1-844-277-5797 to learn more about our services.