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With more and more people online, content strategists need to consider key distinctions and similarities among multiple generations in order to produce highly shareable content. Each generation has unique expectations, values, and experiences that influence its consumers’ behaviors, and offering your audience content that reflects its shared interests is a powerful way to connect and inspire action. But is it possible to make various connections with consumers who span several generations?

To better understand the habits of each generation, BuzzStream and Fractl surveyed over 1,200 individuals and segmented their responses into three groups: Millennials (born between 1977 and 1995), Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1976), and Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).

For a deep dive of our research, view the full whitepaper here.

Want the quick and dirty? Here are three key takeaways from our research:

1. All three generations prefer content somewhere around 300 words.

All three generations agree on content length, with the sweet spot for each being 300 words. Further analysis revealed the following:

  • Baby Boomers have the highest preference for articles under 200 words at 18 percent; in comparison, less than 10 percent of Gen Xers read articles fewer than 200 words.
  • Gen Xers have a strong preference for articles over 500 words when compared to other generations – over 20 percent of respondents favor long-form articles, while Baby Boomers and Millennials earned less than 15 percent each.
  • At least 50 percent of each generation prefer an article 300 words or less.

2. Quizzes are one of the least preferred content types by the younger generations.

Another thing every generation can agree on? The type of content they want to see online. Our results revealed that the top four content types – blog articles, images, comments, and eBooks – are exactly the same for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. Additional comparisons indicated the following:

  • White papers are the least popular content type for all three generations.
  • Gen Xers and Millennials both have five least favorite content types – quizzes, flipbooks, SlideShares, webinars, and white papers.
  • Millennials appreciate reviews the least out of all generations; although this content type made it into the top 10 for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, it ranked 11th for the youngest generation.

3. Nearly 80 percent more Millennials and Gen Xers than Baby Boomers are consuming content at 8 p.m. or later.

We also compared the time of day each generation enjoys content, and our results revealed that most of the younger respondents – more than 40 percent of Gen Xers and Millennials – consume content in the evening. Additional trends that distinguish the oldest generation from the younger ones include the following:

  • Baby Boomers consume a majority of their content in the morning; nearly 40 percent of respondents are online between 5 a.m. and noon.
  • Less than 5 percent of Baby Boomers consume content between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • Nearly 50 percent more Millennials and Gen Xers are consuming content between noon and 3 p.m. compared to Baby Boomers.

Although marketing to several generations can be challenging given their different values and ideas, remember that it is possible to optimize your outreach efforts and create content that will land in front of all three generations. Keep these best practices in mind in order to maximize your next campaign production efforts.

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