Advertising, Creative

Growing Out of Content?

Written by Tim Edmundson

Content Generation GapContent has always and will always be specific to different generations, because let’s face it – getting your 65 year-old Grandma, 38 year-old sister, and 25 year-old brother to all “LOL” at the same image is close to impossible. So instead of getting into a heated debate about if the cat meme or the goat screaming video is better – try looking a little deeper into what content makes each generation tick . . . or click.

Overall, studies confirm that different generations are attracted to certain forms and topics of content. To get a better insight into who likes what, we compiled our data, as well as data from MediaPost, BuzzStream, and Fractl. We found that making a few minor tweaks to your content or how and when it’s delivered, can make all the difference.


Age is defined by much more than a number – it’s a generation. So, instead of focusing on the number, lets break down the generations, specifically: Baby Boomers [born 1946-1964], Generation X [born 1965-1976], and Millennials [born 1977-1995].

Baby Boomers: Sweet and Simple

This generation is the biggest fan of the short and simple route. Once they latch on to content they enjoy, they spend the absolute most time reading than all other generations. But getting their attention is far more complicated than that. This generation is the least likely to engage in social media, making it hard to get your story across with the amount of digital content sharing we do today.

Not only does this generation prefer short form content with 200 words or less, more than 70% of Boomers prefer videos that are less than 5 minutes long.

To get this generation to click try writing short form blogs, relating most to recent world news and/or articles provoking a sense of surprise or amazement. When distributing content, be sure that it is fully optimized for laptops considering over 40% of this generation prefer using a laptop, over all other devices. And lastly, be sure to share this content between 5:00AM and 9:00AM so you can reach as many Boomers as possible.

Generation X: The More the Merrier

This generation has taken on the reputation of being the most Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) friendly and faithful. With most believing that companies should be more dedicated to environmental causes and use social media as a form of activism for it, these Gen X’ers are the number one consumers in Healthy Living and a close second for Politics.

This generation loves long form content. They scored the highest of all generations in preferring articles more than 500 words, but their strong presence on twitter poses a challenge. Because Tweets are limited to only 140 characters, and the goal is to interest them enough to go onto your site to consume content, choosing your words on twitter can be testing.

To get this generation clicking try writing long form content (especially Case Studies), but distributing it during the late hours of the evening. Optimal times would be between 8:00PM – Midnight for this generation (35% agree), considering most of them have families and consume most content during the hours that everyone else is asleep.

Millennials: Newer and Faster

It’s no surprise that millennials have proven to be the most technologically sound generation yet, and with their unrelenting presence in the social and Mobile world, creating content for this group can be a challenge.

Above all other generations, they continually question information sources and as a reaction, will research answers until they find a source that they deem credible. They are most likely to be attracted to content that is optimized for mobile, around 300 words long, and contains reviews or comments from peers or others they consider knowledgeable and unbiased.

To get this generation to click, try writing short form articles that contain as much commentary and reviews as possible. If you use statistics, make sure they’re recent and cite your source. Be sure to distribute this content during the late hours of the evening considering they consume the most amount of content at this time. Also be sure to focus your topics on subjects like entertainment, technology, comedy, sports, and business – where millennials are leading the pack. You can try presenting your information in the form of a list, like Mashable and Buzzfeed, two of the leading content sources for Millennials. You can also try creating Memes, a visual content that has gone viral among Millennials above all else.


Yes, content preferences are different for all generations but if you take the time to consider what makes each of them click, you’ll leave your competitors in the dust.