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Engaging younger audiences

There is no doubt: the digital world is reaching out to audiences younger than ever in our new technological age.

Consumers are bombarded with digital content worldwide and have accessibility on a plethora of platforms at their ease. The opportunity for businesses to interact with younger audiences however poses a challenge in their existing business strategies.

Balancing the needs and requests of older, loyal customers whilst adapting content to reach a younger generation with different values can be challenging. If you try and appeal to everyone, you run the risk of losing your unique content quality and merging into the background. However if you tailor content too niche for a young demographic, you run the risk of losing connection with your pre-existing older demographic.

It’s important to be mindful of the interests of a younger audience. Compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X, younger generations tend to have different preferences in styles, formats and values. A 2020 study by the Pew Research Center showed that US citizens born after 1996 are more ethnically and racially diverse, educated and concerned about climate and social issues compared to their predecessors.

Fortunately, it is possible to maintain brand identity whilst making subtle changes to content styles and your demographic group, as you balance a branding refresh versus continuity…

1) Do a deep dive on your current audience.

The first step to expanding your marketing strategy is to find out everything you can about your current audience. What brands do they connect with? What is their average salary? What other media do they consume?

Once you have pinpointed as many behaviours as possible, dig into the DNA of their personalities. This includes everything from their beliefs, values, priorities, hobbies, emotions and their relationship with digital products. We tend to connect with brands that share our personal values, so it’s important to bare your new audience’s demographics in mind when planning new content.

Millennials, for example, have been raised in the digital age, where competition for attention is second to none. It is then no surprise that this group usually prefers short-form social media content in the interest of time and attention span. Because of this, they may be likely to engage with a brand that regularly provides short, snappy content.

2) Find the overlap.

The more audience insights you have to study, the better your odds of finding overlap between various age groups. For example, perhaps you have realised that video content is more engaging for all age brackets, or everyone is becoming more aware of sustainability in e-commerce?

By focusing your brand’s content on what appeals to a larger pool of generations, you can continue to reach your core audience while expanding your appeal to new demographics.

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