How Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers Consume Content Differently

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If a millennial, a gen Xer, and a baby boomer walked into a focus group together, odds are you’d be headed for a bad joke. But if you’re a content marketer trying to figure out how to appeal to each demographic, well, then you might be interested in what each of them had to say.

Getting a grasp on what just one of these groups loves to consume online can be a hard task—and we’ve written extensively about each on its own—but what happens when you compare the preferences of all three generations?

In a new joint study titled “The Generational Content Gap,” Fractl and BuzzStream surveyed over 1,200 people about digital content consumption and then charted the major findings in the massive infographic below.

As it turns out, despite the stereotype that millennials can’t be torn away from their screens, baby boomers (born 1946–1964) spend more time consuming online content (20+ hours per week) than the other two generations. Surprisingly, more gen Xers (born 1965–1976) and millennials (born 1977–1995) spend closer to 5-10 hours of their weeks checking out digital content.

And if you’re a marketer looking for just the right time to reach these demographics, you’d be wise to try between 8 p.m. and midnight since nearly 35 percent of millennials and gen Xers prefer that window. Meanwhile, baby boomers are best reached in the morning between 9 a.m. and noon.

However, there is a great generational equalizer in the world of content: blogs. All three groups identify blogs as the form of content they most like to consume. They also seem to agree that 300 words is the sweet spot for article length. On the flip side, all respondents generally reported disliking webinars, SlideShares, and white papers.

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Basically, if you’re looking to optimize your content strategy for your demographics, this infographic is a gold mine of helpful information. See for yourself below:

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