Targeted Content Creation Tips: Create Content for Generation X

Looking for ways to tailor your blog writing towards the Generation X target group in 2020?

First, you’ll need to understand who is part of Gen X and what makes them tick. Once you understand this demographic group you’ll be able to market directly to them.

What is Generation X

Generation X (or Gen X for short) are folks born after the baby boomer generation but before the Millennials. Largely believed by the media and the general public to be those born between the years 1965 to 1980 and there are about 65 million living in the United States.

They were young children during a time of two-income families and climbing divorce rates which is why they were sometimes called the “latchkey generation” because many were left alone without supervision after school until their parents finished work or sometimes for even longer periods.

Generation X was the first to:

  • Watch music videos – MTV came out as these kids became teenagers
  • Play video games – Atari was released in 1977
  • Watch cable news – CNN started broadcasting in 1980
  • Create blogs – Blogging was started before the term was coined
  • Socialize online – Friendster and MySpace were the online social scenes back in 2002 and 2003

You can say that these people “did it first” before Millenials made it popular.

Generation X as Consumers

Generation X shoppers spend about $357 billion dollars annually and easily outspend all other generations when it comes to housing, clothing, eating out and entertainment.

As a marketer, you should not underestimate this small but important consumer group.

People from Generation X currently:

  • Make 31% of the total US income
  • Earn an average of $50,4000 annually
  • Use the internet to research products and companies (74%)
  • Shop online (84%)
  • Are brand loyal (70%)
  • Feel they’re being ignored by businesses and advertisers (54%)

That last statistic is an important one to pay attention to as a content marketer. Writing material that speaks directly to them and you’ll likely gain a faithful customer.

How does Generation X Think?

In order to personalize your content for the Gen X group, you need to engage them and keep their attention and you can’t do this if you don’t know how they think or what they believe in.

These men and women are now in their 40s and early 50s and their common characteristics consist of:

  • A strong educational background – Over 60% have attended college
  • A balanced work/life lifestyle – They have a “work hard/play hard” mentality
  • Individuality – They are resourceful and self-sufficient and savor independence
  • Being skeptical – They don’t trust institutions, the government, or leadership

To sum it up they are fun and independent, intelligent but suspicious, self-starters and enterprising spirits who are adventurous and open to new ideas.

Marketing to the Xennials

As I mentioned earlier, Generation X feels ignored when it comes to advertising, now you’ll need to find out how this specific population prefers to shop before you create your content marketing plans.

Xennials preferences comprise of:

  • Device dependent – They spend an average of 21 hours on smartphones, 9 hours on PCs, and 4 hours on tablets, much more than Millenials do.
  • Researching – They do a lot of research on businesses and products before making any decisions
  • Facebook – Nine out of ten Generation Xer’s have a Facebook profile
  • Videos – These shoppers are more attentive to video marketing and are willing to share these
  • Traditional – Surprisingly they still prefer to read newspapers, watch tv, and receive “snail mail”

Attract these shoppers to your website and products by providing:

  • Discounts – They like saving money wherever they can
  • Loyalty programs – Once they’re happy, they’re loyal to a brand
  • Customer reviews – Satisfy their research questions with reviews from other customers
  • Direct and email marketing platforms – They still love mail (include discount codes too)
  • Customer service – Personal service is still important

The main thing to do is to ensure that your business and marketing goals are consistent across the web – your website, your business listings, and your social platforms should all share the same message, otherwise, you’ll come across as suspicious to Generation X shoppers and they’ll look elsewhere.

Know your Content

Generation X is well known for being skeptical, a disdain for authoritative figures, and dislike being told what to do.

You need to really know and understand your content topic when targeting this age group. Your writing needs to be authoritative, knowledgeable, and to the point without coming across as domineering.

That can be a fine line to walk. The best method is to cover all the bases of a topic. Answer their questions, add supporting data and links they can double-check themselves, and cover all the tangents that arise from the original question.

For example, this group is nearing retirement, yet research shows 50% are behind on retirement savings, 7% haven’t even started saving, and 11% have no retirement goals. So, a blog post focusing on retirement solutions can cover:

  • Quick ways to save now
  • Different retirement options
  • Taxes involved 
  • Government pensions
  • Where to retire

Lastly, having topical authority gives your content more hits in searches when these people are searching for an answer. Topical authority basically means that a website is an expert on an entire topic, not just one keyword. 

Final Thoughts

“Generation X” whose members actually don’t like this moniker, are savvy and well-informed and are cynical of many marketing tactics and gimmicks. 

The best approach for targeting your content is to be detailed, straight-forward, and bring traditional altruistic values to your company.

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