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Gen Z vs Millennial - Who should you be targeting with your content?

Target audience definition A target audience is a group of people that a brand wants to reach to communicate a message. The audience shares similar characteristics, traits, and values that you want to engage with your product or service. Who are Millennials? The words Millennials and Gen Z often
Parker Dietz
November 13, 2020
June 26, 2024

Target audience definition

A target audience is a group of people that a brand wants to reach to communicate a message. The audience shares similar characteristics, traits, and values that you want to engage with your product or service.

Who are Millennials?

The words Millennials and Gen Z often are used interchangeably but are not the same audience. Millennials otherwise known as Gen Y are people born between the years 1980 and 1995. Millennials are tech-savvy, buy products that make a difference, and are health-conscious. These are all factors to keep in mind when you are creating content.

  • Millennials are tech-savvy
    • Due to the way this generation grew up, they saw first hand the large shifts in technology and quickly incorporated it into their everyday life. They are very flexible and fast learners because of this big shift. 

  • Millennials buy products that make a difference
    • Millennials are conscious of where their money is going. They will spend more money if they know an organization is sustainable. They want their actions to make a difference even if it is on a smaller scale. This generation is conscious of their purchasing behavior and brand values. 

  • Millennials are health-conscious 
    • This group of people are more conscious about what food they put in their bodies compared to the other generations. They tend to avoid artificial flavoring, and less processed food. Millennials also care about where food comes from, eating organically and the ethics behind different food industries. 

Who are Gen Z?

What are the differences between Gen Z and Millenials?  Gen Z are people born between the years 1996 to mid-2000s. This generation is the most diverse generation, digital natives, and wants autonomy in their lives. These are important factors to keep in mind that can help shape future content. 

Three characteristics of Gen Z

  1. They are the most diverse generation
    • Gen Z is the most ethnically and racially diverse. Growing up in a diverse world, this generation is accepting of others. They celebrate diversity. Representation is important to this generation. It is important that they see diverse brands that reflect the world we live in.
  2. Gen Z are digital natives
    • Gen Z grew up using technology their whole lives while Millennials were introduced at an older age. This generation invests hours a day online and has a short attention span.  Since they are digital natives it is important to create content that is eye-catching. Otherwise, if you can't engage them right away they will scroll and move on to other content. The strategy will be an important aspect in creating content so Gen Z will pay attention to your message.
  3. Gen Z wants autonomy 
    • People in this generation are motivated to seek out information themselves. Whether they want to create a business and look up tips online or want to learn some soft skills they look towards the internet for information. Gen Z is resourceful and researches when they want an answer to a question or learn a new skill.

How to find your social media target audience

Demographics such as age, gender, income, education, and location will help you understand your social media target audience. Psychographics are a great cue to their interests and spending habits will help fuel future insights. What are other ways you can find your target audience on social media? Search engine optimization and hashtag tracking are great resources to see what people are engaging with the most. These two factors help a brand understand what people are talking about. Moreover, do research on your competitors and their audience. What is their tone when they are marketing themselves? Who is engaging with their content? You will discover insights from the data to help narrow down the audience. There may be a new group of potential customers that were never considered to target on social media. Once these tools are utilized post content on social media to test how your social media audience will react. 

Understand what your target audience wants from each channel

Research what social media channels your target audience is using. Once you know what generation you want to target, figuring out what social channel to focus your attention on will be easier. Pews Research completed a study to see what social media platforms different generations are active on based. By incorporating this research it will help the next steps in creating content. If your audience is Gen Z YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat would be good platforms to use and start narrowing down how they act on these platforms.

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Next, use social listening tools. What does this generation care about? What are people saying about your brand and or industry? Social listening allows you to track relevant conversions people are having online. The information you gather from this will help your brand incorporate relevant content into each social channel. Another strategy is to ask your customers directly what they want to see by giving them a survey. What is their most-used social media platform? Who do they follow? What content do they engage with most? The data from the survey is great primary research to understand what their needs are.

How to create the right content for the right audience

A great rule of thumb to go by is to strategy what curated content you’re making for your target audience. It’s important to not push content that is so niche they might feel like they are being watched. Next, do not overwhelm them with promotional content. There needs to be a balance in the content that's posted so the only focus is not only sales. Ask your audience questions to engage them in the comment section. Finally, humanize your brand by posting personal content. Engage followers by bringing your brand to life to show them what happens behind the scenes.  

Target the right audience with Cohley

It is important to understand your target audience so you are engaging the right people. Once you have a strong foundation of who your audience is and that will inform the strategy for your future content. 

Parker Dietz
Head of Content
With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.