At the Helm: Go where your customers are

The simplest way of looking at social media and other digital marketing is to think of it like any other type of marketing: If your customers are there, you need to be there.

In this month’s cover story, Digital Fitness Plan, Brianna Liestman and Nicholas Upton take a look at some of the important info you need to know to make the most out of your digital marketing efforts.

One of the key pieces of data, though, is figuring out how exactly to reach your target demographic. A recent study from BuzzStream and Fractl can help with that. The companies surveyed a group of more than 1,200 people, made up of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.

There were several key takeaways from this report that can help any business, some of which apply to all consumers, some that are very age-specific. (My biggest takeaway – you can tell how much my generation [X] is scheduling our lives around children!)

•  The time from 8 p.m. to midnight is when Xers and Millennials most like to consume content, so schedule some of your posts to take advantage of that. However, for Baby Boomers, the most popular time was late morning – 9 a.m. to noon – followed by early evening, 6 to 8 p.m.

•  Baby Boomers spend the most time consuming online content of any generation – nearly 30 percent consume more than 20 hours a week.

•  Are you mobile-optimized? Baby Boomers (more than 80 percent) are most likely to use a computer as their primary way of consuming online content. On the other hand, nearly 40 percent of Millennials are using primarily a phone or tablet to access the Web.

•  Blogs are the favorite type of content across the board. The least favorites? Webinars and white papers.

•  The generations agree – short content is best. The optimal length for a written piece is 300 words – although a significant number of Xers (21 percent) like pieces that are 500+ words.

•  Everyone uses Facebook as their top online platform, although Baby Boomers do at a higher rate than Xers or especially Millennials. Xers are much more likely to use Twitter – at a 70.4 percent higher rate than Baby Boomers, in fact. Millennials are the most likely to use Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest.

•  When it comes to visual content, Boomers are the most likely to share images and videos; Millennials like memes and GIFs.

So in other words, know your audience and which audience you’re trying to reach with each outlet. It confirms the you-have-to-be-on-Facebook mantra, but also points out some other important trends.

You can’t be everywhere, but you have to be where your best customers and future buyers are.


One comment

  1. Just the information I was looking for Jonathan. Thank you!

    I want to point out that boating retailers need to figure out who their best customer is to use this information correctly. Sex, age and income are good places to start. If you have a website you can get this information from your Google Analytics account. Boating Industry, USCG and many other sources publish this information online also. It may be a few years old but it is still relevant.

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