As a rapid decline in traditional media advertising continues, 2019 will be the first year the United Sates spends more on digital marketing than traditional outlets, accounting for 54.2% of total media spend. Social media ad spend will increase by 19% as well, according to eMarketer. Businesses, no matter the industry, must develop a digital presence and strategy with clearly defined goals, based on their target audience. There is a seemingly never-ending list of digital products businesses can use, but the main focus should be to keep strategies catered to your target demographic. From ages seven to 91, here is a guide to updating your digital presence and finding creative ways to meet people where they are.

Generation Z (born 1997-2012)

Although most of this age group can still be considered teenagers, they do contribute about $44 billion to our economy annually and are considered “digital natives,” making them the most tech-savvy consumers yet. Gen Zs do not click on advertisements nearly as often as Millennials, making targeted display ads less useful when trying to engage this audience. However, according to the Pew Research Center, 85% of teens are on YouTube (followed closely by 72% on Instagram and 69% on Snapchat), making social media ad spend crucial when trying to reach this demographic. By 2022, videos will account for 82% of web traffic, becoming the most engaging content on the internet. If your company is already producing video content, be sure you have a strong YouTube presence, especially if your target market is Gen Z. To increase engagement, consider advertising with YouTube TrueView. These are advertisements that run either before or alongside videos that your target audience watches.

Millennials (1981-1996)

Millennials continue to be the most connected generation, as 92% own a smartphone and 85% are on social media. Social media is imperative for cultivating the relationship between this generation and the brands they love. Five out of six Millennials connect with brands on social media networks, and 46% rely on social media when making a purchase online. If you are trying to maintain a lasting relationship with this audience, ensure your company has an updated and engaging social media presence that is constantly monitored. Capitalize on this generation’s constant use of smartphones by being consistent with email and text message marketing as well. According to SalesForce, text messages have a 98% open rate and of those, 90% are opened within three minutes of being received, which almost guarantees engagement with your brand.

Generation X (1965-1980)

For now, Gen X has the most spending power of any generation, according to American Express, as well as having a tremendous amount of influence. They are, or soon will be, taking over the political and business landscape from the Baby Boomers, in addition to supporting aging parents and adult children. This responsibility, along with a commitment to ethics and loyalty, make them a unique but coveted customer base. Gen X spends about two hours a day (only 48 minutes less than Millennials) on social media, and that is heavily skewed towards Facebook. But unlike Millennials, who scroll social media to kill time, Generation X is deliberate with their clicks and is often looking to the Internet for news, information and research on products or services. For this reason, companies looking to target those aged 39-54 should consider having blog posts on their website regarding their product or industry, as well as native content that can run on an audience extension network. 

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

The Baby Boomer Generation has been known for their adaptiveness to mobile technology, as well as their presence on social media; 60% have a Facebook profile. Boomers want to stay in contact with their children and grandchildren and should be looked at as a sphere of influence. In fact, they are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation. For this reason, it’s important to keep your business visible where they are — 92% use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop online, according to Forbes. Retargeting ads and email marketing would serve this clientele well. Take this strategy a step further with a PPC or Google Marketplace campaign so you are conveniently located on their device, with an engaging presence, every time they search.

The Silent Generation (1928-1945)

The Silent Generation cannot be forgotten either, as 50% conduct online searches. This generation still values face-to-face and phone call communication, so be sure to include tracking phone numbers to measure conversions. Also consider coupons or in-store promotions advertisements on your website that will draw this group into brick and mortar establishments. Each business and each customer is unique, and there is a digital solution that can be implemented to reach any audience or goal. As the web is constantly evolving, your company’s online presence should adapt to maximize your return on investment for digital advertising.

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