Does age matter when it comes to branded content? A recent survey says yes. Find out what these differences are and how to best market to the generations.
Most of us would like to agree that age is just a number, but age is much more complex than that. Not only do we change physically, mentally and socially as the years go by, but also the world we’re raised in impacts our education, our career choices and the way we consume information.
Millennials Prefer Experiences Over ‘Things’
It’s well-documented that millennials love to share their life experiences on social media. Whether it’s what they ate for dinner, a rave review of a local resale shop or their feelings toward a political candidate, millennials aren’t shy. Baby boomers, on the other hand, experience things a bit differently.
Earlier this year, Olapic conducted a survey to discover how consumers of different ages – specifically millennials and baby boomers – view user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content is created by actual product users and posted to their social media channels and other publishing platforms.
As you can imagine, the survey found that there is a generational gap when it comes to opinions on UGC. Let’s look at what these opinions are and how they influence the way people of different generations might interact with your brand.
How Millennials and Baby Boomers View User-Generated Content
What Makes a Branded Image Genuine?
- Millennials prefer images that feature real people. They look for the emotions/feelings that the person is showing. Does the product make them happy? Confident? Professional?
- Baby boomers respond best to branded images that focus on the product or service. In other words, the quality of the product matters more than the experience the customer is having with it.
What is the Most Popular Social Channel?
- Millennials are more likely to put Instagram at the top of their list. Social channels like Instagram and Snapchat are highly visual, which is why this age group prefers them.
- Images are important to baby boomers, too, but not as much as millennials. Ninety percent of baby boomers pick Facebook as their top channel. They enjoy the written content and videos.
Who Pays Attention to Branded Hashtags?
- Millennials aren’t necessarily “sold” on hashtags, but they do understand their purpose and find them useful in certain conversations. Fifty-four percent of millennials want their friends to know when they like a product, and branded hashtags make this possible.
- Half of baby boomers do not use hashtags. But, this means that half of them do. Like millennials, boomers like telling their friends about the products they trust.
Who Trusts User-Generated Content?
- Perhaps because they are the creators of it, millennials trust UGC more than baby boomers. Specifically, 46% of millennials trust UGC over content created by brands (25%).
- Baby boomers, too, trust UGC more than brand-generated content. The difference is that only 36% of boomers trust UGC compared to 46% for millennials.
The Takeaway: Does Age Really Matter?
There are clear differences in how millennials and baby boomers consume and trust branded content. Millennials enjoy images of real people using a product, whereas baby boomers care more about the quality of the product or service. Boomers also enjoy written and video content just as much as images.
One important thing that both generations share is that they trust consumer-generated content more than brand-generated content. According to the survey, 76% found UGC to be more honest and reliable, which is one of the many reasons why more consumers are turning to social media prior to making a purchase.
The survey also found that 60% of respondents use branded hashtags. If a product or service makes consumers happy, users aren’t afraid to share this experience with others.
The survey conducted by Olapic is a great reminder that the experiences we provide to our customers is vital. When customers are happy, they share this through UGC and create positive exposure that is genuine and trustworthy. Another thing that the survey pointed out: millennials and baby boomers aren’t that different after all.