A Simple Simple Short Shot

Choosing Words When Marketing to Boomers, Gen X, Millenials.

Know what you’re saying, who you’re saying it to and how much to say it in your advertising.

When writing any content – on the web, in a book, or for a magazine – it’s important to know your audience. Often your subject matter will dictate this demographic, which will immediately dictate your tone. Generally, older readers (50+) do not tolerate colloquialism, and have a real hate on for text slang, favouring more formal language and structure. Younger audiences consider this style stodgy and too fussy and despise boomer slang. Even Microsoft suggests that, “kids don’t express themselves with chalk or in cursive. Kids text,” which is a bit of a throwback to some of the arguments we saw for the inclusion of ebonics in Oakland classrooms. Regardless, your voice or tone needs to reflect who you’re speaking to, and if your audience detects a whiff of inauthenticity, you’ve lost them.

Millennials are much more likely to consume content on a mobile device than their predecessors, but the type of content they consume is surprisingly similar. Across all generations, blogs are the most consumed of all digital content with a sweet spot of about 300 words in length. Most readers don’t invest a lot of time reading online content; they would rather deal with a short article, or read an infographic. In fact, people are more likely to believe content in infographic form.

Above all else, ensure the words you use are correct, as there’s no faster way to lose credibility than to seem out of your depth.