Writing for millennials and writing for the older population are two completely different styles. What might work for one, definitely won’t work for all the others. It is hard enough to start a website or a blog and trying to cater for everyone without taking age into consideration so below are a few tips to help you aim your writing at all generations.
The Different Generations
To be able to write for different generations, you first have to know about them and learn how they may think.
- Baby Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)- They are generally comfortable using text messaging and other basic apps on their smartphones, but they spend considerably more time on computers than on mobile devices. Tend to use social media to check up on family and friends and are very loyal to brands they know well.
- Generation X (born 1965 – 1979)- More than any other generation, Generation X likes to research while shopping online. They read more reviews and visit more opinion sites than any other generation and around half are motivated to make a purchase by coupons or discounts.
- Generation Y / Millennials (born 1980 – early 2000s)- The Millennial generation is generally well-educated, very tech-savvy and quick to adopt new technologies. They are the most influenced by the groups and their buying decisions are heavily influenced by loyalty offers.
Make it Easy
This one goes for all generations: if a reader was to find your page hard to navigate and understand, they are obviously going to be less likely to stick around. Keep your writing relatively short and concise, make your point early on and make the headlines and sub-headings easy to understand.
I would recommend using a clear and easy to read font with decent size and colour to suit all readers. You could think about making a short survey at the end of your piece to see if it is suiting everyone’s needs and make any changes that may be needed.
Make it Accessible
Studies show that most generations will use a smartphone for the majority of their reading, however- most isn’t all. Over 55’s, in particular, tend to use a laptop over a smartphone. So with this in mind, it is important to make sure your writing is accessible on all devices, whether it is a desktop or a tablet, it needs to be readable and clear. Some links won’t open on certain devices so be aware of this if you have any attachments. Making your piece easy to read on all devices will be a massive advantage when trying to attract several different groups of audiences.
A Little Bit of Everything
As stated earlier, some people like visuals while some like to interact, so make your writing cater for all preferences. Colours are really attractive to the eye and will instantly draw attention, so use visually engaging content.
The elder generations tend to prefer to talk to a person as opposed to a computer so give the option of a phone number if it is marketing you are doing. Always show examples of practical uses of your products as opposed to descriptions. Getting the mix right and adjusting your strategies to factor in the different characteristics and behaviours of the generations will make it easier to build relationships, gain trust and, overall help your business or blogging page thrive.
Especially with current times and world events, sensitivity is a massive subject. Being respectful of the elder generation is something to always be aware of. Puns and humour are usually great to have on a page, they will make people see you aren’t too serious and can make you feel more approachable, however, when doing this, be aware some people are more sensitive than others, some have had life experiences they won’t appreciate being made fun of. So by all means have a little humour…but stay respectful.
Every generation has unique expectations, experiences, generational history, lifestyles, values, and demographics, that influence their behaviours. Being aware of these will help you become more varied and open to different techniques and in turn, bring in more readers.