We’ve been talking so much about Millennials lately that we’ve forgotten that there are actually other generations of people that we as businesses have to be selling to. Specifically, we’ve been neglecting Generation C: the consumers and creators that live on the internet. A lot of Millennials are in Gen C (Gen C is an attitude, rather than a range of ages like most generations), but not everyone in Gen C is a Millennial. If you often update your status via your smartphone, you are in Generation C. Their workspace is a computer, they shop on their tablets, and they hang out with their friends on Skype, during LAN parties just as much as in person. They’re global and they’re the fastest growing subset of consumers in the world. Are you making an effort to market to them? Here’s what you need to know:
They’re all about tribes, but those tribes are individualized.
Most people online have already found their niches, and one single person can be a member of many different tribes. For example, you can be both a gamer and a fashionista. The internet has made it possible to specialize in a wide variety of areas very quickly. It’s important not to try to cram everyone in Gen C into the same box. While this generation is all about tribes, they don’t like being categorized, especially by someone else. Don’t assume that all gamers live in their parent’s basement and have Cheeto-dust fingers. Don’t assume that everyone interested in fashion is air-headed. Instead, try to figure out their tribes and what people in those tribes tend to love and enjoy, what they dislike or simply do not want to talk about. All of this information can make marketing to them much easier.
They’ve got no time for garbage.
Some marketers are still hoping to catch the eye of the consumer by spewing out as much fluffy content as possible. They see what works for websites like College Humor and BuzzFeed and they try to reproduce it on their own website and blog. The problem is, however, that Gen C has an incredible BS detector. They use Google’s search algorithm to filter out most of the crap, and then they are very critical of what remains. They are not going to click on just anything. They only want the most relevant information. They aren’t going to waste their time on garbage content. They aren’t even going to click on it. Don’t think that you can get the ranking or the attention you need to be successful by pumping out inauthentic content.
Want to really get the attention of Gen C? You need to entertain them. They want to learn, yes, but they also want to be entertain. Learning about your business or your product or service should be fun for the person you are trying to engage with. Keep in mind that most people in Gen C aren’t going to be only reading, listening to, or looking at what you are presented to them. You have to try to draw their attention away from the two other pieces of content they are also consuming at the same time. If you can entertain them while you educate them, it will be much more likely that they are going to like you. There’s a reason that so many commercials and digital marketing campaigns these days endeavor to be funny—it’s an attempt to reach out to the class of people that expect to be entertained by the content they’re consuming.
This class of consumer is infinitely connected and they expect the companies they do business with to be connected too. They want to be able to find you on Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even on Instagram and Snapchat. You don’t necessarily have to be everywhere, but you do need be where your target audience is, at the very least. In a more general sense, this also means that you need to be as accessible as they are. Today, if you were to text someone and they didn’t text you back for four hours, you’d probably wonder if they were alright or if they were ignoring you. They’ll think the same thing if it takes you that long to respond to them when they ask you a question. They might even reach out to you through several different channels if you don’t respond fast enough.
Encourage them to share.
This generation loves to share and they’ll do it as often as they can, especially if they find something engaging, interesting, or funny. They usually will not care if what they’re sharing is essentially an advertisement for your business, if it meets the other three criteria. If you can give them something worth sharing, you will make not just one connection, but dozens of connections. What can you do to increase your chances of being shared? Create content that they actually want to share. That means funny, entertaining, surprising, inspiring, or conversation-creating. Then, actually tell them to share it and make it easy to reblog it, share it, or retweet it.