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Reaching Generation X in Today’s Digital World

When it comes to the members of Generation X, there are fewer of them than there are Millennials and Baby Boomers. But, that doesn’t mean they’re a group that should be overlooked. With close to 66 million Americans making up this cohort, Generation X is an audience that deserves major attention from advertisers and brands.

With many of their peers entrenched in their late 30s to mid 50s, Generation Xers are an established cohort. Despite having some financial stress due to experiencing two recessions in their lifetime, Gen Xers form a group that currently enjoys higher earning and spending power than Millennials and Baby Boomers. 

For brands and advertisers searching ways to reach Generation X online, they are in luck.  Gen Xers may not be as hooked on digital platforms as Millennials, but they have a stronger grasp of technology than Baby Boomers. In a report titled “Where US Gen X Stands: A Hard-Luck Cohort that Is Too Important to Neglect”, eMarketer discovered that internet usage among Generation Xers is roughly 11 hours per week.

So, where can brands and advertisers go to find this group online? There are two places in particular to pay close attention to. 

Highly Engaged: Reaching Gen X Through Social Media

Generation X doesn’t shy away from social networks. By the end of 2016, more than 86 percent of the cohort’s internet users were also social media users according to eMarketer. In fact, at the younger end of the spectrum, nine out of 10 Gen Xers were discovered to be active social networkers.

Their usage of social media accounts for a large portion of their internet time. Nielsen found last year that people ages 35 to 49 spent six hours and 58 minutes using social platforms. That time accounted for more than 20 percent of their online activities.

Like Baby Boomers, Gen Xers prefer using Facebook more than any other platform – 73 percent of them to be exact according to eMarketer. Generation X are regular visitors to Facebook as well. In a survey conducted by Cowan and Company, 80 percent of Facebook users ages 35 to 44 said they use the platform daily, while 74 percent of respondents ages 45 to 54 claimed the same.

Given the stage they are in their lives and careers, it’s hardly a surprise that LinkedIn is another social network they actively use. YouGov found that more than a third of respondents who were ages 35 to 54 were members of the career social network. That number was far higher than respondents who were 18 to 24 (25 percent) and 55 and older (28 percent).

Gen Xers are strong advocates of smartphone technology, but that hasn’t translated to widespread adoption of mobile social networks like Instagram and Snapchat. They are also much less active on Twitter and Pinterest, where penetration rates were lower than 30 percent according to eMarketer. 

Digital Video: Content Consumed By Generation X

Video has become more prominent and ubiquitous on the internet these days and Generation X is buying in. Research from eMarketer estimates that 77.7 percent of Gen Xers were digital video viewers in 2016. That number is expected to rise slightly to 78.2 percent by the end of this year.

In correlation with their affinity for Facebook, video viewing by Gen Xers on the platform is also on the rise. A UBS Evidence Lab Survey found that a third of Facebook users ages 35 to 54 reported watching video daily on the world’s biggest social network.

The on-demand nature of digital video is a major draw for this generation, so much so that they’re willing to pay for it. In a 2016 survey conducted by TiVo, 72 percent of internet users ages 36 to 51 said they watched subscription video on demand.

For on-demand platforms like YouTube, Gen Xers are flocking there for two main reasons. According to a survey from Google, 73 percent of internet users ages 35 to 54 said they watch YouTube videos “to learn how to do something”. The same research also found that Generation Xers turned to YouTube for nostalgic content that reminded them of their youth.

The aforementioned findings offer brands and advertisers insight on how to best reach Generation Xers through video. Think about creating content that teaches and is educational since Gen Xers seek videos that help them learn. It’s also worth creating video content that connects with pop culture phenomenons of the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s, considering Gen X’ers fondness for days gone by.

If Generation X is your target audience, Awlogy can help. Contact us and let us assist you in a strategy to reach them today.

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