This is my generation, baby. ~The Who
The right words on your website gets you what you want: better sales, more readers or increased credibility. You can achieve all kinds of goals by tweaking to target your online market audience. Be like Robin Hood in an archery contest – think, research, test and hit it dead on, baby.
Here are some good ways to get a head start: Engage in two-way conversational marketing. Tweak your tagline and make it benefit-rich and catchy. Test for the right words that resonate with your buyers and convey emotion.
Is it enough?
The Coming of Ages
There are four generations out there right now, all with money to spend: the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X (or the Thirteenth Generation) and Generation Y (or the Millennial Generation).
These people are zooming through the Internet connections. They’re surfing and buying every day. They’re looking for solutions, and you may have exactly what they want.
You’ve done your research. You know the demographics of your target market. You know their needs. You’ve chosen a design that appeals to that group and you’ve wordsmithed your content to be rich in benefits.
People hit your site. Those potential customers take a look and then…
Click. They’re gone. You’re left wondering…
Where’d Everyone Go?
Sales that don’t soar may be a problem of generational targeting. You might be targeting the right audience, but you may be turning them off with the values your website portrays. In essence, you may not be effectively conveying what makes your audience feel comfortable.
Gen X might like friendly, slightly cocky content. The Silent Generation may prefer a professional, authoritative tone. Baby Boomers may like a site that stimulates thoughts of self-gratification and leisure. Gen Y might be searching for what’s cool and trendy.
Each generation has a core set of values that define the group as a whole. Life events and experiences shaped each generation’s way of thinking. They have specific beliefs, opinions and values that they uphold.
These generations needs to know that the company they’re dealing with supports what they believe to be valuable.
Are you the business they’re looking for?
Showing Your Values
Your business has core values that it conveys to your target audience. Those values might be quality and professionalism or being socially conscious and responsible. Maybe your business website shows you believe in hard work and effort or being different from the rest.
The values your business website conveys are important. A generation like Gen X isn’t going to care much about an authoritative website that tells people what they should buy. This group is reactive, and they like businesses that are all about change. They aren’t easily impressed and they are skeptical of those who make claims.
But the Silent Generation might prefer an authoritative tone in your website copy. This group of people respects experts and they like to adhere to the rules. Big titles mean something, and the Silent Generation tends not to argue with people in positions of power. Logic, not magic, is what hits this group best.
These examples show how two different generations may prefer completely different businesses based on their beliefs and values. A person from either generation may be seeking the same product – but they’ll hire, buy or work with a person who believes in what they do.
Because believing is everything.
Bull’s Eye Generational Targeting
Make sure that your website content conveys the right values for the generation of buyers you want and need.
How? Easy. Determine the values you want to convey to your audience. Choose language, tone and style that your generation prefers. As you write your website copy (or have someone write for you), make sure that your business values shine through the cracks between the words.
So what values should you aim for? Here’s a look:
Silent Generation: respect for authority; conformity and adherence to the rules; law, order and duty; dedication, hard work and sacrifice.
Baby Boomers: personal gratification; personal growth, health and wellness; optimism and positive attitude; teamwork and being involved.
Generation X: diversity and global thinking; self-reliance and independence; life balance; fun and informal attitude; technologically literate.
Generation Y: confidence and achievement; sociability and collective action; diversity and morality; street-smart; optimistic and savvy.
These days, it’s not enough to slap up a nice design and some well-written content. You have to get into the heads of your buyers and learn how they think – and why they think that way. Targeting your market means intimately knowing who’s going to feel good about your business…
And who isn’t.
About the Author: If you want to read more sharp-shooting advice from James Chartrand on targeting your market, head over to Men with Pens. Or save yourself the trip: Grab the Men with Pens feed here.