Older teenagers in the UK and Germany are particularly receptive to branded content and react favourably to native articles, celeb content, branded events and social news feeds. A new study by market research enterprise Kantar Millward Brown found that youngsters in the two countries view branded content more positively that the rest of the European Union Five.
For its new AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z report, Kantar Millward Brown polled the responses of digital readers and viewers aged between 16 and 49 in order to determine their attitudes, behaviours and responses towards the content and ads that they consume across a range of platforms each and every day. The study aims to help content marketers understand how the age groups differ so that they can optimise their campaigns to engage with each effectively.
Social news feeds are the most popular content type for Gen Z in the UK, which is defined as teenagers aged 16 to 19. Forty-nine per cent log onto sites such as Instagram and Facebook to consume branded content in this way, which suggests that brands may achieve more success with their content campaigns if they regularly update their profiles with high-quality videos and articles.
While social and celeb-focused content featured heavily in the most preferred types of content for Gen Y (20- to 34-year-olds), Gen X is much more receptive to brand information compared to other age groups. Thirty-five per cent of 35- to 49-year-olds in the UK said that they feel “somewhat” or “very” positive towards content about products, services and other brand-related info, which places it way ahead of social news feeds (26 per cent) and social celeb content (23 per cent).
Users in Germany expressed similar sentiments to those in the UK, but the remaining countries in the EU-5 skewed towards older age groups enjoying branded content more. In some cases in Italy, France and Spain, teenagers appeared to be less receptive to brand-focused posts and information than older users.
Targeting different age groups is an ongoing battle for marketers, but authentic and consumer-centric content is likely to win over the vast majority of digital users. Yahoo India’s MD, Gurmit Singh, has also weighed into the debate about optimising content marketing for millennials by claiming that clips and written posts with humour drive a 50 per cent increase in brand familiarity.