Marketers must become acquainted with Generation C - a new demographic that spans age groups and has a taste for web content.

Marketers must prepare for a great shift in their strategies as their target audiences change and demand more online content than traditional advertising media.

There are currently around 73 million Millennials in the United States – those born between the 1980s and 2000s, and they will soon represent the majority of the American workforce and earn around $170 billion every year, according to eMarketer. While this group has been pegged with the rise of social media and internet use, brands must actually create digital content to feed the needs of a much larger audience, Google reports.

Gen C is not the same as┬áthe Millennial generation. While 80 percent of people under 35 are considered Gen C members, Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers and others also fall into the group, Google explains in an article that discusses the “The Engagement Project.” Unlike other demographics, Gen C is not defined by the decades in which its members were born – it is characterized by their lifestyles. In fact, we might all be part of Gen C by 2020, Google adds.

People in Gen C live for community, curation, connection and creation. Having embraced a digital lifestyle, these individuals have different expectations for brand relationships. They want to participate in conversations so ads reflect their sense of humor. They desire connections with companies that represent their ideal lifestyles, and they crave communication to affirm their choices are correct and their gripes are heard.

Marketers that do not find ways to start conversations through video content, social media posts and blog headlines are unlikely to build brand relationships with Gen C members. “The Engagement Project” outlines a number of dos and don’ts that marketers should take to heart when creating their future campaigns.

1. Don’t talk at them

These consumers are looking for two-way conversations.

2. Don’t try to dupe them

Think Native Ads. Savvy Gen C members know a marketing pitch when they see one and they’d prefer it if brands are straightforward with them.

3. Do engage them with great web content

Creating an array of inspiring infographic content, interesting articles, insightful blog posts and funny Tweets will keep them coming back for more.

“Start by making something that people love, invest in higher engagement media to connect with the people who matter most, and then use their insights and advocacy to build further scale,” Google states in the article.

As the internet becomes brands’ primary touchpoints with new and existing┬ácustomers, marketers must find ways to meaningfully connect with customers. In the era of Gen C, effective content marketing may become more important than evocative TV commercials.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.