Digital marketing is sometimes seen as the “younger” alternative to traditional marketing, so it’s overlooked as a way to engage the older generations. Yet digital marketing to boomers and seniors is totally possible and can be very effective. You just need to adjust your goals, your channels, and your experiences a bit to make it work well for these generations.
So, what should you focus on when you’re marketing to older generations online? This week’s blog post will discuss some tips on reaching this target audience.
How to Effectively Use Digital Marketing towards Seniors and Boomers
Focus on Practicality
Seniors and boomers have accumulated plenty of life experience and wisdom. As such, they’re much less likely to make impulse purchases than younger consumers. They search for more practical, good-value options. Yet, it doesn’t mean they want the cheapest price – in fact, it’s often the opposite. But they do want to be sure they will get good value out of the practical purchases they make.
For marketers, this means you should focus on the concrete qualities of the products or services you offer, without a sense of urgency. Older consumers take more time to consider purchases, and want to know the facts.
Reduce the Hyperbole
Seniors and boomers tend to be more skeptical of inflated marketing claims – “this will change your life!”. Therefore, when creating marketing campaigns targeted to them, it’s critical to keep your claims realistic. Older consumers tend to conclude there’s just not that much difference between products, despite what marketing claims may say.
One thing that’s helpful to point out as a difference is your warranty and your reputation for upholding your values. Older consumers prefer to purchase from companies that stand behind their products, and they will choose their purchases accordingly.
Are you having trouble truly differentiating yourself from your competition? Then, for digital marketing to seniors, think of how you can tell consumers about your high standards and customer reputation instead.
Deepen the Emotions
This comes with a caveat – make sure those emotions are positive ones. Older consumers are more likely to have a strong emotional reaction to marketing. This is because our response to emotional stimulation increases as we age. You can use this to your advantage, as it’s therefore easier to form a deep positive connection with boomers and seniors.
But you also need to be careful, because they can form strongly negative associations quickly as well, and they will remember those for a long time.
Another effective way to use digital marketing to seniors and boomers? Carefully testing any marketing messages with your target market will help you avoid those missteps that can be very damaging in the long-term.
Increase the Altruism
As we age, we often begin to think less about ourselves and our immediate needs and more about the needs of our communities and families. Appealing to the simpler, more selfish desires isn’t very effective when you’re targeting boomers and seniors.
Instead, try to focus on how your company is socially conscious or working to do good in your community. This can be a good time to highlight any community programs you have or charitable commitments you make – it’s about showing that you’re part of something bigger.
Embrace the Contradictions
Boomers and seniors can seem like they behave in contradictory ways – they are wealthier than younger generations, but they are more likely to clip coupons and shop for sales. They also respond to marketing that features altruism and giving back. But really, they’re not contradictory – they’re just complex. And they’re also sensitive to context in their behavior.
So if it seems contradictory to use digital marketing to attract seniors and boomers, it’s ok. You can take advantage of this knowledge, and run with what you’ve learned!
Target the Right Channels
It’s true that seniors and boomers aren’t (usually) hanging out on the latest social media platforms – you’re not going to find many of them on Snapchat or TikTok. But they are still spending plenty of time online. That’s why you need to carefully target your social media ads and organic content to these demographics.
It might surprise you, but the most-used social media network for boomers is YouTube – used by 70% of that group. Facebook is a close second at 68%. Focusing on those two channels can yield good results if that’s your target market.
Blogging and content marketing can also be an effective way to reach an older audience, since they also read blogs, as long as they’re informative and accurate. Add in an email newsletter to reach your email list, and you’ve got an effective digital marketing campaign all lined up.
Creating an Effective Digital Marketing Campaign for Seniors and Boomers
Digital marketing to seniors and boomers isn’t rocket science – they’re people, after all. But they do have certain characteristics as a generation that are worth considering. Since they’re mostly in retirement, they’re not in a rush, and they have plenty of leisure time. Age brings perspective, and if you understand that perspective, you can speak more effectively to their needs and desires.
And they’re increasingly digitally savvy, so don’t underestimate their understanding and use of online platforms and channels. In fact, there’s a big untapped market for digital marketing to older generations because many marketers assume it won’t work, but that’s untrue. Just be sure to plan your digital marketing campaign thoughtfully, and you’ll see results.
Need Digital Marketing Guidance?
Targeting the right audience, in the right way, is the secret to digital marketing success. But it’s tough to accomplish alone. That’s why you need an expert guide on your side – and that’s just what ContentFirst.Marketing is here to help you do.
We can help you find your ideal customer, speak to their needs, and convince them to become customers with the power of digital marketing.
Schedule a free business review here to find out how we help businesses grow. You can use these insights for inspiration, and let us do the marketing for you.