Digital marketing campaigns that neglect their senior audiences can end up missing key opportunities to expand the brand’s audience and engagement.
This can leave older adults an untapped market in numerous ways.
In fact, there’s even senior growth across social media, including Pinterest, leading searches such as “nomad normal.”
The Pinterest user base continues to expand, and adults are using this platform to shop with an 85% growth in recent months.
Are your current campaigns on Pinterest and other social media platforms genuinely reaching older audiences?
If not, this should be an area of focus. Older generations, those 50 and older, make up 51% of consumer spending and include 45% of all adults.
They spend more money than younger generations, and marketing strategies should reflect these statistics.
Here, you’ll learn some best practices and methods to market to seniors. We’ll also dispel some outdated generalizations that may be impacting the methodology behind your current marketing strategy.
1. Senior Marketing Is More Than Just Influencer Targeting
It’s true that a large volume of influencer opportunities (family members, professional acquaintances, local news, offline thought leaders) present an added layer of marketing potential when looking at generating outcomes from senior campaigns.
However, the issue is that the attention should not exclude and move away from the intended 60+ aged group but enhance and support this focus as a result of enhancement.
According to the latest Ofcom findings in ‘Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2020/21′:
- 86% use a smartphone.
- 94% use the internet at home.
- 70% correctly identify advertising on Google.
- 73% have a social media profile.
- 55% use a smartphone.
- 77% use the internet at home.
- 58% correctly identify advertising on Google.
- 59% have a social media profile.
What this tells us, as marketers, is that there is direct access to older audiences through mobile, SMS, and smartphone marketing.
The older audience is growing for YouTube marketing and social media marketing, too.
While the reliance on mobile technology reduces with the audience’s targeted age (primarily those over 65), mobile phones, tablets, computers, and other technology are still high and growing every year.
As marketers, this increases the emphasis of marketing directly to the consumer (and prioritizing the end person over the influencer).
Practically speaking, this means that AMP content alternatives, mobile-first content mindsets, traditional mobile optimization, and related actions are as effective for senior marketing as they are for other demographics.
2. Seniors Are More Loyal & Less Likely To Explore
Ofcom’s report states that:
“Although internet users aged 55+ were the least likely to have a social media profile, or to use messaging sites or apps, a majority were using both, and more than three in four were using either.”
For marketers, this increases the need to be the first to educate and present brands, content, and insights to the senior population first.
The added is that 90% of senior people will keep you as their digital ‘go-to,’ providing you help them with their informational needs first.
Seniors are willing to learn about brands to stay informed on new and important trends.
As you would expect, there are many ways to achieve this goal, and some of those I’ve seen most effective over the years include:
- Community resources and lifestyle hubs.
- Location-based and local biased content.
- Free tools, tips, and advice.
- Increased offline and online seamless user journeys.
- Digital simplification and joining the dots better between marketing channels.
- Added discount focus and telephone calls to action (CTA).
- Increased remarketing on educational and informational content.
3. Experience Matter Most
Interestingly, some of the latest search trends, such as content personalization, bespoke user journeys, and tailoring the user experience, have some of the most significant potential to impact older audiences.
When you return the focus to what the targeted audience is looking for, it is easier to effectively reach those audiences.
Older audiences tend to consider customer service, personal contact, and traditional communication in higher esteem.
Once they feel they are heard and valued by the company, they are motivated more to share that experience and repeat it.
There are many effective approaches you can add to your marketing campaigns, such as:
- Bridging the gap between offline and online user journeys. Keeping marketing messaging consistent easy to digest with clear steps to take.
- Using CTAs such as single-click actions or incentivizing to call or message.
- Sharing feedback from customers who love your brand to help build trust.
- Making the benefits and message clear, plus the action taking specific should be kept in mind.
4. Increase Investment In The Education Process
Onsite and externally through content placement and promotion, the older audience requires added explanation throughout clarity, and general guidance the information-seeking and buying process.
There are many time-saving concepts (consider online banking) that can positively assist and impact the 60+ demographic more than other age groups.
However, the added barriers in place (aversion to change, misconceptions about the safety of the internet, wanting to have the offline conversational experience) frequently prevent them from taking action.
Integrating online and offline user journeys help overcome this issue, as does added exposure in traditional offline print, such as:
- Local papers.
- Household information drops/flyers.
- Offline CTAs driving online and telephone action.
5. Target Seniors Through YouTube
Videos and YouTube can be excellent methods to reach older audiences. Google states that:
- One in three Boomers say they use YouTube to learn about a product or service.
- Similar to other generations, Baby Boomers are watching TV recaps, highlights, and their favorite shows on YouTube to stay in the know.
- 68% of Boomers say they watch YouTube videos to be entertained.
So what does this mean for marketing teams?
Video can take on more of the heavy lifting when it comes to senior marketing activities.
The use of video content to explain concepts, demystify technology, and drive intended user activity change should be a priority.
Through videos, brands can build trust with older audiences, encourage herd mentality, and bridge the gap between the offline and online user journeys.
6. Understand Generational Values
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to understand the values and interests of those you’re marketing to, including seniors.
When marketers take time to consider what would resonate most with their consumers, it helps to build trust and engagement with the brand.
It’s important to reach all generations in your marketing strategy and modify your message to each audience based on each campaign’s chosen social media platform and intended audience.
While this may seem difficult at first, there are some commonalities for brands to focus on for their marketing strategy.
Seniors hold the same values of honesty, authenticity, relationship, and working hard as other adults.
These are widely appreciated values that brands can align with and therefore reach wider audiences.
Older generations utilize the internet more than ever before and present a huge (and relatively unapped) marketing opportunity.
However, marketing teams need to target more than older audience influencers to maximize this.
More than half of adults over 65 with the internet have a social media profile, and over three-quarters actively use the internet at home, creating numerous marketing opportunities.
Social media and YouTube are great avenues to connect with and inform potential seniors customers about your brand
Simple opportunities are waiting for marketers, such as maximizing the marketing calendar; on August 25, for example, it’s Senior Citizens Day – the perfect time to reach your older audience.
Older audiences are an untapped and underutilized market that, with a little effort to understand how to connect to them and tailor the experience to meet their needs, can yield committed and loyal consumers.
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