How To Improve Marketing to Baby Boomers
How To Improve Marketing to Baby Boomers
There is no shortage of blogs, guides, how-to articles and ebooks about marketing to millennials, but what about marketing to baby boomers? Even though millennials (defined as people who in the mid-2010s were between the ages of 20 and 36) are now the largest generation in the U.S. at over 72 million members, the baby boomer generation is still a considerable force at over 71 million strong. A little research and insight can show you to how to market to baby boomers effectively.
What Are Baby Boomers?
The term “baby boomer” refers to a person born in the years just following the Second World War, when there was a temporary spike in birth rates. Currently, boomers make up nearly 20% of the American public and a substantial amount of the entire global population. They have been around to witness the incredible leaps and bounds of technology: from the landing on the moon to the development of virtual reality and AI assistants. They have seen a lot during their lifetimes and are prepared to see even more global advancements in the years to come.
Baby Boomers Age Group
The baby boomer age group is defined by people born between 1946 and 1964. This would put the baby boomers ranging from 56 to 74 years of age. Do you fit into this age group, or do you know someone who does? Chances are that you have more than a few baby boomer associates, which means marketing to baby boomers can be a realistic target market for your company.
Where Do Baby Boomers Spend Their Money?
Baby boomers are a large and diverse group with individual needs. Just like any generation, they are seeking businesses and services that can help them. But here’s the catch; they’re actually spending more money than the younger groups that many companies are scrambling to target with their advertising. In fact, many are using the internet more than ever to make purchases, so now is the time to market to baby boomers online.
Because of the size of the generation and the amount of buying power they have, it’s crucial that companies find a way to reach this group and target content and marketing to baby boomers in a way that’s authentic.
How To Market to Baby Boomers
The foundation of any successful marketing strategy is to connect with your target market. Those who see your ads, find your website or learn about your services need to feel like you have their needs in mind. This is where content marketing can really come into play.
Content marketing is the link between businesses and potential customers. The articles, social media posts and landing pages you create inform, persuade and build brand image. The content you create should be catchy and informative, while personally reaching your target market. When marketing to baby boomers, you can use content marketing to help them realize how their services can help them.
Not sure where to start? Here are some insights into what the baby boomer generation wants and how you can speak to them through your content.
1. Understand Their Financial Needs and Concerns
The first way to reach this target market is by understanding what kinds of things baby boomers are looking for. The baby boomer label covers a wide range of ages and lifestyles, but many of the people in this group are retired or are approaching retirement age. By 2030, every baby boomer will be at least 65. Other statistics show that this generation is more frugal when it comes to entertainment, though more of them may be supporting an adult child than previous generations.
According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, baby boomer spending on food, clothing and furnishings fell by large amounts from 1990 to 2010. Spending on food and restaurants saw the smallest decline with an 18% and 20% drop for 45-54-year olds and 55-64-year olds, respectively. The largest decrease in spending was seen for clothing purchases by 55-64-year-olds. This group’s clothing spending decreased by 70%. If these are the types of products you offer, it’s important to find creative ways to market to baby boomers.
However, none of these statistics mean that baby boomers don’t want to spend money or can’t spend money. As mentioned above, they have more disposable income than any other demographic group. Still, with retirement saving and adult children to think about, they may need to be more selective how they spend their money, which means your content marketing has to work twice as hard to convince them that what you’re selling is worth it.
Market to baby boomers by focusing on how your product or service offering can make their lives better, more fulfilling or easier, and highlight the value that they receive when they choose to spend their hard-earned and hard-saved money on your services.
2. Don’t Be Patronizing
Growing older isn’t something to dread, it’s just another upgrade in life. People in their 50s and 60s have a lot of living under their belts, and they are by no means done learning new things, having new experiences and finding more ways to enrich their life. Don’t talk down to this group or diminish them by thinking of them as old and obsolete.
Though this group is starting to age physically, they are interested in finding ways to continue the things they enjoy and learn how to embrace their later years gracefully and safely. Help them see how your products will benefit them in their journey. Even with the less glamorous parts of aging, look for ways to present your products in an attractive, persuasive way.
As people near retirement, they may also be more interested in services and products that make life more convenient, such as home delivery of products, easy-to-use tools, or all-expense-paid trips. Although these types of services can be appealing to anyone, market to baby boomers with their interests in mind. Create content that shows how the added convenience of something is worth the extra money.
People in the baby boomer age group are vibrant members of society, and your content and marketing should reflect that you understand that by showing them how your products and services can help them keep living their own individual lives and achieving their goals. Relate with them, offer solutions and use content marketing as your biggest marketing weapon.
3. Reach Them Through the Internet
While baby boomers might not be as likely to use social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Reddit as younger groups, they still heavily interact online. The internet offers plenty of resources and channels of entertainment, not to mention the chance to stay in touch with friends, family and coworkers. According to the Pew Center, 83 % of younger baby boomers and 76 % of older baby boomers are also internet users. This isn’t as high as millennials, (97 %) but it’s still a large majority.
In addition, the internet is the most common way baby boomers research information on a topic, meaning you need to be ready with outstanding content to inform them about your company. Marketing to baby boomers includes using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your digital strategy. Rank for keywords that potential customers may use, and don’t forget to create quality content that answers questions and encourages readers to act.
Like most groups, baby boomers like to be entertained online. They use social media and conduct research on the internet. Remember this as you create engaging content and media for baby boomers.
4. Don’t Forget About Traditional Marketing to Baby Boomers
Although baby boomers are quite digitally savvy, more old-fashioned tactics like direct mail still work on them. Consider as an example, the popularity of the AARP Magazine, which had over 23 million subscribers as of a couple years ago. If you have products or services that can benefit baby boomers, delivering persuasive content right to their doorstep can be an effective strategy.
Just make sure that the materials you send are targeted at their interests and needs. There aren’t many people in any age group that actually like receiving junk mail. Use attractive pictures, keep the format simple and consider offering coupons or discounted services.
5. Don’t Make Them Work Too Hard
For baby boomers (and really for people of all ages) you need to create content that’s easy to access and engage with. Always provide a simple way for readers to take further action such as purchasing from your company. People have packed schedules these days, and if you make them jump through too many hoops in terms of poor website speed or user experience, they might find that it’s not worth the effort and leave your brand for another competitor.
While boomers are active internet users, they might not have as much patience with confusing or hard-to-use websites. Ensure your content is easy to find and consume on all devices, from laptops to smartphones to tablets. Here are a few ways to make this happen:
- Make fonts a comfortable size for reading
- Keep CTAs simple
- Use bullet points, headers and shorter paragraphs
- Utilize white space
- Stick to one or two fonts
- Include images, videos and infographics
Effective marketing to baby boomers takes work. Try to be as convincing as you can with your content by incorporating both quality design and text.
If you really want to get the attention of your target market, your content needs to be seen on search rankings. Getting on the first page isn’t a guessing game, carefully used SEO practices can improve your rankings. With keywords, meta information and quality content, Google can start ranking your content higher when baby boomers search related keywords.
6. Remember Baby Boomers Are a Diverse Group
Are you exactly like everyone else in your age group? Of course not. With any content you create, it’s important to keep in mind that baby boomers aren’t a homogenous group. They have different wants, needs and concerns, and what works on one group of baby boomers might not work on another.
If you really want to understand and market to baby boomers online, survey them. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and a survey on baby boomer preferences is a way to show that you’re interested in really understanding their wants and needs so you can provide content and services tailored to them.
The more accurate you are when you target baby boomers, the more results you’ll get. Be thorough with your research, and always strive to improve. Who knows how the future will continue to mold and shape the needs of baby boomers?
Marketing to Baby Boomers Can Be Done!
Baby boomers aren’t simply another faceless consumer group. They’re a mix of working professionals, retirees, athletes, artists, grandparents, couples and other individuals who all want to be able to enjoy their lives. Spend as much time and thought creating content and marketing to baby boomers as you would for any other demographic. Before long, you’ll see the rewards when baby boomers start responding to your content, identifying with your brand and buying your products and services.