Customer Focus: Tapping Into the Senior Market

May 23, 2019 | Admin

Social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Everyone from your nephew to your elderly neighbor is on at least one social media platform — even beloved pets have active pages! 

Much of the focus, however, has been on attracting Millennials. They certainly seem to be among the most tech-savvy demographic, not counting Gen Z-ers who follow on from Millennials. Twenty-somethings are also expected to outpace Baby Boomers (55-75 years old) in terms of population growth this year, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. Generation X (39-54 years old), on the other hand, will surpass Baby Boomers by 2028. 

So, why bother with the senior market?

Much of the focus in the market has been on attracting Millennials. However, when it comes to purchasing power, one might need to look into older generations.

Despite these predictions, Millennials still fall behind other generations when it comes to purchasing power. Retail expert Tom McGee cites a study by Visa that the 60-and-above market will “continue to dominate U.S. consumer spending growth.” Many retailers have already capitalized on this by making their stores more accessible to older customers and reviving product lines that were popular among Baby Boomers in the past. 

Older people have also begun to use tech a lot more in recent years. In fact, social media users that are 55 years old and above are actually more active on Facebook than Gen X and Millennials. Facebook remains the undisputed king of social media with 2.2 billion monthly active users (MAUs). In comparison, YouTube only has 1.9 billion MAUs, while Instagram has 1 billion. This means that elderly consumers are not as technologically challenged as they’re made out to be. Combine their love for Facebook and their spending power, and you have a pretty valuable target market. 

Tapping into senior wealth

The first step to a successful marketing campaign for seniors is to choose your weapon wisely. And by weapon, we mean your social media platform. Since Facebook is the seniors’ preferred platform, concentrate your efforts into increasing your visibility on the site and running effective Facebook Ads. MediaPost reports that 25% of Baby Boomers scroll through the site at least 20 hours a week, making the different kinds of Facebook Ads extremely potent for them. They are also more likely to hit like, comment on, and share news articles than other age groups, which means that simply boosting existing posts can be very effective. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t create carousel ads or boost your Facebook page itself, but you might find that a well-crafted and accurately targeted boosted post can play well with seniors’ affinity for sharing different types of content. In this way, you can further expand your reach organically on the strength of your images, videos, and shared links.

So when it comes to the content of your ads, you want shareable content that has a clear value proposition from the get-go. Be sure to prepare informative and concise posts, and refrain from posting vague captions or using Internet slang that has come to dominate other platforms like Instagram. Business News Daily notes how older adults engage with educational content, such as news articles, informative videos, and blog posts more often. 

It’s also very important to keep their gadget preference in mind. Smartphones with small screens and hard-to-read font sizes might not be ideal, so tailor your ad to bigger screens or desktops.

Once you have placed and boosted your ads, you might also benefit from retargeting campaigns. Kevy uses AI-powered tools to identify key visitors to your Facebook page and website, which means you can more effectively target the ones who are more likely to engage based on previous activities. Using that information, the technology can also be used to expand your ad sets and campaigns to similar audiences and hopefully, get the same reaction.

Next you’ll need a strategist who understands the market, its mechanics, and its technologies well. Maryville University lists the skills needed for media and communications professionals, which includes the capacity to “create, edit, and transmit content on a variety of platforms.” This is not only dependent on the specific channels to target Baby Boomers, but also the theme, tone, and message preferences they have as well. Different websites have different features, and you should be able to communicate your message effectively across different user interfaces. A previous post by Daryl Lu states that lacking a personal touch is one the most common mistakes that marketers make. Media strategists should also be responsible for selecting brand ambassadors who are relatable and can connect to their consumers on a more personal level.

Lastly, it’s important to think like your market. When you reach your 50s and 60s, you’re not looking for the latest trends. You want products or services that can improve your quality of life as you keep maturing. And if you keep these tips in mind and find ways to entice older consumers with what you’re offering, then you have a massive amount of wealth to tap into.

Guest Blog Author Bio: Theresa Corinne has worked with marketing firms for years before deciding to become a digital nomad. She’s now working as a freelance marketing analyst and writes various material covering retail, sales, fashion, lifestyle, and the marketing industry in general.