In all honesty: yes, digital marketers might be ignoring a large section of their targeted audience; because that audience may very well be today’s “baby boomers”. Too many of today’s businesses focus on the young, generation X. This automatically means that the older generation is left out. One of the reasons startups don’t “like” or pay enough attention to baby boomers is the assumption that they can’t handle advanced technology. Many industry experts argue that an older audience is hooked better using traditional marketing techniques.
Probably. But that’s not a good enough reason to leave them out. Rather than focus on people that don’t use the internet and social media, companies should center their attention on those that are digitally active. You’d be surprised to know how many people use smartphones, computers, and laptops to access the web for various purposes. The Office for National Statistics claims that 42% of people over 65+ years old know how to operate a computer.
Furthermore, the research says that 40% of users with ages between 60 and 65 have made at least one online purchase. If your business didn’t have a website, you wouldn’t cater to the needs and wants of 60% of the customers, right? So why should marketers exclude senior people from the digital landscape?
Many online businesses don’t exclude the older generation on purpose. They just don’t know how to implement the right digital marketing strategies and use them to cater to their needs and wants. SEO, for example, is a fundamental aspect of any company’s digital marketing strategy. However, you need to reconsider your goals and principles when targeting baby boomers. First, your SEO requirements must adapt. Second, you need to separate an older audience from a younger one very clearly.
Older internet users are blunter when searching for things online. They don’t use keywords or brands, but plain words that explain exactly what they want to find. For instance, an older customer may just type “shoes” in Google, whereas a younger customer will most likely type “black Adidas sneakers”. It is important to choose a marketing strategy that involves everyone. Stay relevant when doing SEO, and don’t ignore the basics.
When it comes to website optimization for older users, the key is to keep things simple. As a matter of fact, a website that’s well-designed is informative and easy to browse through can make the different between users that enter to stay, and users that enter to leave irrespective of age. Make sure to take the needs of your users into account. For example, consider bigger fonts for text and headlines, so that older people can read it with ease. Make sure the top menu is clear for them, and avoid adding useless features that most seniors might find difficult to understand.
Brands need to be more attentive. We deal with older customers daily, and it’s very important to get to know them and not patronize them. Many companies wrongfully assume that only the young will read their content and buy their products. That’s not always the case. Contrary to popular belief, there are many tech-savvy baby boomers that are fascinated by technology. They use smartphones and tablets, and they’re fascinated by the potential of the internet of things (IoT). There’s a lot of misconception surrounding the capacity of a baby boomer to understand technology. Just because they like things to be simple when accessing the web, it doesn’t mean they don’t understand the internet or how digital marketing works. Companies should reassess their priorities. They must pay more attention to older viewers and subscribers, and not ignore them completely.
In the meantime, it might be a good idea to get to know more about digital marketing, or at least hire someone to help you understand your market and target audience a little bit better. This way, you will learn all about the potential of broadening your audience and going beyond the typical in an attempt to convert leads into paying customers.
See also: Social Media for Senior Consumers