With all the talk nowadays dedicated to how to reach Millennials and Gen Z, it can sometimes feel like Baby Boomers have faded into the background. In reality, they’re still a highly relevant group – the second largest subset of the population after Millennials – and they’ve been a part of the workforce for decades, meaning they’ve got spare cash on hand to spend with your business. If you need a refresher on marketing to Baby Boomers, we’ve got you covered.
When Marketing to Baby Boomers, Go Back to the Analog Basics
Boomers are young enough where they’ve fully adopted technology into their lives. However, they were raised in the pre-internet days. This means they still appreciate the ability to reach a business the old-fashioned way.
Chatbots and FAQ pages are all well and good for the younger generations, but Boomers like to have the option to call a business and speak to a real customer service representative. Again, because of their analog-only childhoods, they’re also more appreciative of marketing tactics like print ads and direct mail. Unlike many in younger generations, they have the attention spans to sit down and read a paper or sort through their mail, so your hard-copy marketing efforts are more likely to get noticed by Boomers.
Get on Facebook
Just because print ads and telephone calls matter to Boomers doesn’t mean that they’re not also fully immersed in digital life. In fact, Boomers are incredibly tech-savvy, and Facebook is where to find them. Pew Research Center notes that Facebook is the social media platform with the greatest reach; 68% of all U.S. adults are on Facebook.
Not only that, but according to Digital Trends, Boomers are the group most likely to share content on Facebook. This means that you'll need to create something they'll want to share, but it also means that marketing to Baby Boomers doesn't have to be a one-person job. They'll help you out by clicking on the share button.
To make the most of the Boomer generation's Facebook presence, you'll want to develop a comprehensive social media strategy. What works on Twitter or Instagram will not be as effective on Facebook, so creating a plan that addresses the unique needs of each audience and plays into the strengths of each social media platform is important.
Create Video Content
It might also surprise you to learn that Boomers are crazy about online videos! In that same Pew Research Center survey, they found that YouTube was the most popular social media platform amongst Boomers, with a full 56% of the generation using the platform.
This is why a combined paid and organic approach on YouTube can be especially effective in marketing to Baby Boomers. Paid video advertising puts you in front of a captive audience, catching their attention before or after the content they’ve gone on YouTube to view.
You can also start your own YouTube channel for your business and create your own content. Think about creating tutorials on products or services, how-to videos that cover your area of expertise, and even fun “behind the scenes” looks at what you do day-to-day in your business. These videos allow your customers to see a bit of your brand’s personality, put a face to your business, and help build trust in your brand.
Build a Welcoming Online Presence
Boomers like to research purchases before they make them, and that research is happening online. According to KPMG, 52% of Boomers read reviews online, and 46% will visit a company’s website before making a final purchase decision.
This means you want to have a website that is filled with relevant information and provides a great user experience. Fast load times, mobile-friendliness, and a clear value proposition shared front and center on the homepage are all important elements of web design. In this respect, marketing to Baby Boomers isn't all that different from marketing to Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
You also want to make sure you have online reviews for Boomers to read. Reviews are often the final step in the decision-making process. It’s all well and good for them to read about your products and services on your website, but they’ll want to get an outsider’s opinion before they make a purchase.
Ensure you have reviews online for your business and that they’re mostly positive. However, it’s not the end of the world if you have a few negative reviews on there, too!
Don’t Forget the Desktop
Focusing on mobile-friendly design is something you hear a lot of marketers emphasizing nowadays. And with good reason: Nearly 60% of all searches are done on mobile devices, so you need to be sure that your website and other online assets look good for the majority of people reading on their phones.
However, desktop computers are still a big part of Boomers’ lives. According to Pew Research Center, 65% of Boomers own a desktop. This means your content still needs to work on a larger screen, too.
Fortunately, a bigger desktop screen also allows you to embrace longer-form content. Boomers are more likely to sit down and read a longer blog post at a desk. (Long-form content is not so easily consumed on a tiny screen.)
This provides you with yet another way to get your business’s message out there. Longer-form content also allows you to share even more of your expertise, solidifying Boomers’ trust in your brand.
Marketers may get swept up in marketing to the younger generations, but they can’t count Boomers out just yet. A sizable generation, with a sizable chunk of disposable income to match, marketing to Baby Boomers should be a priority for a lot of businesses.
Fortunately, they respond to a lot of the same tactics that work with younger generations. Putting a unique, Boomer-friendly spin on things will allow you to engage effectively with this generation.