Digital Marketing to Baby Boomers and Boomer Buying Habits in 2021
Boomers are much more difficult to market than other generations. Consider their habits before developing a baby boomer marketing strategy.
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In the United States, there are 71.6 million baby boomers who are accountable for producing a large percentage of revenue for many industries. Without a doubt, marketing to this generation is a must if your business allows for it. However, within the digital marketing world, baby boomers tend to be forgotten. For everyone reading this article, that’s great news for you as you’re able to take full advantage of this untouched audience. But before we get into this topic, what are baby boomers?
Baby boomers, commonly known as post-World War II babies, are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. As of 2021, these individuals range between 57 to 75 years old and hold a significant revenue share within most industries.
In the digital marketing world, these can be considered as a secondary audience. However, they’re much more lucrative than you may think. If your industry allows for it, you should be considering baby boomers within your digital marketing strategy.
Throughout this article, we’ll discuss baby boomers, marketing tips, and the primary industries they engage with.
Who Are Baby Boomers?
Before developing your digital marketing plan, you may want to gain more knowledge on the forgotten generation. Many industries on the web are highly focused on generation Z and Y and easily neglect the buying power of baby boomers, but what exactly are baby boomers?
As mentioned, baby boomers are a demographic that is born between 1946 to 1964 (post-World War II). It was a “population” era, as after the war, babies were popping up everywhere. However, as technology progresses and new generations arrive, boomers are easily overlooked.
Here are three essential pieces of information you need to know about baby boomers.
- AGE – To be considered a baby boomer, someone has to be born between 1946 and 1964. They’re called “boom” or “boomers” because there was a significant increase in people born during this era.
- POPULARITY – Worldwide, the baby boomer generation is one of the largest compared to the silent and generation “X”.
- VALUE – Because of their age and popularity, they hold a significant value in all industries. Typically, they’re retired and have financial stability, making them the perfect audience to advertise in front of.
As you can grasp from the above information, it’s vital to market to this very large demographic. But why don’t advertisers do it? Well, many people believe that baby boomers aren’t active online. However, findings show that 66 percent of boomers make purchases via the web, and 86 percent said they had researched products online.
The above findings can seem surprising, and that’s why you’re able to take full advantage by promoting to this target audience.
10 Tips When Marketing to Boomers
Now you know the importance of boomers and the sheer value they hold. You’re probably interested in how you’re able to market to them. Boomers are much more difficult to market to than Gen Z or Y, and you should consider reading the below tips before developing a marketing strategy for them. Below we explain how to market to baby boomers.
1. Have a formal copy
When designing a website, sales funnel, or advertisement targeted towards boomers, you should write in a formal tone and reduce the amount of slang you use. Put yourself in a boomer’s shoes. They probably don’t know as much slang as other generations because they’re on the tail-end of the internet. By using slang or abbreviated words, can cause massive confusion and make the copy unclear.
Many people forget the influence writing has to persuade people to do business with you. On an eCommerce platform, it is essential to keep customers engaged and interested. Failing to do so will leave them unmotivated to do business with you.
If I were you, I would test many website designs, sales funnels, and advertisements with different types of formal copy until you hit your “sweet spot”. With digital marketing, it’s essential to test everything. But only one at a time.
For example, if you wanted to test the best copy for your advertisement, you’ll want to do the following:
- Create various copies of your ad, all with different formal writing and see which one provides the best ROI over three days.
- If you have multiple profitable ads over this testing period, pick the best three and repeat the test for an additional three days.
- After the three days have passed, you should have a clear indication of what ad copy provides you with the highest return on investment.
- Once you’ve found the “sweet spot” for your advertisements, it’s time to move onto your website, and sales funnel.
As you can see from the above, a formal copy is essential and reasonably easy to test. Testing ensures marketers that their writing is working to its best ability. Not pursuing this may be destroying your marketing efforts, and it’s most definitely something all digital advertisers need to implement.
2. Advertise on Google, Bing, Facebook and LinkedIn
If you want to target boomers, you need to identify where they’re most active online. Social platforms like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, certainly aren’t where boomers are circulating.
Instead, you want to use the following platforms to ensure you’re able to target baby boomers.
- Facebook – This social media platform is considered the most popular of all within the industry for boomers. If you’re advertising on this platform, you should select vital demographic factors based on boomers when creating a campaign. These include location, age, device, interest and much more.
- Google/Bing – As mentioned above, 86 percent of boomers use the internet to research products. Meaning it’s crucial to optimize or advertise on search engines.
- LinkedIn – Many people are unaware that almost 20% of today’s workforce are boomers that are 65+. Because of this, they’re likely to be active on platforms like LinkedIn.
Something else you should consider is YouTube. Surprisingly, YouTube holds the highest percentage of baby boomers on any social media platform. However, because of the value of YouTube’s audience, they’re also the most expensive social media platform to advertise on, out of the above.
3. Provide value for money
Boomers love value for money, benefits, reasons, and information. Be sure to supply all of the mentioned within your sales pages to increase the chances of conversions. It’s clear, as a whole, this generation is superb at decision-making. So, providing them with a product or service that can benefit them is a must.
However, having a remarkable product isn’t the only thing you need. You’ll need to explain your product, how the customer can benefit from it, the reasons behind them needing whatever you’re selling, and some information to back your statements.
For example, if you’re selling an anti-aging crème, you’ll want to showcase your previous customers’ results and back this up with factorial reasoning. Including which ingredients you use, and how they react with your skin, etc.
By providing this information, they can analyze what you’re saying, see proof of results, and pursue from there.
4. Videos excel with baby boomers
When advertising to boomers (and other generations), videos seem to offer a much higher ROI. However, when creating video content for your advertisement, you need to remember that boomers prefer videos packed with slow-burning information. Instead of quickly listing why they should buy your product or service, slow down and explain “why” in further detail. It would help if you also remembered the following:
- 85% of all videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Meaning subtitles are essential to maximizing your potential audience.
- Just like with your copy, you should test and optimize your videos to increase their ROI. The first 5 seconds of a video are vital as this draws the attention of a user. That’s why many people create several copies of the same video but change the first 5 seconds to test which performs better.
- Although boomers love slow-burning information in a video format, it doesn’t mean you should spend countless hours trying to explain something. Be wise with your videos and select content carefully to describe your business in great detail but in the shortest time possible.
5. Don’t forget about mobile
Many people exclude boomers from mobile. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Forbes has reported that boomers spend an average of five hours per day on their mobile devices. This is much more than me, and it’s very similar to what millennials average. Overall, if you’re looking to increase your audience with boomers, I wouldn’t discount them on mobile.
6. Understand your “actual” audience
Remember, not all baby boomers are going to be considered your perfect or ideal customer. Within this generation, there are multiple different traits that particular boomers will have. For example, some may be into wellness and health, others camping.
Before you set out on your journey of getting boomers interested in your business, make sure you have a solidified picture of who your perfect customer is. By understanding this, you can angle your marketing content in a much more meaningful way that’ll impact them.
7. Consider natural traits between baby boomers
It’s evident that the generation of boomers shares similarities, and you’ll need to consider these when creating your website or content. Here’s how:
- Font size – Not all, but most boomers have poor eyesight. Because of this, you’ll want to make your website more accessible by increasing your overall font size. Typically, on a website, you’ll use a size 11 font. However, opting in for a 16 would be much more ideal.
- Contrast – Following the poor eyesight trait, you should also consider using dark typography on light backgrounds. This has been proven time and time again as the best way to read text.
- Button size – I’m sure you get the picture, but it’s best for everything to be enlarged to enhance the engagement of boomers.
8. Provide helpfulness
You’ve probably seen that you’re able to activate a live chat with someone 24 hours of a day on most websites. Although this is an excellent feature, many boomers prefer to talk to a genuine person. Having email or telephone support will increase your likeability in this generation as they can ask questions, place orders, and generally speak to an actual person.
9. Be clear with your actions
You may have noticed this with boomers, like your parents. But they’re always looking for a good deal, which is the same for most people within this generation. When you’re trying to offer them a product or service, be clear about your pricing, and let them understand if you’re going to charge shipping or any additional service fees.
10. Re-target carefully
As digital marketers, we’ve always been told to re-target our audience to increase conversions. However, for boomers, it’s a little bit different. It’s common for boomers to misunderstand what re-targeting is and may look at it as an annoyance rather than a gentle reminder. The last thing you want to do is discourage them from your brand. If you’re going to re-target them, do it subtly and try not to scream in their faces.
Consumer Categories that Baby Boomers Spend Money On
As you can tell from the above, boomers are an excellent customer source if you’re able to establish yourself with them. But what are baby boomers interested in? Below we find out.
It’s clear that boomers have a lot of time on their hands. Therefore, they travel a lot. Whether it’s solo, with a spouse, or even with the grandkids, it’s estimated that boomers spend a whopping $157 billion each year in the travel industry. By far, this industry is the most prevalent with baby boomers, and they’re most definitely staying here.
Many boomers like to entertain themselves either through real-life experiences or home-related activities like watching TV. It’s estimated that baby boomers spend (on average) 6% of their yearly earnings on entertainment.
It’s been said that baby boomers actually developed the pet industry into what it is today. Without a doubt, many boomers have household pets to keep them fit and to allow for additional companionship. This goes to show, as statistics suggest that the $29.61 billion pet industry is generated by 37.7% of boomers.
Strangely enough, boomers love learning new things. Because of the additional time most of them have when they retire, they result in picking up new hobbies. These are typically woodworking, dancing, religion, language and much more.
Above are just a minority of industries that boomers love to spend their cash in. However, the list is much longer. If the above doesn’t excite you, the following statistic will. Compared to gen-x, millennials, seniors, baby boomers have the highest percentage in buying power.
As you can see from the above, you must consider baby boomers within your digital marketing strategy. Depending on your industry, they can be a great asset to equip. However, because they’ve seen many marketing strategies within their lives, sometimes they can be hard to convert. But nonetheless, it’s certainly possible and something you should strive for if your business model is suitable for them.