Marketing Online to Boomers
Listen, read, or review the best marketing practices for small businesses and you’re sure to hear about the importance of tailoring your marketing campaign to meet the needs of millennials. While it’s true that this much maligned generation offers immense buying power, there’s another often overlooked generation that offers even more potential to any business’ bottom line: baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964.
Antiquated ideas about older generations may lead you to believe that the best way to market to boomers is through more conventional, non-electronic methods like direct mailers and newspaper advertisements, but boomers actually spend more per online transaction than any other generation, according to a recent report from KPMG. The idea that boomers don’t embrace technology is simply not accurate. Add to this the fact that while boomers account for just 22 percent of the U.S. population (millennials account for 26 percent), they control more than 70 percent of all disposable income in the country. Combined, this makes boomers an attractive and potentially very lucrative audience to target your business’ marketing message.
However, marketing to boomers takes more than just simply pushing your existing marketing strategies in their general direction. Just as marketing to millennials and Gen-Xers requires a certain nuanced approach, you need to take the right steps in order for boomers to receive your message.
To help add another chapter to your best marketing practices for small businesses manual, Local Fresh asks you consider the following tips when marketing to baby boomers.
Improve Your Local Search Rankings
Boomers like to do their research before completing any purchase or transaction online, and take the time to search out reviews and product information. The two primary sources they use to obtain this information are company websites and search engines, so an online presence is vital for capturing hard earned boomer dollars.
You need to use the right keywords in your business’ website copy, webpage SEO tools, and marketing message to ensure that you score highly for those terms most important to your business. The better your website scores for terms like “dentist in Portland”, “Washington wholesale flowers”, or “Seattle summer dresses” the higher your website will appear in local SEO rankings.
Online reviews also have an impact on a brand’s search rankings, so it’s a good idea to have a reviews section on your website where customers can discuss their experiences. If your business has earned reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Angie’s List, those reviews can easily be embedded on your website.
Boost Your Social Media Presence on Facebook
While boomers may avoid social media channels that skew younger – such as Instagram and SnapCat – they absolutely love Facebook. The average boomer spends 11 hours a week looking through their feed of family photos and hilarious videos. Boomers are also far more likely to share videos and images they see on Facebook, so placing ads on this social media channel is a great way to spread your message.
Boomers also use Facebook for read reviews of products or services they are considering using. Unfortunately, unlike the other review sites we mentioned above, Facebook doesn’t offer a convenient way of embedding reviews on your website. Each review must be embedded individually, or you can use a third-party app that will compile the reviews your business receives.
YouTube also ranks as a favorite site for many boomers. A recent Quora forum found that boomers typically watch funny and information how-to videos on YouTube, so creating content that meets the viewing needs of boomers offers another great way to spread your marketing message.
Revamp Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Smartphone ownership among boomers is growing, according to an eMarketer survey conducted in December of 2016. The primary use boomers have for their smartphones is to check and receive emails and IMS messages.
Of boomers, 75 percent are more likely to complete a purchase if given a discount or coupon, so email marketing campaigns based around special offers seem particularly effective for this audience. While impulse buying is more a trademark of millennials, boomers prefer to look for the best deal possible before deciding on what to buy. This makes “limited time offers” less effective when marketing to boomers that don’t like to feel pressured to make a purchase. If a discount is offered, make it available for several weeks rather than several days.
Create Compelling Content
Boomers spend more time digesting content than any other generation. This makes content marketing a key component when developing any marketing strategy targeting this group. Great blog content, interesting and informative videos, and easily sharable charts and images all make great content choices for appealing to boomers online. However, make sure to avoid using too much slang or jargon in your content. While Internet savvy, the use of hashtags, slang, abbreviations, or memes might be lost on some boomers, and could alienate or disinterest them from the type of content you’re offering.
Baby boomers offer marketers an immense source of revenue that can help improve the bottom line of any business. Businesses that ignore this generation run the risk of missing out on a loyal customer base that has the time, money, and energy needed to help a brand grow. Tailor your marketing message to meet the needs of this generation, and you won’t need to know the best marketing practices for small businesses, you’ll already be using them.