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Although the marketing world has drastically changed over the last decade–with many companies opting to market to millennials and Gen-Z–it’s vital to also market yourself to the baby boomer generation. There are an estimated 73 million of baby boomers, after all, which means a lot of disposable income to consider. Unfortunately, many businesses miss this mark. Chances are, if you’re reading this, it’s something you know that you need to work on, which is why we’re helping you build a marketing strategy that appeals to the older generation.

How You Should Be Marketing to Baby Boomers

Who’s Classified as a Baby Boomer?

Before you begin revamping your entire influencer marketing strategy, it’s important to know the audience that you’re going to be focusing on. Baby boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964 during the post-WWII optimism. Until millennials, they were the largest generation born in the last 100 years. And although they may feel like a tricky generation to appeal to, they’re typically the largest consumer of media (specifically television, radio, and sites like Facebook). This means that though it may feel harder to market to them, it’s crucial if you want to take your business to the next level.

Baby Boomers looking at a phone.

Marketing Strategies for Baby Boomers

1. Keep Content Simple and Helpful

It may be tempting to use slang and other generation-specific terminology. However, this isolates generations that may not be familiar with these terms. When writing, while there’s nothing wrong with keeping things more conversational, you’re better off keeping copy straightforward and easy to read. Avoid abbreviations, long run-on sentences, and lengthy paragraphs that are hard on the eye. Instead, opt for bullet point lists, small, easy-to-digest paragraphs, and keep the language from becoming too fluffy and modern.

2. Utilize Facebook to Reach Boomers

Despite the platform starting in 2004 with primarily younger users, thanks to other social media sites like Instagram and TikTok, Facebook has quickly become a site with a more mature audience. In a study done by AudienceProject, it was found that 78% of baby boomers surveyed had a Facebook account. YouTube was a close second (which we’ll touch on in a second), followed by Instagram at 32%, and Twitter at 26%. And while they are using TikTok, according to Oberlo, only 5.5% of their users are over the age of 55. That’s quite a drastic difference. If you spend a good portion of your marketing budget on influencer marketing for Instagram or TikTok, fret not. These videos and photos, if done correctly, can be repurposed for Facebook. It’s all about working smarter, not harder (which Sway does by creating a personalized content strategy before content from an influencer is filmed).

However, if you have experience with advertising on Facebook, you’re probably familiar with how difficult it can be to get the impressions and engagement you’re hoping for. The future of Facebook advertising lies within paid ad campaigns, which can be a difficult pill to swallow, depending on your marketing budget. The upside, however, is that when creating an ad campaign, you can target the advertisements to boomers based on age, location, gender, etc.

3. Take Advantage of Video Content

As we just mentioned, boomers are big fans of video content. That’s why roughly 67% of them use YouTube regularly. Whether they’re watching tutorials or videos for pure entertainment, it’s an untapped market that many businesses forget about. Because it’s not widely used in marketing strategies, you may have to play around with formats to see what best suits the boomer audience you’re searching for. Some formats to consider include:

  • Basic tutorials on how to use your product or service
  • Shopping guides and reviews
  • Advice on how to use specific products or technology
  • Top 5-10 lists (i.e., The Top 10 Places to Visit in Kauai)

Luckily, many millennial influencers have experience with YouTube since it was one of the fastest-growing sites in the early 2000s. Vlogging (aka video blogging) was and continues to be, extremely popular. Statista found that in 2022, the vlog video content format reported a global usage reach of 23.4% in the fourth quarter alone. VloggingPro also published a stat that over 44% of internet users watch vlogs every single month. While you may not be creating “vlogs” to reach baby boomers, the influencers you partner with for marketing will likely be familiar with the platform, making it easier to adapt to creating content tailored to the older generation.

Like any other marketing strategy, give your content time to grow and continually study the engagement your videos receive. If a specific format is getting constant attention, you can shift the focus and work on creating more similar content.

4. Ensure Your Site is Mobile Friendly

We’re all attached to our phones these days–boomers included. While they may not be as experienced as millennials and Gen-Zs, they’re quickly learning how to use their smartphones for online shopping, social media scrolling, and more. If a site is hard to use while on the phone, you’ll lose your audience (regardless of age), which is why making it as mobile-friendly as possible is vital. When designing your website, ensure that you’re doing the following:

  • Using a responsive design (aka one that automatically adapts to the size of the screen it’s being viewed on)
  • Using large buttons that are easier to find and click on
  • Avoiding pop-ups
  • Incorporating easy-to-read fonts
  • Optimizing your images
  • Including CTAs for conversions

If you have a site already up and running and you want to make certain that it looks good on phones and iPads, you can use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, mobiReady, and PageSpeed (which also analyzes your web performance).

5. Avoid Terminology That Makes Baby Boomers Feel Old

This may sound like a silly suggestion, but you’d be surprised at how many companies include the words “old,” “senior,” and “elderly.” They may feel much older than you, but they’re still young in their hearts. With the average lifespan of an American being almost 80 years old, they still have years to live their lives to the fullest. The last thing you want to do is come off as condescending or make them hyperaware that they’re nearing the end of their lives. You should be working to help them feel empowered (which your product or service can assist with).

If you want to take it a step further, opt for younger models when photographing or filming your target audience. We’re not talking drastically younger. Just a few years. For example, if the audience you’re looking to market is in their early to mid-60s, hire models in their early to mid-50s. This allows your target audience to feel youthful, which in turn, feels them more inclined to interact with your business.

The same goes for partnering with influencers. When you think of influencers, you probably think of 20-something-year-old fashion bloggers. Yet a wide variety of content creators are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. They typically prioritize different aspects of life compared to younger influencers, making them more relatable to baby boomers. They’ll be more likely to be open and honest about your product or service, and they can provide a captivating story rather than compelling imagery, which can be vital in piquing the interest of an older audience.

6. Answer The Question, “How Can This Improve Their Life?”

It’s very clear that baby boomers have the majority of the world’s disposable income in their wallets. However, they’re far more particular about what they spend their money on. If you’re going to convince them to invest in your business, you need to answer the question, “How can I improve their life?” with your marketing. If you can showcase how you can better their life once they use your product or service, they’re far more likely to decide you’re worth spending the money on.

The foundation for creating a strong marketing strategy is taking the time to understand your audience. Although you may be most familiar with the younger generations, take the time to research baby boomers and what makes them stand out. On the flip side, it’s important to note that they are humans, not just people you want to profit from.

Although these steps may seem easy to follow, if you’re ready to market to baby boomers, but you’re unsure how, let Sway Group help. Our full-service agency offers influencer discovery and recruitment, campaign management, and guaranteed results. Our specially vetted content creators will help create content appealing to every generation. Ready to get started? Contact us today!