With millennia’s being the make or break of digital marketing, every product is targeted towards them; ignoring to reach the older generation.
The millennia’s seem to be the rave of the moment in terms of internet marketing. A bit of segmentation has been drawn between the millennia’s and the older generation.
Reports show that 27 percent of consumers over the ages of 55 feel brands are too focused on targeting younger people. This means there is some sort of sidelining being done to the older generation in respect to marketing of products or services.
You will agree with me that certain products are actually designed for the older generation and with the recent gradual shift or marketing activities online, it is frank for me to ask how you can leverage the internet to sell to your ideal audience even when they are not millennia’s.
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How do you really get to indulge these age brackets online?
One thing I have noticed over time especially here in Nigeria is, most products or services for people within the group of the older generation which I’ll say is between 50 – 90 has been marketed offline using radio, television, billboards etc.
There is a long-standing belief that people over 50 are either not on the internet at all or are only checking on specific sites. Recent Studies show that in 2014, 70% of the 50-65 age bracket use the internet, while 38% of those over 65 years old go online.
Also, 94% of the older generation use the internet for e-mails, 77% shop online, 71% look for health information, and 70% use the internet to read news.
With this alarming statistics, you can tell that the older generation also engage with information online and can also be marketed to alongside the millennia’s.
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Also, there has been an increase in the rate in which the older generations are beginning to adopt social media. A startling 56% of people between 50 and above use social media and Facebook in particular.
It is nothing compared to those between the ages of 18 – 49 which averages a high percentage within (61 – 86 %) that engage with social media content.
With these whooping figures, you can only think of one thing which is to start involving this older generation in your online marketing strategy.
So, what’s the best way to use digital marketing to reach the generation that has seen it all before?
Analyse your social audience
There is a misconception among marketers that social media is the realm of young people exclusively, but the truth is that older people are not only interested in social media, they’re using it a lot more than people seem to think.
As digital marketing guru Lori Ruff said, “Be where your customers are: in social media.”
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If your business is using social media as a digital marketing tool – then it’s essential that you get a thorough breakdown of your community. Go beyond basic analytics and do a deep dive into who they are.
Once you know more about your audience, you’ll see that there is an older demographic to be considered. Then it’s a case of targeting and adjusting your messaging according to who you’re speaking to.
Strategically target to reach the older generation online
While there are still certain demographics that cling to print, the fact is that over 35’s are far more comfortable with all forms of digital marketing.
Unlike digital natives, older users still view the internet as a resource platform, and their search behaviour is very different. They don’t just scroll through social media feeds randomly; they review information and opinions.
To ensure that your digital marketing efforts reach these online researchers, you need to use this inquisitive approach to your targeting.
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Instead of simply investing in the standard display offering, use your audience insights and provide tailored messaging per website.
Here’s an example. Trying to sell luxury wristwatch to men over 40, target your digital marketing on travel websites, doctors’ websites, and men’s’ magazines.
But also consider university websites, because their children might be going to college. Insurance company websites might be viable.
Cast a wider net to reach the older generation
And don’t forget about re-marketing. Older users are more focused and likely to remember your initial digital marketing communication.
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A follow up message will be appreciated and might be enough to stop them on their quest and take them to your site.
They can do more than you think : don’t underestimate them
As digital marketers, we’ve all come across frustrated people who take to social media to voice their frustrations. It’s a common practice – some brands even structure their social media pages as complaints and query channels.
In general, it is digital natives who use the internet to complain. Older people are more likely to follow traditional complaint processes. They will write letters, ask to see the manager, and tell their friends.
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While all of that seems laughable, you underestimate the impact of the older generation at your peril. They have the spending power, and as much as they connect on social, their circle of acquaintances is personal and loyal.
You need to respect users of all ages and realise that your digital marketing material forms part of a broader brand experience. You need to use online avenues to enrich the brand’s reputation.
Create an atmosphere of open, caring communication that mirrors the real world to ensure that the older generation starts to embrace your brand both above and below the line.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an important factor in any brand’s digital marketing strategy. When targeting an older generation, your SEO requirements will change.
In general, older internet users tend to use more blunt and direct search phrases. For example, an older user may simply search for the word ‘cars’.
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However, a younger user may add in more item specifics, e.g. ‘Range rover cars’.
On-site copy should reflect this difference in search terms, remaining relevant and useful. Copy should be clear and informative too, with all points fully expanded.
Make your site easy to use in other to reach the older generation
Simplicity is key when it comes to optimising a website for older users. In fact, a well-designed website can make the difference between people using or leaving your site, no matter their age.
As an older audience may not possess a great deal of IT knowledge, a website that is too busy or complicated can alienate them.
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Instead, keep things slick and simple, minimizing the number of steps required to make a purchase.
It’s also important to take your user’s personal needs into account.
Pay per click (PPC)
Targeted pay per click (PPC) campaigns can be incredibly useful for maximizing sales and driving services — if they are carried out at the correct times.
When setting up a PPC campaign, think about when your audience will be online. If your audience is retired, chances are they’ll spend more time online during the day than a thirty-something user in full-time employment.
You can find out exactly when your users are online through tools like Google Analytics. Use this data to your advantage and target your ads when most of your customers are online.
Use things they recognize
As much as the older generation is embracing the possibilities of digital marketing, there is still a distinct difference in the way different generations consume content.
Younger users are happy digesting brief videos and engaging on social media. Older users are still more comfortable with long-format content, direct emails, and reading reviews.
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If your brand is trying to reach a split audience, it might be worthwhile focusing on different channels for each market segment to ensure that you’re giving people branded content on their terms.
Just because you are a specialist in digital marketing, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about established channels in favour of trendier options like Snapchat. It’s a lot less jarring to receive marketing in a way you still recognize.
Reach out to your entire audience in a way that appeals to them. That they can relate to. And you will find that your digital marketing efforts exceed normal age segmentation and lead to success.
Whether you are marketing to senior citizens or millennials, there are set rules that must be followed in order to attract either niche.
The success of any business is dependent on understanding and targeting their ideal customers. In order to do so, a business must fully understand the demographic at hand and how they interact with content online.
In the case of today’s older consumers, the problem is that the stereotypes of frail, lonely, and ancient which has led to brands neglecting to market products or services to them.
Looking at some survey data and hearing from people professionally engaged in understanding and marketing to the older generation; we get a clearer picture of how older people see themselves and the advertisement aimed or often mis – aimed at them.
The older generation is too often segregated from the digital world. Brands frequently use a person’s age as a bait for their digital activity: the lower it is, the more active they are.
As such, many brands with an older audience tend to use traditional marketing methods. Whether they’re offering care homes or mobility solutions, brands tend to opt for safe advertising options, like newspaper features, billboards, fliers, television and radio messages.
Many brands neglect just how many older people are digitally active.
Research from the Office for National Statistics shows that 42 per cent of those 65 and over use a computer everyday — up from just nine per cent in 2006.
In addition, the research showed that 40 per cent of internet users over the age of 65 made a purchase online.
Therefore, why would you exclude such a large proportion from the digital landscape?
If you are not interacting by reaching the older generation, i will advice you begin to market to them because they are also a vital part of the online community.