A common misconception is that navigating the internet is a young person’s game. This is an especially costly assumption to make if you are a digital marketer.
It’s not that this stereotype about baby boomers is completely unfounded. We can all point to an older person we’ve seen commit the faux pas of making what was intended to be a Google search their status on Facebook.
But accidental Facebook statuses and confused, up-the-nose selfies notwithstanding, baby boomers are adapting to the internet’s perpetually changing landscape with money to spend and a desire to be marketed to:
- Silver surfers spend a reported four hours more per month than the 18-24 age group on the internet, typically using search engines or online shopping.
- Baby boomers hold 70% of the wealth in the U.S. at an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent.
- Of all internet advertising, only 6% is geared towards people who are 50 or older.
76% of silver surfers reported that companies should play a more important role in improving their quality of life.
If the internet as we know it was a physical place (picture a mall), there would be a large population of older adults with wads of money hanging from their pockets, browsing stores, essentially begging for someone to sell them a product. However, all of the store merchants, including you, are ignoring them.
If you’re like the overwhelming majority of business owners who utilize online advertising but do not tailor any ads that appeal to silver surfers, it is time for you to reevaluate your strategy and capitalize on this untapped market.
Here’s how you can create an ad set specifically aimed at this age group:
- Facebook advertising is king. Silver surfers love Facebook and it is where you are likely to successfully market your products to them.
- Appeal to their emotions. Baby boomers enjoy heartwarming concepts that emphasize family in their advertising.
- Focus on aesthetics and readability. Increase font size and ensure that the content can be viewed on smartphones with ease.
- Weed-out any slang. Speak in relatable terms. Don’t alienate baby boomers by using terminology they aren’t familiar with.
- Don’t condescend. Write copy that is straightforward and to the point, but don’t oversimplify things. Oversimplify [v] means to simplify something so much that a distorted impression is given. See how annoying that is?
- Use humor sparingly. Older demographics are less-likely to relate to your witty Kanye and Kim joke. Unless it’s universally appealing, leave it out of your ad if you hope to convert folks who are 50 or older.