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Marketing to Baby Boomers 101: How to Target the Aging Population

15 min read
marketing to baby boomers

Does your business offer a product or service that you know would be perfect for baby boomers? You’re in luck, because this generation holds an incredible $2.6 billion in buying power. And they are determined to demonstrate that age is just a number as they approach their golden years.

Marketing to this important demographic is easier than you may think, but you do need to keep the following tips in mind. Here’s everything you need to know about marketing to baby boomers.

They Are Online

It’s a common misconception that older people want nothing to do with new technology. But boomers are an older generation that has embraced the internet. More than half of them also prefer to shop online versus visiting a physical store.

Two-thirds of baby boomers also own a smartphone and are considered heavy adopters of new technology. The same report also found that their social media usage has been steadily increasing.

All of this means that in order to reach boomers, you’ll want to do some targeting to them online and make sure your e-commerce site is bug-free and easy to navigate. Working with an ad network can help you develop engaging ads and display them to where boomers are surfing.

You’ll also definitely want to run advertising on Facebook, as nearly 96% of boomers access the social network at least once a week. Facebook’s advertising platform allows you to target your campaign by age, location, interests, and several other demographics that make it easy to reach boomers.

They Also Love Magazines and Newspapers

Here’s where things get tricky when choosing marketing avenues to reach boomers: while they are using the internet, they find print advertising more trustworthy. One of the reasons why may be their high consumption of print media: 93% of boomers read newspapers and magazines.

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This is a generation that grew up reading magazines, and probably first earned money by delivering newspapers, after all. Even though news reports have been saying for years that print is dead, the majority of baby boomers love the feel of a physical paper or magazine in their hands. You definitely want to reserve a good portion of your advertising budget for print advertising to reach them.

Use Everyday Language

Plain language is the way to go when writing copy aimed at boomers. Despite the fact that they’re online, they’re unlikely to be receptive to cute hashtags, hip slang words, text message abbreviations, and other copy that is associated with millennials. Keep it simple and speak like a boomer in order to capture their attention.

Leverage Video

When it comes to engagement, video rules compared to other types of online ads. Since boomers are online, a compelling video can get them to convert. Keep in mind that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound which means you’ll want to include captions to automatically display copy on your ad.

Shorter video is better as long as you show your boomer audience the benefits of buying your product or service.

Don’t Make Them Feel Old

No one wants to feel old, least of all the generation that attended Woodstock and launched the sexual revolution. So take care when crafting your messaging that it doesn’t imply that boomers are feeling their age. Many of them are traveling, exercising, and soaking up everything that life has to offer as they enter retirement.

According to the CTA foundation, boomers are determined to age in place and use technology to help them stay in their homes instead of entering assisted living. They still have a lot of living left, so make sure your advertising doesn’t step on their toes.

Avoid using the words “old” or “elderly” in your messaging. If including images of people in your advertising, choose models that appear slightly younger than boomer age.

Give Them Useful Information

When boomers review an ad, they like to know how a product or service can directly benefit them, so be sure your messaging reflects that. They also like facts and research that can back up a claim or support what your product or service can do for them. Include clear links to policies and additional information to demonstrate your trustworthiness to this generation.

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Your content should relate to them on a personal level and encourage them to convert. Make it easy for them to read as well by using clear headings and bullet points to help break out information.

Consider Font Size and Test Your Site

It may seem like an insignificant detail, but make sure the copy you use when marketing to boomers is large enough for them to read. They rely on reading glasses and other corrective eyewear, after all. There are no guidelines on the proper font size to use on websites, but 16pt is a good average size to ensure readability.

Be sure to use dark copy on a white background or vice versa so it’s easy to read. Along with readability, your website should function without glitches and be easy to navigate. Make buttons and contact forms large enough for boomers to see them.

Don’t forget to test your site for mobile responsiveness, as boomers are using smartphones and tablets. In fact, this generation spends an average of five hours a day on their mobile phone.

Marketing to Baby Boomers Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

As you can see, marketing to baby boomers doesn’t have to be confusing—you just need to put yourself into their shoes. A good first step before creating a marketing campaign is to research your potential customer base and get to know their likes, dislikes, and purchasing habits. Learn what makes boomers unique and how your product or service can make their life easier or better.

For more marketing tips on reaching specific demographics, check out our latest digital marketing posts found under the business section.

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