When planning a content marketing strategy, it’s easy to assume that your efforts should be focused on targeting Generation X, Millennials and Gen Z. Baby Boomers aren’t nearly as active online as these other groups. Or are they?
It’s a common misconception that Baby Boomers aren’t spending as much time online or on social media as their Generation X and Millennial counterparts. However, those of us with a grandmother on Facebook can confidently say that is not the case. According to the Pew Research Center’s Social Media Factsheet, roughly 65 percent of Americans aged 50 to 64 and 41 percent of Americans 65 years old and older use Facebook on a regular basis.
Not only are they active in posting their own content and reading what their friends or pages they follow have written, but also Baby Boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content online compared to any other generation. In fact, they spend as much as 20 hours a week reading and sharing posts, according to a 2017 report from MediaPost.
For some of you, these statistics are just reinforcing what you already know. One glance at your Facebook timeline paints a pretty clear picture that Baby Boomers tend to be active. But that online presence stretches beyond Facebook.
A Forbes study from 2017 reported that approximately 60 percent of Baby Boomers enjoyed reading blogs and online articles, while 70 percent spent time watching videos about various services and products.
That same Forbes report showed that 96 percent of Baby Boomers used search engines, while 95 percent used email and 92 percent preferred to shop online rather than at malls or department stores. Now that we’ve effectively debunked the myth that America’s older generation isn’t spending time online, how can we know that their online habits will lead to increased business through our targeted content marketing campaigns?
A 2017 global online consumer report from KPMG discovered that Baby Boomers were just as likely to make an online purchase as Millennials. They also spent more money per transaction than Generation X and Millennials, on average.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans 50 years old and older spend $3.2 trillion each year. That’s more than the gross domestic products of Brazil, France, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Already armed with the expendable income, Baby Boomers are far more likely to spend that money than other generations, and not just on themselves. They tend to buy products and services for others as well, particularly their grandchildren.
In the approximately 75 million Baby Boomers in the United States today, we find the age group with the most expendable income and a willingness to spend that money online. Knowing these trends, we would be foolish to limit our target audience to just Generation X and Millennials. So, what is the best way to reach this potential goldmine of a market?
As we’ve already established, Facebook content is essential when it comes to a social media campaign. Baby Boomers are spending far more time on Facebook rather than Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Having an active and engaging Facebook presence will lead to more interaction and reach the Baby Boomer population, which over time, will generate more business. Remember, they’re also increasingly likely to share posts that they find relatable or enjoyable.
Baby Boomers also tend to engage with long-form content, so get those keystrokes going with blog posts, case studies and white papers. The more in-depth you can be on these resources, the more likely you are to reach your target audience.
This same approach should be taken with regard to the video component of your content marketing. Longer videos with a slower pace and a great deal of information are much more appealing to Baby Boomers than the quick clips.
As you implement your Facebook and video campaigns, be sure to keep a healthy volume of content on your website. Many Baby Boomers will head to a company website or pursue more information on a search engine after reading content on a social networking site.
In spite of all of this information, Baby Boomers are only targeted by roughly 5 to 10 percent of marketing efforts. With more than 50 percent of the U.S. population currently over the age of 50, this market is too big to ignore any longer.
Just as we cautioned against ignoring the older generation in favor of Generation X and Millennials, it would be unwise to put all of your eggs in the Baby Boomer basket. However, implementing even a few of these content marketing strategies could go a long way toward increasing your brand awareness.