Marketers often forget or overlook Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) as a marketing generation as they tend to focus on the younger generations and Millenials in particular. However, people over the age of 50 account for 51% of consumer spending and in the US, 70% of the disposable income is controlled by Baby Boomers (Nielsen, 2016).
Baby Boomers are the wealthiest age group this century and are therefore too big to ignore. They have money to spend but they want to spend it wisely. They have a reputation for being diligent and hardworking and have saved and spent wisely over the years, so it's up to you to make a case for why you would be a good match for them as a photographer.
More Tech Savvy Than You Might Think...
In a Google/Ipsos study of consumers aged 45 and over, they found that the web is the top source for information gathering. 96% of Baby Boomers use Search Engines, 95% use email and 92% shop online.
The Best Place To Find Boomers
For online marketing, search engines are the most effective channel. They dramatically outperform both social media and viewing online videos in getting Baby Boomers to take an action such as making a purchase or in your case, making an enquiry or a booking.
So if you’re targeting Baby Boomers, consider SEO, PPC (Pay-per-Click advertising) as well as content marketing.
However, let’s not disregard social media either.
Baby Boomers and Social Media
Baby Boomers use social media as a means of finding more information and are influenced by what they see. More than 50% of Boomers will visit a website or continue the search on a search engine after seeing something of interest on a social media site.
They are also 19% more likely to share content compared to any other generation and about 60% of them spend time reading blogs and online articles.
Top Tip: Even though the majority of Boomers own a smartphone, they are the least likely of all the generations to use one to make a purchase. They view their smartphones as more of a communication device rather than a tool for shopping. So, if you're running a Facebook advert, make sure you Edit your placements and select Desktop only under devices.
Don’t bother with hashtags if you’re aiming your post or ad at Baby Boomers. Half of them say they’ve never used a hashtag and it can actually just confuse them.
Also, when you’re communicating with them in an ad, email or message, avoid using slang or abbreviations that only younger generations understand. They may be a lot more hip than some might think but it’s best not to risk confusing them.
Stick to clear messaging with correct grammar and make sure you’re spelling is bang on too 😉
Use Video Where You Can
We all know how important the use of video is when it comes to marketing in our modern world and Baby Boomers are no exception with 1 in 3 boomers using YouTube to learn about a product or a service according to Google.
Around 70% of Baby Boomers enjoy watching videos about products and services but they prefer slower paced videos that contain a great deal of information rather than a fast paced, highly visual video.
They aren’t in as much of a rush as other generations and will therefore spend time watching something of interest in attempt to get the information they desire. They also appreciate YouTube client testimonials.
Be Reliable, Consistent and Authentic
However, they don’t mind spending money on a little comfort and luxury and they enjoy spending money on their grandchildren. They like to be fully informed about products and services and be able to interact with a company or brand in a personal way.
They prefer one on one interactions but are more patient than younger generations and are therefore willing to wait longer to receive a message or communication. However, if made a promise by a company or a brand, they expect you to deliver. If you say you’re going to send over an information package by tomorrow, then do it! If you say you’re going to publish a new blog post every Tuesday, do it! They’ll expect you to and won’t appreciate it if you fail to deliver.
They value consistency, reliability, loyalty and authenticity and any kind of content, product or service that achieves that will be of interest to them.
They're not OLD!
Summary of the best ways to reach Boomers
- Search Engines (make sure your SEO is in good shape and you might want to consider some PPC advertising).
- Facebook: It’s the most popular social media network for this generation with over 70% of them owning an account.
- Videos: Think slower paced videos packed with the information they need to make a decision or take further action. Also consider client video testimonials.
- Blogs and Articles: This form of content marketing can be very effective with this generation with around 60% of them spending time consuming this type of content.
- Email: This is still one of the most effective marketing activities across any generation and Boomers are no exception.
- Direct Mail: While this may be seen as an old school method of advertising, Baby Boomers are more likely to respond to direct mail campaigns than any other generation so if you want to reach this demographic, it may well be worth a try.
- Coupon Marketing: Many Baby Boomers were brought up to believe that saving was very important. A smart, targeted approach using a coupon can be very effective at appealing to this generation.
Get Your Thinking Caps On
Baby Boomers are considered the "me generation" for their self-centred, individualistic attitudes so perhaps you could target the ladies with a "feel good" photoshoot. Make them feel, young, beautiful and glamorous.
They also enjoying spending money on others, their grandchildren in particular. They value education, loyalty and authenticity so if you produce content and market yourself in this way, you'll get their attention.
Perhaps you could entice older couples to celebrate their anniversary with a romantic photoshoot or if they're looking to renew their vows, encourage them to have those moments captured by a professional.
They may also enjoy a family photoshoot with their children and grandchildren.
There are so many options and with money to spend, they're a super generation to market to. You just have to create your story and go out there and sell it to them!
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