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marketing to seniors

5 Trends to Watch for Marketing to Seniors & Boomers in 2017

Those who focus on marketing to seniors and Baby Boomers are always looking for the latest and greatest ideas, or trends. And that’s a good thing.

At the same time, though, people see the word “trend” and often believe it is the answer to their questions, the absolute latest and greatest. While being on the forefront of marketing trends is important, it’s also important to remember what got your company here in the first place. Marketers shouldn’t shy away from the things that they know work well for their company. It’s natural to want to try all of the shiny, new things – from artificial intelligence to virtual reality – but at the end of the day, the most important factor in success isn’t something shiny and new. It’s the good old-fashioned skill of understanding and relating to your customer.

Keeping that in mind, it’s still good to look forward while having a firm grasp on today, because, after all, marketing for Boomers and seniors continues to change – and so does the online behavior of older audiences. Here are five trends you should be aware of as you plan your next marketing strategy.

1. Social Media Marketing

It’s easy to feel like social media has been around forever. While we’ve certainly come a long way on our social channels, the truth is that the potential social media has for Boomers and seniors is only beginning to come to fruition.

In 2017, Facebook is still the main draw for Boomers over Twitter and Instagram. Facebook allows you to tell a story and to feature the stories of others, and its overall breadth of features allows for an immersive experience. On top of that, older audiences tend to be most familiar with the platform. In fact, according to Pew Research, in 2016, 72% of American adults between the ages of 50 and 64 were on Facebook, as were 62% over 65. That number is primed to continue increasing. And keep an eye out for growth on other platforms, too. Pinterest, in particular, has seen a steady increase in older users in recent years.

If you’re still holding onto the assumption that “older consumers are not tech savvy” and using that as a rationale to stay away from social media, especially when it comes to marketing to seniors and Boomers, you’re missing out; the research and numbers available now prove the opposite. Increasingly, the majority of seniors are on social media, keeping up with loved ones and families, and engaging with the things that matter to them. If you haven’t yet begun engaging Boomers and seniors on social media, consider adding it to your marketing strategy.

2. Video Advertising

Video advertising is becoming more and more of a viable marketing channel. Similarly to Facebook, video advertising gives you an opportunity to visually tell a story in a pre-set amount of time.

For example, let’s take a look at YouTube. YouTube has increasingly used pre-roll ads as a means of generating ad engagement; to watch many YouTube videos, you have to watch an ad first. There’s power in having that real estate, even if it’s just for a couple of seconds.

On Facebook, video advertising is a little bit different, because the real estate is more cluttered and you’re trying to capture a user’s attention in a shorter amount of time while cutting through everything that’s in their newsfeed. However, assets that contain music or captions can help create the stopping power you need.. Additionally, be sure the first five seconds or so of the video relay the main message you’re trying to convey should the user not watch its entirety.

3. Mobile Platforms and Consistent Experiences

Designing for mobile platforms has been a consideration for years, but in 2017, it’s becoming even more critical for those marketing to seniors and Boomers. More and more people look for information via their phones or tablets because they’re always on the go, or because it’s more convenient than a desktop. The latest numbers show that 81% of adults ages 50 and older own smartphones.

The focus now is on making sure that the user experience is the same, whether they’re viewing your website on a laptop, desktop, phone, or tablet.

This is especially important for an older demographic, who might not be as tech savvy as a Boomer. When you’re able to create a seamless user experience across all platforms that considers the online behavior patterns of your consumers, the conversion is much more likely to happen because they’re familiar with the experience in every situation.

4. User-Generated Content

With user-generated content, especially when it comes to social media, you’re able to leverage your influencers as an audience to advocate for your brand, or your products/services. Older adults, especially, tend to rely heavily on reviews or content from others like them. So, when you’re able to tap into that audience of people who are willing to share their experiences with you and you can use that as authentic content, it’s really powerful.

In 2017, make sure that you’re encouraging reviews on your product or service, collecting them, and crafting a social media strategy that encourages participation. For example, consider posting a question asking your fans to share something about their day in relation to your product or service. People love to share their stories. It’s all about creating a personal story that really connects with Boomers and seniors.

5. Native Advertising

In recent years, native advertising was a popular buzzword as marketers continued to get a grasp on the strategy. Today, though, native advertising is a vital part of any digital campaign seeking to reach older audiences.

So, what is it? At its core, native advertising is material within editorial content that resembles the main content but is actually a paid placement. It’s an opportunity to blur the lines between what is content and what is an advertisement.

The strategic benefit of native advertising is that it allows you to place your content, and get links back to your site, from a platform where you can reach a much larger audience. It might even be an audience you weren’t able to reach before, as you’ll be getting impressions with an audience that was visiting a site for reasons other than interaction with your brand. With native advertising, viewers see your content natively – like it’s part of the site. If your ads are in an area that’s already of interest to a viewer, this enhances their trust in your content.

Be selective about your native content placements and titles – you want to avoid appearing in placements that are irrelevant to your brand, and you don’t want your ads to look like clickbait. The goal is to associate yourself with relevant content and reach a new audience to earn trust, credibility and engagement.

Take Advantage of 2017’s Marketing to Seniors and Boomers Trends

So, there you have it: five marketing trends to keep in mind as your marketing to seniors and Boomers online in 2017.

Interested in keeping up with marketing trends and information to help you with marketing to seniors and Boomers? At Immersion Active, we’re experts at reaching older audiences in a digital space. Reach out to us for more information.

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