Marketing to older people online can be seen as a difficult task but what if I could tell you that it isn’t as hard as it seems?
Many businesses fail to recognise just how many older people are digitally active. Research from the Office for National Statistics shows that 70 per cent of those 50-65 use a computer, tablet or smartphone to browse the web every day. In addition, the research showed that 40 percent of Internet users over the age of 55 purchased online.
However, 1 in 4 of these consumers over the age of 50 feel that businesses focus on targeting younger people, rather than their age bracket.
For many brands, the older generation is not excluded on purpose. In many cases, the brand simply does not know how to cater to them.
So, what are the best techniques to attract the older generation online? Let’s take a look at 4 digital marketing techniques to help your business target people 50 and over.
Targeting an older generation
Yes, I understand that SEO is a big factor in any business’s digital marketing strategy, but this is even more essential when targeting the over 50 bracket.
In general, the older Internet user is more likely to use more blunt and direct search phrases when using Google etc. For example, the older user may conduct a simple search for “Back Pain” or “fitness class” rather than something more detailed like “How to ease back pain with Yoga” or “fitness classes for small groups”. Basically their search terms, in general, are more simplified.
Your SEO will need to cater for this.
Your keywords and website content should reflect this difference in search terms, remaining relevant and useful. Keep your content clear and explain all the points you wish to make.
To plan your SEO, use Google Keyword Planner to research which keywords can work for your services and to evaluate the competition online.
Following up from the first technique, targeted pay per click (PPC) campaigns can be incredibly useful for maximising sales and driving traffic to your website from the older user.
PPC ads will show up on Google searches when the user enters terms relating to your ad campaign keywords. This also means that you can get your PPC ad to the top of the page with the right campaign.
When setting up your PPC campaign, try to think about when your target market tends to be online. If you’re targeting an older generation, chances are they will spend more time online during the day, as they may be retired or semi-retired. This allows you to avoid the younger generation who are more likely in work during this time.
Remember, a successful PPC campaign (or any campaign in that matter!) drives traffic of high quality to your website, rather than people who you don’t wish to target.
To find out when your users are online, take a look at your Google Analytics and use this data to create your targeted ads.
Email marketing is huge for generating engagement and new leads online, and this is especially the case for the older generation.
Email is considered the gold standard for personal communications as well as business and usage amongst the over 50 is constantly growing.
People over 50 are now checking their email more regularly, so reaching out to them via this digital marketing technique is a sure fire way to generate more leads.
Try to personalise your email campaigns while keeping them simple and easy to read. I’d also suggest personalising your subject lines with the subscriber’s name to further your open rate.
Optimise your website for the senior traffic
When it comes to optimising your website for the older user, I’d recommend keeping things simple. If you’re targeting an older audience, a website that is too busy or complicated can alienate them as they may not have broad IT knowledge.
Instead of over-designing your site with a tonne of animations and buttons, keep things slick and simple, minimising the number of steps required to make a purchase.
Make sure your font size is large enough for easy reading. Laptops and most monitors are relatively small, making reading difficult for many seniors. I suggest a minimum of 12 point.
Create landing pages for specific services
Landing pages are a brilliant way to generate leads online. But as mentioned earlier, to maximise lead generation from an older audience, you need to keep things basic and minimise the number of steps required to become a lead.
With the senior audience, the majority will be looking for a certain service. It may be to improve mobility or to ease back pain etc. If you’re promoting too many services it may overwhelm them and they will leave without becoming a lead.
Create multiple campaigns focusing on certain services and link these to landing pages doing the same. If you want to promote a service to help relieve back pain, create a landing page focusing on this to generate quality leads.
This is also a great way of segmenting users so you can further market to them based on their needs.
As time goes on, the senior market will become increasingly active online. The market is showing signs of growth and increased trust in purchasing products online.
The more you can learn about your clients—whether from email click-through rates or analysing what they’re pinning—the better you can directly tailor your marketing strategy to them.
Last modified: 18th October 2016