There are several misconceptions in the online marketing world about the digital aptitude of older generations. Older consumers have for a long time been perceived as being averse to technology trends including the internet and social media.
However, this perception couldn’t be any further from the truth. Though the rate at which people over 50 years old have embraced online blogs as sources of information may not be as high as that of millennials, this age demographic forms a significant proportion of online buyers.
What’s more, consumers above 50 possess significantly higher spending power due to more disposable income. As a content marketer, you should, therefore, curate your content with both baby boomers and early Generation Xers in mind. To do that, you need to understand the digital patterns of this age group and what they look for in the digital space.
Online Characteristics of Older Consumers
When creating content for seniors, consider the following factors:
They Spend More
Online shoppers above 50 years might not shop as much as their younger counterparts, but will spend significantly more than millennials for every purchase.
They are Increasingly Using Search Engines
While it may be true that older buyers used to struggle with finding information on the internet, that has changed significantly as search engines have become more user-friendly. Most of them have learned to navigate their way around the internet to find the information they want.
Keep in mind that seniors tend to phrase their search queries as full sentences or questions, rather than short keyword phrases.
They Prefer to Access the Internet via PC, not Phone
This demographic isn’t fond of smartphones and prefer to use PCs when going online. A recent report reiterates this preference of computers over other devices for this generation, placing PC use for e-commerce in baby boomers at 79%, with smartphone and tablet use for the same demographic falling at 33% and 22% respectively.
They are Increasingly Embracing Voice-Recognition Technology
One of the reasons baby boomers aren’t exactly fond of smartphones is because of the frequent typing errors that come with “fat-finger” fidgeting on a tiny device. As such, voice search software tools like Siri and Alexa that eliminate the need to type have gained traction in this demographic over the recent years.
According to a Google report, about 51% of boomers consider smart speaker software as reliable tools for instant information retrieval whenever they’re browsing online.
They are Increasingly Watching Video Content
Whoever said that a baby boomer would rather read it than watch it, blatantly lied! This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the online characteristics of older buyers. While they may have grown up in an era where audio-visual media wasn’t as ubiquitous, boomers and early Generation Xers have over time embraced digital video content as quality sources of information.
In fact, this generation – just like those after them – would rather watch a video tutorial then read a product instruction manual. They also appreciate video content as a source of entertainment during their free time.
How to Leverage the Online Characteristics of Older Consumers
To create effective targeted content that will drive older online audiences to your blog, develop your blog posts with the aforementioned consumer trends in mind. Below are some blog content marketing strategies you may want to consider for this demographic:
1. Posting Relatable, Funny Video GIFs
The older online audiences cite entertainment as one of the reasons why they love consuming digital video content. Therefore, by posting funny, relatable video GIFs on your blog that tie back to whatever service or product you’re offering, you may endear many senior buyers to your brand. Don’t forget to come up with a creative caption to go along with the GIF.
2. Investing in Voice Search Software Tools
Expert research projects voice searches to form about 50% of all online consumer search queries in 2020. Consumers above 50 years are some of the online users who’ll benefit most from this technology. As such, you should aim at incorporating a voice search tool within your blog.
To optimize your voice search strategy, pre-set potential keyword search queries in question form since older users will probably ask questions as they would in real-life conversations. Additionally, consider creating supporting blog content (whether in an article, video, or podcast format) that directly answers some of the frequently asked questions.
3. Optimizing Your Content for Better Search Engine Rankings
With boomers more likely to type in search queries as full-sentence questions, create your SEO strategy with this in mind. For instance, you can redraft your titles and subtitles as questions, instead of simply inserting short keyword phrases.
4. Optimizing Your Website and Content for PC devices
Since audiences over 50 years of age are more likely to access your blog via a home computer than a smartphone, optimize your blog interface and content should be designed for both PC and mobile interfaces. For instance, you can design the blog in such a way that users accessing it via computer can read a brief summary of a given blog page before clicking on it.
5. Posting More Videos and Optimizing Existing Ones
Consumers over 50 years love video content. You should, therefore, consider repurposing some of your existing blog articles such as product reviews in video form.
In addition, you can optimize existing video content by including subtitles and closed-captions. Search engine bots can read through video text transcripts to identify keywords for better indexing. As a result, your target audience will be able to find your blog videos faster whenever they search for related keywords.
Content Creation in 2020 for Boomers: Bottom Line
One of the biggest mistakes that many marketers make is ignoring the older generation. If you want to leverage the high purchasing power of boomers, then incorporate the blog writing tips above in your 2020 content. For more content writing tips for 2020, check out our latest blogging articles