Older people have typically been viewed as outside the target audience for online marketing, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in recent years. More than 70% of people in the 55-65 age group use a tablet or a smartphone every day and almost half of this group has made at least one online purchase.
It’s not reluctance or inflexibility on the part of the seniors that’s stopping these figures rising, however; it’s actually the fact that they feel most businesses target the younger demographic, which makes them feel unwelcome. This has to change if you want to make the most of a new sector.
How to market to the older generation
Adjust your SEO
Your SEO is already very important and worthy of attention, obviously, but when you’re targeting the older generation, it needs some extra TLC.
Older people tend to use very factual, short search terms that can look more like telegram messages. For example, “Christmas present eight year old girl…” rather than “Cool Xmas presents for the grandkids…”. Their search terms are pointed and less conversational. You should adapt your SEO and content to this; use fewer adjectives and slang words, even slang terms that have entered the Oxford Dictionary!
Your PPC can really work here
PPC campaigns can be really valuable in getting to seniors. Your ads will show when they enter any terms that relate to your keywords and done right, your PPC can get you to the top of page one.
You should factor in when your targets will be online – in this case during the day as many are retired. You can focus solely on your older audience, rather than thinking about the younger portion as they’ll mostly be at work.
Emails also work really well
Email has always been a brilliant marketing tool and the older generation in particular appreciates it, especially if the missive is personalised with their name and namechecks any previous purchases.
Seniors are increasingly turning away from paper and ink and checking their emails at least daily, so a well-crafted email campaign is a great way to reach them. Make sure that they can see their name in the subject line and again in the first line of the body copy before they open the message.
Make your website senior-friendly
If your website is aiming at the older generation, or it has some pages devoted to them, simplify them somewhat. If a page is too busy and has too many buttons and embeds it can put off someone who isn’t too IT-savvy or is a complete newbie.
Ditch some or all of your animations and reduce the number of steps they need to take to buy something. You should also increase your font size to at least 12 point as if they’re on a tablet it’ll already seem very small.