Over-50s baby boomers increasingly important target for content marketing

Content-hungry baby boomers are becoming an increasingly important target audience for content marketers in many different product sectors.

Key content marketing tools for engaging with this audience include: customer-focused blogs, magazine-style brand microsites, social media content, eNewsletters, digital magazines, videos, and ‘how-to’ eGuides.

The over-50s are not only spending more and more time browsing the Internet (at least 85 minutes a day, according to Neilsen), they are also accounting for a growing share of the total UK online audience.

Figures produced by the UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM) show that so-called ‘silver surfers’ now make up just over 31 per cent of the 39 million people who have access to the Internet in the UK. Victor Meldrew they are not…

OVER-50s WEBSITES

Popular websites include Saga, RealAge, video site Flixxy, and the new online music site SH-BOOM! which is aimed at older music fans who grew up during the “rock ‘n’ roll years” of the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

“The internet is getting older in more ways than one,” said UKOM’s Alex Burmaster. “Not only is the medium itself maturing but the audience is shifting towards older age groups. There is a still a perception that the net is youth-centric but this is clearly not the reality.”

BABY BOOMERS DOMINATE CONSUMER SPENDING

There are now more than 21 million people aged over 50 in the UK, and the over-65s already outnumber those aged 16 and under. These ‘grey’ consumers currently control around 40 per cent of consumer spending and 80 per cent of the country’s wealth.

The number of over-50s is set to grow by 20 per cent over the next six years, and half of the UK’s adults will be aged 50 or over by the year 2020.

Many computer companies have recognised the unique needs of these older consumers and are creating new products that cater for their requirements. SimplicITy Computers, for example, has developed stripped-down PCs that are easier for older people to use.

Initiatives such as these are giving a growing number of older consumers the confidence to go online and search for content that will inform or entertain them.

FASTEST-GROWING GROUP

People over 50 are the Internet’s fastest-growing group, according to Neilsen. They spend more time online than anyone else, and research by SilverPoll has found that more of them own digital readers than 16-24 year olds.

The over-50s already account for more than a quarter of Facebook’s audience, and some 40 per cent of UK internet users in this age group are involved in a social network of some kind.

These older age groups are notoriously difficult to reach through traditional media. When they were teenagers, they were the people who created the ‘consumer society’ in the first place – so they’re marketing-savvy and less likely to be influenced by old-style ‘interruption marketing’ techniques.

For businesses targeting mature audiences, online content marketing can therefore provide an important channel for engaging with these customers.

CONTENT MUST BE TAILORED

But the over-50s are not a single homogenous group. They’re made up of people with many different kinds of life experiences and each age-group has very different values, beliefs and attitudes.

This means content has to be carefully tailored to reflect these differences.

Many older people say they use the Internet to “seek experiences and have fun”. So it is essential to understand the kinds of information they are likely to want at each step of the purchase process – and then engage with them by telling compelling, relevant, informative and entertaining stories that baby boomers want to hear.

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CONTENTED MARKETER Magazine is brought to you by content marketing specialist Focus Content Marketing

Visit our website at: Focus Content Marketing

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