How to better reach Baby Boomers with content marketing

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Targeting the me-generation
By Caroline Faucher, contributor. 14 February, 2017
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They might not be as tech-hungry as Millennials, but Baby Boomers still hold the spending power in Australia. Together with the fact they represent over a quarter of all Australians, this generation presents a unique opportunity for content marketers.

Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, have seen it all. They came of age in the 1960s and 70s and have lived through several periods of dramatic political, social and economic upheaval including the Vietnam War, the moon landing, the advent of TV, and the counter-culture revolution. In Australia, they also enjoyed free tertiary education and (comparatively) affordable housing. As such, they are regarded by many as the privileged generation that is to blame for the hurdles of Gens X and Y. They are financially secure, have a high rate of home ownership and are blessed with higher annual income than the national average. They also control over half of the nation’s private wealth, according to social researcher Mark McCrindle.

What Boomers want

Whether they’re delaying retirement or charging through their bucket list, the me-generation is redefining what it means to be ‘old’. Content directed to this audience should reflect this and focus on the possibilities that arise from their many personal freedoms.

For instance, a survey by YourLifeChoices, a website for the retirement community, revealed grey nomads do their research online and the majority believe travel insurance is essential when they’re heading off on their latest adventure. This could translate into an opportunity for finance brands to offer valuable content that educates Boomers on the different types of insurance products.

In another report on mobile money, Nielsen found security is the main barrier for Boomers when it comes to mobile banking. It also influences how likely Boomers are to make online purchases. Marketers could turn this concern to their advantage by addressing the issue with practical, useful informational content that uses plain speak and facts so to not alienate already skeptical customers.

Boomers are financially secure, have a high rate of home ownership and higher annual income. They also control over half of the nation’s private wealth

Content as part of the broader strategy

Boomers are embracing technology more than ever. In their 2016 Media Consumer Survey, Deloitte states, “Boomers and Matures still prefer more traditional entertainment, with reading books and newspapers rounding out the top four preferred activities for both generations”. However, the survey also shows smartphones are now Boomers' second most valued device, ranking just behind TVs. Like other generations, Boomers are multi-tasking while watching TV, using social media, reading emails and browsing the web at the same time.

Since they are also more likely to walk into a bricks-and-mortar store, marketers should consider cross-promotion when creating content for Boomers and integrate it as part of the broader strategy. For example, a brand could promote a product in-store, but provide additional information online on its blog or by using Facebook’s Instant Articles and link back to the company’s website for a call to action.

In the end, just because things are moving online doesn’t mean the values Boomers believe in have changed. Baby Boomers remain loyal customers. If brands ignore them for too long by concentrating all of their efforts on Millennials, they risk losing this powerful group of customers.

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Caroline is a Canadian-Australian writer and online communication strategist with over 10 years experience in media, not-for-profits and government. Now based in the seaside city of Newcastle, she enjoys the variety of topics a freelance life offers and the challenge of turning complex ideas into simple messages.