Ask a Content Strategist: How Do You Market to Baby Boomers?

Ask a Content Strategist: How Do You Market to Baby Boomers?

Over the past year, I’ve had a number of content strategy projects that focus exclusively on the baby boomer market. According to engagement data, the narrative that millennials are abandoning Facebook has been overblown. According to a Pew Research study, boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content on Facebook than any other generation. Baby boomers are significantly more likely to engage with text articles than other generations. Boomers care about a lot of the same topics we stereotype as millennial interests. Use the data available to you to analyze what interests your target boomers most and where they spend their time. How do I share infographics on social? In January, Facebook announced it is explicitly downgrading pages (from publishers, brands, individuals, etc.) Facebook still shows love to posts from pages, but only if individual users share them. One interesting piece of advice for page owners: Consider starting a group.

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How do you suggest marketing to an older crowd (55+)?

-Alice, Capetown

Despite being an unmarried 30-year-old whose East Village apartment features a green screen and a life-size cutout of Drake where the dining room should be, I spend a lot of time analyzing this question. Over the past year, I’ve had a number of content strategy projects that focus exclusively on the baby boomer market.

Treating all baby boomers the same is like treating all millennials the same. Grouping together such a diverse demographic will typically leave you with broad generalizations. (That may be just what you need for introductory research.)

At Contently, a big part of our content strategy methodology is analyzing audience groups to determine which topics, formats, and channels will resonate with them the most. We use our own proprietary data as well as a suite of third-party search and social tools to do this. I’d recommend that you do the same (and get your own life-size cutout of Drake).

However, if you’re looking for a good foundation, here are some common trends we’ve seen over the past year.

1. Boomers love Facebook.

According to engagement data, the narrative that millennials are abandoning Facebook has been overblown. But the narrative that baby boomers love Facebook is right on.

In analysis after analysis, Facebook has been the demographic’s network of choice, dominating over 90 percent of engagement with content in some cases. Over 15 percent of boomers spend 11 hours or more on Facebook every week. Per a 2016 Colorado University study, Facebook is more than twice as popular as LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. It’s nine times as popular as Instagram.

How can this data help you? It makes the case for Facebook’s ad offering, which is a great way to get content and other marketing assets in front of boomers. Yes, Facebook has been in more trouble lately than Kanye at a Swing Left rally, but the ad platform is still such a cost-effective channel for all marketers.

2. Prompts to share content work well.

According to a Pew Research study, boomers are 19 percent more likely to share content on Facebook than any other generation. Plus, they haven’t yet been beaten down by brands yelling at them to share with your network or tell us your brand story, the way millennials have.

brand story cartoon
brand story cartoon

3. They still love text articles.

Baby boomers are…

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