Posted in on October 31, 2019

Five Things to Avoid When Marketing to Baby Boomers


Sometimes, it’s easy to tell when certain things should be avoided. Like that large puddle of water that may or may not be three feet deep, for example. Or, better yet, not setting your alarm so you won’t be late in the morning. But what about when you’re marketing to Baby Boomers? What are words you to avoid saying or images you want to avoid showing?

Here are five things you should consider when marketing to Baby Boomers so that you can motivate — not alienate — your prospects.

1. Avoid Slang and Abbreviations When Marketing to Baby Boomers

You may know what “lol” or” smh” mean, but some Baby Boomers may not. That’s why we recommend passing on the internet shorthand when marketing to Baby Boomers.

Every generation has slang terms its members use. You may use some yourself. But if, before reading this blog, you were unaware that lol means “laugh out loud” and smh stands for “shaking my head,” you can see why it’s generally best to avoid using slang in marketing.

This is especially true if the slang mostly resonates with one demographic — such as lol does with Millennials — and not another (Baby Boomers).  There’s a high likelihood your message will be misunderstood. Since consumers won’t want to buy a product that confuses them, it’s best to keep your message clear and concise and you’ll gain more traction.

2. Don’t Fool Your Baby Boomers with Clickbait Headlines

Baby Boomers are as digitally savvy as they’ve ever been, and they won’t fall for clickbait headlines. You’ll want to avoid writing headlines that are vague, don’t offer the reader any benefits and lack urgency. You want to make sure to write headlines that will hook the reader in and promise a solution to a problem they are trying to solve or the answer they are looking for. If you’re struggling with creating a compelling headline, use this tried and true formula as inspiration: number+adjective+keyword+promise. For example, 5 Unique Benefits for Life at (Your Community).

When trying to develop your headline’s promise, think about some of the things Baby Boomers value, such as family, health and finances, and build the rest of the headline from there.

3. Don’t Downplay Digital Marketing’s Effect on Baby Boomers

Eighty-eight percent of Baby Boomers are online. If you haven’t gone all in on digital marketing yet, you’re missing out on an opportunity to meet your prospects where they are.

So, just where are most of these Boomers while surfing the web? Ninety-one percent of them can be found reading or sending emails. An additional 70% are using search engines to find information about products prior to purchase, including senior living options. So Don’t let your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy fall by the wayside. If you’ve taken the “set and forget” approach with SEO, now is a good time to refresh your paid search campaign and ensure you’re targeting the keywords your prospects are searching for so that they can find your community in search engine page results.

Like other consumer demographics, Baby Boomers are careful to do their research before they buy. They like to read reviews and recommendations, and even visit the company’s site to research the product.

4. Avoid Calling Baby Boomers “Old”

If there’s one thing boomers don’t like, it’s being called “old.” Many of them are still living active lifestyles and don’t see themselves as old. So, what do you call this group? “Active adults” is a term that’s gained prominence in the industry and is a good starting point.

The imagery you use in your marketing materials should reflect that. Whether it shows them kayaking or working out, active, aspirational imagery will resonate with your prospects, who don’t see themselves as old. Avoid using overly clinical imagery similar to the ones which were so prevalent in the industry not too long ago. The perception prospects will have of your community is the one you project.

5. Avoid Thinking Social Media Isn’t for Baby Boomers

Although Baby Boomers are less likely to use Twitter and Instagram, Facebook has become the go-to social media network for 72% of the generation. And the opportunities to market to this generation on Facebook is worth your investment. The family-oriented Boomers like to use the platform to connect with their loved ones, and if they see your ad or post and it engages them, they’ll click through to find out more.

With this group spending 27 hours per week online, that’s plenty of screen time to catch their click. You could boost a post about an upcoming event or display an ad that touts the active lifestyle they could live at your community. The possibilities are endless!

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