Baby Boomers Consume More Online Content than Any Other Generation

Boomers Online Content

Baby Boomers Consume More Online Content than Any Other Generation

Don’t let anyone tell you that Baby Boomers aren’t internet users. The fact is, more than 80% of Boomers go online daily – up from 39% in 2010. That’s a 105% increase in internet usage by Boomers in just 8 years.

Social media is fueling this growth. According to research conducted by the Pew Center in 2017, social media usage among audiences 50+ years of age has increased 1000% since 2006.

Boomers devour written content

Boomers are purposeful, goal-oriented internet users. When they go online, they’re looking for something. It’s the marketer’s job to help them find it.

The key to a successful content strategy is the level of perceived authenticity. However, what makes content authentic differs significantly from Millennials to Boomers. For Millennials, authenticity is tied to imagery: the use of real people rather than models, for example.

8 out of 10 Boomers research products online

The vast majority of Boomers – over 80% — research a product online before making a major purchase. For them, authenticity of content is tied to information:  they want relevant content about a product or service. And they want it in writing: while Millennials prefer information delivered in 140 characters, Boomers are avid readers. More often than not, 1000 words is worth far more than a picture.

What kind of content do Boomers respond to?

It’s important to find a balance of emotional and analytical content. Brain function becomes more balanced as you age. Decision-making in Boomers tends to start in the intuitive right brain, then transfers to the analytical left brain. Emotional content (storytelling, testimonials) is most effective at establishing the need for a product or service, while analytical content (“how-to” articles and videos, side-by-side comparisons) helps create preference for a particular solution.

Use digital as a top-of-funnel strategy

While Boomers are comfortable researching products and services online, they’re less comfortable buying online, especially when it comes to giving out personal information. They overwhelmingly prefer to buy offline – either in store or by phone. They want to talk to a person before they buy, especially for major purchases. Three-fourths of all Boomers believe that a phone call is the quickest way to get a response.

To reach the Boomer, brands need to concentrate their digital strategies on top-of-funnel tactics, creating valuable content that can engage, inform and build relationships. Focus on a strong content strategy aimed at generating awareness, consideration and preference. Leave bottom-of-funnel conversion to the offline media tactics that have shaped the Boomer’s brand perceptions for more than half a century.

Combining a strong digital presence with traditional, conversion-focused direct response media represents your best chance for attracting the Boomer consumer.