One of the first and most critical lessons you can learn in Internet marketing is to know your audience. Know who is your ideal customer and then figure out how you can best reach that exact demographic. But before you can target your ideal customer, you need to figure out the user groups that will not only be most attracted to what you have to offer, but also the ones that are most likely to convert, however you choose to define a conversion.
This is true if you’re an online retailer selling your own goods and services, an affiliate marketer promoting products from various vendors, or if you’re a content creator who wants to expand your reach and grow your audience. Broad-sweeping campaigns typically aren’t successful, because they are not catering the message to suit the audience. A teenager living in the midwest with his low-income family is probably not going to have the same interests and inclinations as a young urban professional living alone in the San Francisco Bay area earning a Silicon Valley salary.
And if you follow many of the rumblings on the Internet, they’ll tell you that millennials are both the most elusive and the most valuable users you can get on your side. People will say these younger users are increasingly on mobile or how you can need to connect with them on Snapchat. You might hear that native advertising and other alternative strategies are more effective, because more millennials use ad blockers so traditional methods don’t work. But that doesn’t mean you should focus your energies exclusively on millennials.
In fact, you might want to look in entirely the other direction. You see those wrinkled fingers on grandma’s hand? Those fingers are anxious to click on your ads and tap on the “buy now” button on your website. The older generation is getting more and more tech-savvy by the day and reaching out to this demographic only through traditional advertising is no longer enough. They’re online and this growing demographic represents a huge opportunity for Internet marketers.
The first wave of “baby boomers” were born shortly after the end of World War II, starting around 1946. People born that year are now 70. And all the boomers who followed are not far along. This means that the senior population is growing and targeting this demographic can prove especially lucrative.
The stereotype that grandma and grandpa are baffled by modern technology is proving increasingly untrue. Many of these boomers in their pre-retirement years are and were using technology as part of their work. It only makes sense that they know they’re way around computers too. In fact, a DMN3 study illustrated that 96% of boomers use search engines, 95% use email and 92% shop online.
Given this, directing your social media campaign at older users might not be quite as effective as you might hope, even though more and more of these users are flocking to Facebook to connect with family members around the world. Instead, your advertising budget and focus is perhaps better spent on search engine marketing (SEM) and email marketing. The money, as you’ve heard so many times before, is in the list.
The same study indicated that baby boomers tend to spend more time on a computer (laptop or desktop) than they do on a mobile device, especially when compared to other age groups. While mobile should continue to be a big part of your strategy, recognizing this difference could shift some of your priorities. At the same time, that trend is probably going to be shifting as more people in general spend more time on tablets and smartphones.
We have to remember that baby boomers control 70% of disposable income in the United States. As an Internet marketer, you need to follow the money. And if this group of “older” users has control over all that cash, you’d be foolish to ignore their buying power.
Being young and hip might be cool, but being old and rich isn’t exactly terrible either.