Baby boomers are among some of the growing generations to use social media. Contrary to the mid to late 1900s when the only source of entertainment for this generation was radio, modern times have enabled baby boomers to take advantage of the Internet for recreation and finding information. Unlike millennials, this generation also has time and money, which they use to spend online. As a consequence, it is vital that marketing professionals consider ways to target this generation in order to maximize their outreach and sales opportunities.
Who are the baby boomers?
Baby boomers are a group of people born between the years 1946 and 1964. Post World War II, birth rates rose rapidly across the globe in what was observed to be the repercussion of the need to have stability and normalcy in life again. This desire was manifest in the socio-economic conditions of the time, which witnessed shifts in ideologies, the proliferation of businesses, innovations, and other discoveries.
The core values of boomers consist of professional growth, overall well-being, personal appeasement, recognition, and a healthy lifestyle. This generation finds comfort in surroundings which value their personal beliefs and ethics. Most boomers are currently either retired or in the workforce. According to research, boomers have over half of the household wealth and the largest portion of disposable income in the United States, making it very likely for them to be paying customers.
Social media preferences of baby boomers
It is reported that the proportion of boomers who have a television subscription service has declined from 87% in 2014 to 81% in 2020. However, more than half of boomers use their smartphones while more than one third use a different mobile device for communicating. Boomers are responsible for shaping much of the technology that we use today. This generation consists of information seekers that spend much of their time using digital means frequently.
A study revealed that nearly 35% of boomers use the Internet to establish professional networks. They are 19% more likely than other generations to share their thoughts. Not only do the majority of this generation use social media frequently, but they also have distinct opinions on which platforms they should use. As reported by Google, 54% of boomers watch online videos for news, information, and entertainment.
The fact that videos seem to be the most popular content type among boomers is no surprise. Unlike other content, videos are universally liked because they can reach beyond demographic factors and communicate emotions to which everyone can relate to. Among all video sites, YouTube is the most popular and preferred medium by boomers.
Statistics reveal that more than one quarter of the YouTube audience is the baby boomer generation. They spend almost 500 million hours watching YouTube, which is 10% higher than the millennial viewing rate. It was also found that more than 3,600 boomers used Google to search for YouTube every minute of each day. Considering this data, it is useful to first understand why boomers are watching YouTube videos and how marketers can use that as an opportunity to grow their subscriber base.
Why are baby boomers increasingly turning to YouTube?
All of us love YouTube, but baby boomers love it even more. In a survey conducted by YouTube on boomers, several of them revealed that YouTube helps them spend less time watching and gathering information than spending large amounts of time on longer content. Though approximately 10,000 boomers retire each day, their generation is looking to save more time, which they can achieve by using YouTube. Statistics show that boomers are 1.3 times more interested in watching a tutorial video on YouTube rather than reading instructions on a manual.
Further, boomers are turning to YouTube to learn a new skill. A surveyed boomer mentioned that unlike previous generations who had to ask their children when they had to learn something new, she could save energy by finding the same information on YouTube. Nearly one out of three boomers visit YouTube to understand a product or service better. Industries that have the highest YouTube views by boomers include travel, home appliances, entertainment, and telecommunication.
Baby boomers make up a fraction of YouTube subscribers who rely on video for news and entertainment. Watching TV recaps, highlights, and their favorite shows are among the most popular content with this generation. 68% of boomers watch YouTube videos for fun and entertainment, with channels like Star News and Fox News ranking at the top of the list. Knowing such habits and preferences of baby boomers presents brands with an opportunity to expand their list of real YouTube subscribers by finding ways to intentionally target and connect with this generation.
Ways to include more baby boomers as YouTube subscribers
YouTube viewing habits of baby boomers indicate that this generation is attracted to various kinds of content available on the platform. As a result, marketing professionals can implement a wide variety of strategies to grow their composition of YouTube subscribers.
While approaching this demographic, it is helpful to remember that boomers do not prefer to be treated differently than other younger generations. Avoid using terms such as ‘mature’ or ‘senior’ audience when referring to them. Marketing executives note that boomers are not exclusively interested in spending time with people who are their age. Taking a multigenerational approach to video marketing was found to be successful when it came to attracting viewers belonging to this generation.
Further, it has been observed that baby boomers are very optimistic about their futures. This observation can be utilized to offer meaningful video content that describes how to make the most out of life. Based on such preferences, here is a list of strategies that brands can use to get more boomer YouTube subscribers:
Create videos around a specific topic/keyword
Developing content which highlights a single keyword or topic can lead to brand growth and popularity. This is a creative method of acquiring the most viewers for your YouTube content. There are several keyword tools which you can use to locate the most frequently searched keywords by boomers. You could customize your keyword depending on what is generating most views or the kind of product that you are selling.
While using this approach, make sure to select your keyword before creating the video content. This will allow you to construct your video focusing on that specific topic. It also helps you to remember to include the keyword throughout the content such that YouTube can pick it up when closed captions are provided. Upon selecting your keyword, search for videos highlighting the same so that you know who your competitors might be. For maximum engagement, optimize your video title, length and descriptions.
Generate articles and information based videos
Research indicates that the boomer generation is interested in reading textual articles online. They also display an interest in watching educational videos. Their social media preferences indicate that they use the Internet for information gathering in addition to entertainment.
Bearing these interests in mind, brands can increase the number of real YouTube subscribers by using content marketing techniques. Boomers read and share informative articles among their networks, and this could be a useful way to promote your brand. Ensure that your content has shareable links that are easily visible to your audience.
Improve your SEO
Older social media users tend to make use of search engines as a content finding source. Business development professionals can use this to their advantage by improving the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ranking of their YouTube videos. Google provides free and highly valuable tools that you can use to understand your ranking, optimize your site, and gather insights on your content.
Keep active email lists
Baby boomers rely heavily on email for communication. It is believed that 95% of boomers check their email regularly while 92% of them shop frequently online. By segmenting your mailing lists on the basis of age, you can send targeted messages for engaging with boomers about your YouTube content. MailChimp can help you segment your audience base and develop creative content. Constant Contact is another useful tool for providing a personalized experience to your users through email marketing.
One of the most obvious ways to grow the number of boomer subscribers on your YouTube channel is to prompt your viewers. You can find out more information about who is viewing your content once someone subscribes to your channel. Make sure to ask your viewers to subscribe to your channel in every video that you upload. Stay engaged with those who have subscribed to your channel by posting regular updates. Do not pay for subscribers as it could lower your engagement rate and affect the authenticity of your channel in the long term.
Increase the frequency of uploading content: To grow an audience belonging to any generation, you initially need to post content frequently. Uploading one to two videos consistently each week can be beneficial in increasing engagement level. Ensure that your content is informative and creative and that your branding is clear. Use a device with good image and sound qualities to record your videos. Keep your subscribers informed about upcoming content, and make sure to upload your videos in a timely manner.