How to target baby boomers through paid ads

The baby boomer generation seems like an afterthought when you're targeting your paid marketing campaigns, but they still hold a lot of the country's wealth and remain a major demographic for shopping.

When was the baby boomer generation born?

Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. With a share of 23.5 percent as of 2019, this generation still makes up a large part of the population. In fact, they were the greatest generation in history until millennials surpassed them.

The baby boomers had a major influence on social and economic policy and were the target group of many marketing and advertising campaigns for decades.

The term “baby boomer” actually comes from the fact that there was a high birth rate after the soldiers returned from World War II. Due to their high numbers and their growth into adulthood at a time of economic prosperity, they are also considered to be one of the most financially successful generations of all time.

What is different about the baby boomer generation?

This article focuses on the best strategies to deliver paid ads and marketing campaigns to boomers. To do this, you need to understand the personality traits, interests and habits of the generation.

Remember that the majority of this generation are reaching retirement age.

However, your retirement may look very different from previous generations. 65 percent do not plan to retire. This is not only due to financial difficulties. Many enjoy their jobs, find their hours valuable, and find it important to stay active and engaged in order to stay youthful.

They are also more likely to spend money than previous generations. Her parents and grandparents were pretty closely connected to their pennies due to growing up during the Depression era.

Compared to younger generations, boomers are rightly able to adapt to technology a little more slowly, and rightly so. Many still use landlines and write checks instead of using debit cards.

Nor do they have the same confidence in technology as younger generations. While younger generations accept (and agree to) that the internet is a security risk, many boomers have not felt the need to take the risk.

Building trust is therefore far more important than design and aesthetics. Trust, brand loyalty, reputation, and safety are critical to paid advertising campaigns for baby boomers.

Why You Should Target Baby Boomers Through Paid Ads

Why should one turn to this generation at all? Why not focus on Millennials and Gen-X instead?

That's because this generation still makes up a large part of the population.

They also own a lot of the land and work past retirement age, which means they are still spending money.

Interestingly, they are the only generation seeing workforce growth, so their impact on the economy is still very real. Plus, 40 percent spend money online, which opens the door to more opportunities.

The big question is whether you own a business that could potentially benefit from targeting baby boomers. What are their current interests and what types of products are they buying? Considering these individuals are between 57 and 75 years old, what marketing traits for baby boomers should you implement?

First, any company that offers accurate and actionable financial opportunities could be one. We are finding that more of this generation are still looking for opportunities at an older age and the days of “retirement on the porch” are over.

Companies that sell products to help seniors stay in their homes or make their lives easier also have better chances of selling to that generation.

It's less about what you sell and more about how you sell it.

Strategies for Targeting Baby Boomers Through Paid Ads

Always think of ethics first and foremost. There are so many slimy marketing methods out there for people who are not that “tech savvy”. You don't want to go that route. There are too many great ways to add value to baby boomers while building your brand.

Marketing to baby boomers is all about trust, brand, reputation, simplicity and transparency. Keep these five factors in mind as you go through the next few sections.

1. Target the social platforms that baby boomers use the most

Most baby boomers are represented on Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. So you should focus on these three platforms.

Facebook has a wide variety of ads and ad types that you can use, such as: B. Carousel Ads, Videos, Static Images, Sidebars, and Pre-Roll Ads. Each of these has its time and place, but you want to make sure it isn't too intrusive. Remember, "click baits" won't work on boomers because they don't trust you.

Remember, this generation grew up on infomercials, the ultimate bait and switch.

When promoting on YouTube, think about what that person might be doing on YouTube when they see your ad. What are you looking at? What are you looking for? Every third person uses YouTube to learn something. You don't waste all day watching videos for entertainment like younger generations might be.

Many of them also turn to YouTube to save time. They learn they can quickly look up something on YouTube to get the information they want, instead of going through dozen of TV channels to find the right media source.

You want to save time and learn something.

2. Use topics in your paid ads that address trends in the boomer generation

Marketing to baby boomers is about addressing their feelings and emotions. The same goes for every generation.

What do you feel?

We know the majority are likely to have grandchildren, so they may be online looking for activities related to their grandchildren or gifts.

Many of them won't be retiring anytime soon, so they may be looking for solutions to make their professional retirement more enjoyable. This could save time or help them learn a new skill that they can turn into an extra income in retirement.

After all, boomers don't want to depend on their children as much as other generations. They value independence, they want to stay in their homes and they don't like it when people classify them as "older" or "older".

3. Create an easy-to-use paid ads strategy

The Baby Boomer target market didn't grow up with technology, smartphones, retargeting ads, or artificial intelligence. Regardless of how you look at it, they don't have the skills to understand a complicated display.

If you make it too complicated, you will lose interest.

You need to make sure that the whole experience, front-to-back, is simple, quick, trustworthy, and as transparent as possible. Take a walk through your entire funnel or sales process and look for areas that baby boomers can stumble upon.

Your price should be up front and in the middle right at the start. Do not try to lure them with videos to seduce them as it will not work. Your ad needs to be straightforward.

Essentially, "I have it, that's how much it costs and that's how you get it."

3. Use Baby Boomer Language in your paid ads

Avoid using terms like elderly, senior, golden years, aging, etc. They don't refer to that language as most boomers don't see themselves that way. They don't want to relax like previous generations. Boomers still have a strong zest for life that they may resent being labeled "old".

This is where it gets difficult. You can't call them old, but you don't want to use "too new" language either. While they're not as contactless as their predecessors, they're still not up to date when it comes to trends and internet slang.

If they can't understand your ad or what you're offering, move on. Simplicity is the goal. Promoting boomers is actually easier because you don't have to do anything special to get attention but still have to say the right things.

Millennials are so numb to marketing that you have to slap them in the face that you have to be smart to get their attention. The same does not apply to boomers. For them, it's all about trust. If they trust you, they'll listen to you.

4th Use different types of content that appeal to baby boomers in your paid ads

This generation takes longer to make a purchase. You grew up shopping in person or calling and speaking to a live representative to make a purchase. They wrote checks and money orders and did everything slowly. They won't reply to you talking a mile a minute about the latest and greatest product they've never heard of before.

You won't take your word for it either. You have to show them that it works. Including videos as part of your content is an important step in the right direction, as is social evidence.

Boomers also value brand loyalty and believe that you should earn rewards for consistently shopping for certain brands and companies. That is why most of them are members of loyalty programs.

You can use this to your advantage by creating a loyalty program or offering a discount for signing up for an annual service.

Examples of Paid Ads for Baby Boomers

Let's look at some examples and break them down so you can see what we're talking about in action.

Example of a paid ad for baby boomers

As you watch this first ad, do you think it will work for humans in the baby boomer years?

Probably not.

You probably won't understand, understand why the person has a beard or what the goal is here.

We might find them saying you need a great razor to clean up so you can get kissed, but it's a reach. Such a display may be too "modern" for the older generation.

Example of paid aid for baby boomers

Here's a perfect example of where if you keep it simple it wins. This ad is not creative. It's plain and simple.

The ad tells you it's the best straight razor and here's why. The only thing that could be better is a description of how many razors you get, how much they cost, and how long on average they will last.

Transparency is sweet and clichéd.

Example of an ad for baby boomers

How about this ad? Any idea why we think it's a bad choice for boomers? They made people look their age with a stick, how they were dressed, how they used the word "senior" and how they said, "Have fun moving."

This ad is patronizing, and portrays baby boomers in ways they can't see themselves. The truth is, most of them are still pretty active.


Understanding how to market to baby boomers is still a relevant topic, and we believe it will be another decade or so. This generation still holds a large economic stake, is still active and showing no signs of slowing down. The key is to focus on Facebook and YouTube.

If you are new to these two platforms, there are several resources available to you. No matter what, a definitive buyer personality is the key to all marketing. So start there and the rest will come.

What unique strategies are you using to target baby boomers? Let me know in the comments!

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