Millennials might soon be larger in number, but they don’t have the biggest buying power.
When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s hard not to immediately think of 20-something bloggers and an audience in the same age range. The Census Bureau estimates that millennials in the US will overtake Baby Boomers this year in terms of numbers, as millennials are estimated to reach 73 million, while Boomers will go down to 72 million. The younger demographic is also known to be tech- and social media-savvy, which is why most online campaigning has been targeted towards them.
While the figures don’t lie, they also don’t paint a complete picture. Millennials might soon be larger in number, but they don’t have the biggest buying power.
USA Today reported that Baby Boomers make up 41.6% of consumer spending. Those aged 55 and above have more spending power, says consumer behavior expert Marshal Cohen. Boomers are followed by Gen Xers who account for 23.7% of consumer spending. To compare, millennials only account for 12.7%.
Older generations also spend more time on the web than you might think, as 75% of Gen Xers and 57% of Boomers use social media. The numbers have risen significantly from previous surveys, which show that older adults are adopting tech.
In fact, one often-cited statistic is that Baby Boomers spend 27 hours browsing the web every week. But instead of using newer social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, more mature generations like to go on Facebook the most. Media Post stated that they are ‘19% more likely to share content’ on the site compared to other generations. They tend to respond the most to short-form videos instead of Insta-worthy images.
How to market to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers
Influencer marketing which targets older generations and millennials has some key differences. This entails an in-depth look at psychographics, which Find Your Influence previously discussed as the reason behind consumer purchasing habits. Consumption patterns for older generations show that they look for service more than products. They care more about health, travel, entertainment rather than the latest car model or stylish trends. This is because people start to focus more about improving their quality of life rather than acquiring more material things as they mature.
Look for influencers who really understand the lifestyles and needs of older people. If you must use younger influencers, make sure that they don’t portray themselves as having the same needs as mature generations. Instead, they can influence a younger person close to your targeted consumer who can then persuade their purchasing habit, like their adult children for example. The influencers employed for your campaign should also address audiences in their own voice for authenticity purposes.
Carefully select the platform that you launch your campaign on. Facebook is your best option for older generations if you use informative videos. It should be clear in the content what the value proposition is for mature consumers to engage. Don’t be afraid to post in blog format as well because Gen Xers and Baby Boomers read a lot of written content online.
By ignoring the numbers that complete the picture, brands can lose out on potential segments. Influencers have become vital to digital advertising with the rise of social media and it naturally paved the way for the growth of skilled communications and marketing professionals. In fact, a Maryville University post cited reports that 22,900 positions will open for public relation specialists up until 2026. They are well versed in creating content that translates across different platforms. This is important in taking into account the different kinds of people that use a variety of social media sites and the kinds of content they engage with.
The bottom line is that older generations, particularly Generation X and Baby Boomers, are a very profitable niche. They have a literal wealth of resources just waiting to be tapped into.
Especially written for findyourinfluence.com Gillian Pryce