marketing baby boomers

Generational marketing is a key issue in the field of senior in-home care because our target market is the senior population and their adult children caregivers or guardians. The baby boomer generation, which encompasses people between the ages of 53 and 71, fits both generations.

As the digital senior manager for a 24-hour senior home health corporation, I’ve discovered some key factors about how to market to baby boomers that have helped me attract the attention of our target market. Baby boomers are abundant, affluent and more tech-savvy than you might think. They’ve worked hard all their lives for all they have. They’re healthier and more active than their parents were at the same age, and they’re all about themselves.

1. Baby Boomers Are A Big Audience

Baby boomers make up one of the largest sectors of consumers, so every marketer should be paying attention to effective marketing strategies for baby boomers. Generational studies show that about 70 million people fall into the category of baby boomers. The baby boomer generation is the largest segment of consumers, comprising about 40% of the market share.

2. Baby Boomers Are An Affluent Generation

Employers who seek hard-working candidates will still find them among the baby boomer generation. Baby boomers hold a strong reputation for being diligent, hard workers who have saved and spent wisely.

Studies show that the baby boomer generation controls about 70% of all disposable income in the U.S. The baby boomers are also nicely situated to gain even more wealth. As their parents pass on, studies predict that baby boomers will inherit about $13 trillion to enjoy during their retirement or pass on to their own children.

3. Baby Boomers Are More Tech-Savvy Than You Think

Baby boomers remember the introduction of the first black-and-white and color televisions. It’s important for marketers targeting this generation to remember that baby boomers have grown up with technology over recent decades. They’re more accustomed to technology than you might think, and they use it in different ways than millennials.

During my years of marketing to baby boomers, I’ve learned that the baby boomer generation spends as much time online as they do watching television. It might surprise you to learn that 96% of baby boomers use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop for products and services online rather than shopping in stores and shopping malls.

About 60% of baby boomers spend time reading blogs and online articles as a source of information and intrigue, and about 70% enjoy watching videos about products and services. If you’re looking to market via social media platforms, you’ll find an active audience of baby boomers on Facebook, where they’re happy to post news and photos of their grandchildren and latest vacations.

4. Baby Boomers Are The “Me Generation”

Baby boomers are considered the “me generation” for their self-centered, individualistic attitudes. In marketing to people looking for in-home senior healthcare, I know that seniors want to enjoy their independence as much as possible. In-home senior care lets them have as much freedom as possible while maintaining their dignity. Adult child caregivers and guardians want to be able to care for their parents and still be able to work, enjoy their own families and have some well-earned fun. In-home senior care allows them to take care of their responsibilities and take care of themselves, too.

5. Baby Boomers Are Healthy And Active

A large majority of baby boomers are in the pre-retirement stage of life. They are still working full- or part-time and looking forward to life as empty-nesters. They are working hard to pay off mortgages and other debts and maximize their returns on investments. It’s prudent to pay attention to these baby boomers’ characteristics in marketing. They’re looking for senior care that is reliable, trustworthy and offers a reasonable cost.

Baby boomers have been more health-conscious than their own parents. Medical technology makes it possible for them to live healthier and longer. Unlike their parents, who desired to relax during retirement, the baby boomer generation wants to get out and do all the things they’ve always dreamed of doing. Many seniors can remain active with some help from an in-home caregiver.

Many people are starting to think of the age of 50 as the new 40. Baby boomers aren’t yet thinking of themselves as an aging population. Terms like aging and elderly are a big turnoff, although they don’t mind the terms “seniors” and “senior citizens” as much.

While baby boomers are healthier and more active than their parents, their eyesight is starting to deteriorate. When marketing to this population, I stay mindful of the size and color of fonts. If my target audience can’t easily read our ads and blogs, they’re likely to click on a competitor’s ad quickly.

Because of the size of the baby boomer population, nearly every industry has an audience in this marketing sector. When marketing to baby boomers, it’s important to understand who they are, where they come from, and where they hope to be in the future when getting their attention for your business.

Content Marketing on the blog

This is a fascinating time to be working in the field of marketing. Technology has given us so many interesting options to market our brands and attract our target audiences. One of the things that I love most about my job as digital senior manager for a senior home healthcare company is that the services we provide are very personal. Technology is advancing in ways that help me infuse my company’s message of providing personal care into our digital marketing efforts.

Blogs are a good start toward educating our audience about the benefits of in-home care, but that isn’t enough. We want our customers to get a sense of caring even before they decide to work with us. and infographics, provide a foundation for building that personal relationship.

I have used many different formats of content marketing in my digital marketing strategy, including articles, infographics and videos. Content marketing has helped my company strengthen our brand, earn natural backlinks and increase organic traffic.

Modern content marketing repurposes digital marketing.

When digital marketing became vogue, it was all the rage to maximize keywords to win top SEO rankings. Today’s content marketing approach ties many forms of digital marketing together in a cohesive way. This concept requires bringing people with many different skill sets together.

Our marketing team consists of people who are skilled in production, content distribution, branding, optimization, advertising, social media and analytics. Their combined talents create a synergy that unites our message across content marketing channels. These efforts work together not just to attract our target market, but to actively engage them and interact with them in a personal way.

Content marketing involves telling stories that help people relate.

Some people within our target audience are looking for information about our services. Scheduling in-home care is new territory for many of our first-time customers. That’s why we post blogs on informative topics, like health concerns, costs and more, to help them reach a comfort level with our services.

Our audience also wants to read facts about senior in-home care on the fly and in a succinct format, so I added colorful, well-designed infographics to our content marketing plan. Infographics are eye-catching and jam-packed with useful statistics that keep potential clients engaged and wanting to learn more.

One of the hottest new trends in content marketing is short, informative videos. This is one of the best ways to establish a personal connection with your audience. Through our videos, potential customers see people who are the same age and in the same stage of life. Our videos demonstrate to them that they are not alone in needing a little help or in asking for help for a loved one. Videos engage our audience because they get to see the types of services that we provide in action and how they provide a sense of comfort, help and relief to our customers. Our goal is to create a beautiful picture of how helpful our services could be for them. Video is also a good format for sharing testimonials. If your existing customers are willing to share the positive experiences they’ve had, include their testimonials on your blog, infographics and website.

Content marketing successfully delivers our message of caring for people across multiple digital marketing channels. Through collective and consistent messaging, our clients learn that they can trust us to deliver the personal care that our branding projects.

Content marketing is getting smarter.

As a digital marketer, keep a pulse on new trends in marketing, especially regarding artificial intelligence, Siri advancements, virtual assistants and the Internet of Things. The future of content marketing is sure to be even more interactive. I’m continually seeking new and innovative ways to use technology to enhance my company’s branding efforts.

Content is a base that marketers use as inspiration for other marketing vehicles.

Content in a written format is no longer our company’s entire platform. It’s an integral part of our expanded platform. I consider written content a springboard for developing other forms of digital marketing media. The challenge is taking the best parts of written content and learning what other media formats can take it to the next level. For example, we use much of the same content in our free, educational blog posts as we use in our ebooks. We may highlight the value that our service brings in other formats like infographics and video. The overall results bring the highest level of communication and engagement to our brand.

Moving from digital marketing to content marketing is only the first stage in marketing strategy. Advancements in technology will guide the direction of the next phase of content marketing. As a dedicated marketer, I’ll be on the lookout for the skills that our agency needs to keep our marketing efforts fresh and relevant. One thing that won’t change is my commitment to content marketing that keeps our target market connected in personal, caring ways.

Developing A Marketing Plan

During my tenure as a marketer in the senior in-home healthcare field, I’ve learned that aging adults want to live in the comfort of their own homes for as long as they can, and their adult children would be happy to be their caregivers if they weren’t so overwhelmed by their duties.

Where did I learn all this? From our clients.

In my role as the digital senior manager for a 24-hour senior home-care company, I’ve taken feedback from clients and used it to develop our marketing plan.

Use client feedback to develop a marketing plan.

Your salespeople interact with clients and prospects every day, so you can leverage their knowledge base to access client feedback. I have a weekly call with our sales team when they share insights about our clients. We talk about challenges and look for solutions. You should keep your sales team engaged and updated about what you are doing so they know what to ask and can address client challenges. We engage our sales team with a monthly newsletter and internal contests.

Also, you can develop a marketing plan based on buyer personas. We have multiple buyer personas: the adult child, the referral source (social worker), and the senior who oversees their own home-care plans.

Here’s an example of the information we’ve used to create a buyer persona for adult children caregivers: We heard the concerns of family caregivers when they told us that the requirements of taking care of seniors are more demanding than they could have imagined. I’ve seen the adult children try to do it all – provide quality care to their aging parents while managing their own family and affairs at home. Adult children of aging seniors are exhausted and burned out, placing their own health at risk. Not knowing what to do, they get their own families started on the day, spend the rest of the day caring for their parents, and return home in the early evening to tend to their own families. Before long, chronic stress and fatigue set in and they’re ready to throw up their hands and seek out alternative means of care.

Keep an eye on trends and practice active listening. 

As a senior in-home care marketer, I keep my eye on trends in senior care. No matter your industry, attend webinars and read publications. There are many resources available to stay on top of trends that will impact your marketing efforts and your ability to help your customers.

Another key to learning about the types of products and services your target audience needs is practicing active listening skills. For example, I listen to family caregivers and steer them toward the funding sources that they have available to them. Most people are familiar with some of the more common resources like Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, but those programs don’t help everyone or cover all services.

Learning more about a family’s circumstances tells me whether they have a life insurance policy with accelerated benefits or a long-term care insurance policy that allows flexibility of funds to be used for in-home senior care, and I can use this information to better advise them on their options.

Feature success stories and educational content.

Listening to our clients as well as the families and showing them how they can arrange for in-home senior caregiving helped us to develop a marketing platform that quickly directs senior caregivers to the services they need most. And with the launch of our new website, we can share our successes with prospective clients.

To optimize your website for conversions, you can create a success stories page to feature successful testimonials from your clients. This is a great way to convert website visitors into customers.

Educational content that answers frequently-asked questions is another way to appeal to potential customers. We are working on a price page to educate people about the cost of home care. This page will show referential price depending on the state. You can also build an online content library (with blog posts, articles and infographics) where users can navigate and find answers to their questions. After all, you are there to help!

The clients that I’ve worked with have taught me a lot, from how collective sibling agreements work when caring for aging parents to the unexpected demands of senior care. And by learning from them, I can constantly improve our marketing efforts to show how our services can be of assistance. That’s why you should always be listening to and leveraging feedback from your customers.

Topic Clusters Top Rankings

Marketers are always looking for strategies to gain top rankings in search engines. Just when you think you’ve tried every keyword and linking strategy known to man, the search engines change their algorithms. You find yourself going back to the drawing board to beat your competitors with a new strategy.

The latest algorithm updates put a new spin on SEO ranking. Keywords and linking are still relevant, but SEO is evolving and favoring a new model called topic clusters. Using topic clusters requires new ways of thinking about SEO. It also requires changing the architecture of your content.

Why Search Engines Keep Changing

Search engines keep changing because consumer behavior keeps changing. Technology is evolving, and consumers are evolving with it. They’re learning how to use it, which also means they are expecting more from it. For example, people are no longer putting the word “housekeeper” into the search box. They’re more likely to input a sophisticated phrase, such as “find me a reputable and reasonably priced housekeeper in Boston.” The customer will be looking for results that are accurate and relevant.

Every time there’s a change in consumer behavior, search engine developers get busy redesigning their algorithms to match consumer behavior. The Google Panda update in 2011 forced digital marketers to stop overusing keywords and start producing quality content. Some marketers thought that the Hummingbird update was the official switch to changing SEO patterns because it focuses on phrases rather than keywords.

In 2015, the RankBrain update broke the mold with a machine-learning algorithm that could understand phrases in search queries and put them together with the customer’s intended context. Google picks up multiple phrases and keywords from past searches on similar topics. In this way, the search engine “sees” what the consumer is looking for within the intended context. According to HubSpot research, after the RankBrain update, websites that had greater numbers of interlinks got better placements in search results. Sites with a lot of interlinks also got more impressions. 

Using topic clusters creates many interlinks. This new marketing strategy tells the search engine that you’re an authority on the subject because you have the highest quality of content, and it links to many other pages of high-quality content on the same topic. I like to think of topic clusters as spokes on a wheel. A single pillar page acts as the main hub.

Our pillar is in-home care for seniors. I set up several subtopics, such as senior care costs, quality senior care, care for Alzheimer’s and memory loss, etc. These topics form the center of the hub. Then, I expand on each topic with many more articles, linking each one to the center hub and to the others. A content hub about in-home costs for seniors might include interlinked articles about how much in-home care costs, how families fund it, how to blend family caregiving and professional care, and more. I then do the same with the other subtopics to create cleaner, more streamlined content architecture.

These topic clusters signal to the search engine that my company’s website covers our industry with a wide lens. It tells them that we’re a leading authority on in-home care. The result is that they’ll reward my efforts with a higher ranking.

Tips And Tricks For Topic Clustering

Try to keep the subtopic broad enough that you could easily add 30-40 posts on topics related to it. The topics that you add to the subtopic hub must have some type of connection. Each subtopic should cover one area of knowledge related to your industry. The interlinking topics connected by spokes (links) take your audience into greater detail.

Put solid thought into your subtopics. Are there any topics that you need to compete with other companies over? What do your customers need to know more about? Map out the problems that you know your customers have, and create subtopics around problems that you can help solve with your solutions. Take a look at your frequently asked questions to spark your imagination for even more topics. If your customers are asking the same questions, you need to create content to answer them.

Using topic clusters doesn’t mean that you should forget about other marketing strategies like keywords. I still use them in the content of the articles I create and add to the subtopic hub.

Looking Toward The Future Of Topic Clustering

Give yourself time to create new clusters for topics. A helpful resource for creating your new content architecture is to repurpose and revamp existing content. After it’s been on the web for a while, you can measure the results and restrategize if necessary.

Developers are also taking a look at how new tools can help website owners analyze and master cluster topic strategies. As a marketer, I look forward to these resources.

User Intent For Online Searches

Each new Google update sends me and every other digital marketer back to the drawing board to re-strategize on how to use keywords and content to get the best traffic. The sophistication of Google’s algorithm rises to new levels with each update, which presents interesting challenges for marketers. I’m always up for the challenge, and the latest update was no different.

Some things at Google haven’t changed much at all. Its algorithms are still interested in SEO and keywords. Numbers, which have always held a crucial place in my marketing plans, are also still an important part of its algorithms. My strategy places a unique focus on SEO as it relates to user intent. “User intent” is a term that gets the strategic wheels turning in my head. So, what is user intent?

Defining User Intent

User intent is changing how search engines see content and has made it more difficult for marketers to decipher and build new strategies. Essentially, Google isn’t just taking the words in the search box literally. It wants to know and understand, “What is the user’s intent?”

Obviously Google’s algorithms aren’t smart enough to read a user’s mind. The search engine is smart enough, however, to figure out how to get behind the categories of user intent. I recognized two categories of user intent and SEO that helped me revise my marketing plans accordingly.

User Intent And SEO

Thinking about some of the idiosyncrasies of the English language helped me understand user intent and SEO. We can’t always take words at face value unless we know the proper context. For example, what do you think of when you hear the word “jam”? Were you thinking of this morning’s traffic jam? Maybe you jammed your toe in the door, and you’re still feeling the pain. Perhaps you packed a delicious sandwich for lunch with peanut butter and strawberry jam.

If a user puts the word “jam” in the search box, Google wants to know which context the user intended. Typically, users are looking for information based on the keyword, or they’re just looking for general information on the topic.

When the word “jam” appears by itself, Google has to find a rating in terms of how it meets the needs of the user. That rating falls somewhere between “fails to meet” and “fully meets.” The search engine would likely pull up queries regarding all three meanings because“jam” is an ambiguous word with multiple meanings. Google’s rules won’t allow this word to be “fully met” under these circumstances.

User Intent Vs. Query

Google doesn’t respond well to words with unclear meanings. The new algorithm looks for clues regarding user intent vs. query words. User intent usually goes along the lines of:

• Something they want to do

• Something they want to know

• Someplace they want to go

Do, know, go is the user intent that Google tries to uncode. Search words can indicate that a user wants to make a transaction or do something — book a hotel, buy a book, find a job or buy a jar of that amazing strawberry jam.

In my experience, users who search for something they want or need use their mobile devices about half the time. It’s common for them to do some online searching and finalize the transaction later on a desktop or laptop. Google picks up on the idea that a lot of mobile users are just doing preliminary browsing.

Other words tell the search engine that users want to know something in real time. They are information words. For example, what time is it in another time zone? When does the store close? What time will the train arrive? When will that traffic jam lighten up?

Google often puts know-something posts at the top of the page in position zero, giving users some of the information they’re seeking without giving it all away. Position-zero posts might give you an idea of traffic flow at a certain destination, but you have to click through to find the state of the traffic in real time.

If people aren’t looking to do something or know something, they know right where they want to go — online, that is. They know enough to tell Google almost exactly the type of site they’re looking for. The user with an aching toe is going to tell Google they need to go to a site that tells them how to make it feel better.

Voice activation is starting to play a big role in go searches. The general public is just getting acquainted with Siri and Alexa. As more people gain familiarity with voice activation, and as voice activation becomes more sophisticated and translates more accurately, technology will make it easier for Google to identify go searches in addition to do and know searches.

Moving forward, be strategic about ambiguous words and words with multiple meanings. I’ll still be optimizing my content for keywords and SEO. I’ll just be selecting my keywords from the perspective of user intent and considering the impact of do, know, go. Google updates and data analysis will tell me when I need to modify my strategy.