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How To Advertise To South African Pensioners
Our senior citizens aren't often a target for many businesses, as they reach retirement or are retirement age. Spending habits change and older people tend to be a little more frugal with their spending relative to when they were at the peak of their income earning potential. Pensioners in South Africa are not an exception to the rule. However, many businesses in South Africa tend to think these people are not a worthwhile target for their marketing.
The thing is pensioners are technically the richest they've ever been, sitting on nest eggs; they've worked their entire life to acquire. They may have scaled-down in terms of the income they get from investments, but that doesn't mean they don't have disposable income should they feel it necessary to spend.
Marketing to seniors
When you think of marketing to seniors, you might joke and think it's about increasing the size of fonts and displaying images of older people in your advertising. The modern senior may not be as out of touch as you may think and while they may have been at the tail end of the digital revolution, it doesn't mean they've excluded themselves from the market.
Once you understand how the modern senior operates, you can then divide the best marketing mix to suit your budget and reach the Gen Z and boomer generation with your targetted messaging.
If you're going to approach seniors, you need to understand their experience levels and frame of mind, and you will have to concede to some broad generalisations about their generation if you are to successfully market to this crowd.
1. Use relatable language
Marketing to any demographic is about speaking in terms they understand, so perhaps lay off the abbreviations, hashtags and TikTokking and a general rule of thumb would be to avoid using teenage jargon, trendy language, and internet slang.
Unlike Millenials and the younger generation who focus on social equity, brand identity and political standings, the older generation is more pragmatic; they want to know if its value for money and how it improves their quality of life.
Anything else is wasting their time, so make sure your message is clear and concise.
2. Don't assume other people make their buying decision
Just because you've got arthritis or a few extra wrinkles doesn't mean you're helpless, don't pander to seniors or assume they are helpless and don't make their own decisions. Most retirees are pretty darn sprightly and use their free time to do whatever they want. Some may be looking after grandkids and but that doesn't mean they're not prone a value for money holiday or treating themselves. If you spent 50+ years working, you're going to be inclined to treat yourself now and again.
Seniors aren't stingy; they just want you to do a good job to convince them to part with their cash.
3. Understand their criteria
Seniors, they don't necessarily want the same things a teenager wants, but that doesn't mean they don't want the same product. You can sell the same product to anybody as long as you can discover why they would want it. They want something that solves a problem or brings better quality or time saving to their lives, focus on how the product does that and more often than not, they'll be keen to know more.
4. Make digital things easy
Unlike today's generation, Gen X and Baby boomers didn't grow up with an iPhone attached at the hip, so requiring certain actions on a website or app may not come as second nature. They get quickly frustrated with technology so make sure you design clear instructions or make the user flow simple. Try to use interactive media or symbols, so they don't have to break out the reading glasses to read your entire T&Cs just to get where you want them to go.
5. Use omnichannel marketing
People are naturally drawn to what is familiar. Since seniors grew up receiving physical ads like newspaper coupons and catalogues in the mail, it makes sense to market to them through this channel. The older generation prefers something tangible they can hold in their hands, like leaflets or cards. And if you don't already have one, the internet makes it easy for you to print your catalogues without going anywhere.
6. Personalise the experience
When the older crowd grew up without automation, and they respect and expect quality customer service. They want to speak to a real person; they want to hear a voice, see a face, and appreciate that assurance that there are faces behind the business. Ensure you cater to all these forms of contact, like calls, having a physical location, having testimonials or showcasing your team and their credentials.
Experienced campaigners aren't going to be taken for a ride and have grown up with a healthy dose of scepticism. So beware, you're not going to pull a fast one on golden gals and guys.
Marketing channels to target seniors
Remember not all seniors can be lumped into one bucket and there are ones hanging around on Twitter and TikTok, but an effective marketing strategy is about focusing your efforts when was the best return on effort and investment would be and these options below tend to work far better than others.
While the rest of us are pressed for time because we waste so much of it on Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest or binge-watching on VOD sites, the retiree has the luxury to take their time and watch television. If you have an above the line budget for it, TV is always a great option to reach out to those who have time to watch TV during the workday.
2. Direct display advertising
Some retirees prefer to spend their time in retirement villages where they surrounded by a community of like-minded people, and they can spend their days enjoying one another's company. These villages are by no means isolated, and most can come and go as they please. Reaching out to them in these communities, however, is another story.
Many of the shared facilities often have televisions used for entertainment and notice boards. You can reach out to suppliers of direct display ads at retirement villages and have your ads running on these TV screens.
The advantage of this method is your messaging is often uninterrupted and can be shown several times, driving up impressions to a highly targetted group of people.
Seniors still love to take the time to read, while many of us prefer our news via short articles, social media, Alexa briefings, or RSS feeds. The senior tends to favour the stained ink pages of the local newspaper. Depending on the locations and the regions you would like to target you could spread your budget between regional and local newspapers and look to A/B test various placement or inserts.
4. Content marketing
Seniors are Googling, and many of them BING (as it's the default on many a windows device) and they're asking search engines all sorts of questions. If you're not answering these questions, you're losing out on possible traffic and leads. Creating content specific to pensioners issues and needs with the help of keyword research can help you reach the right demographics without having to chase after them.
Unlike the younger generation who prefer chatbots and engaging via DM's the senior tends to favour the email, they'll take the time to read your long-form messages, click your links and see what you have to say. Well crafted regular emails not only keep you top of mind but encourage seniors to recall your brand when its time to purchase a something you provide. They tend to store old emails and hardly clear their mailbox but use it as a reminder for later.
Be sure to include product keywords in your email so scenarios can searcht heir mailbox for the product they want and pull up your email to contact you.
Much to the dismay of teenagers and older Millenials, seniors have begun to dominate Facebook, and they are by no means passive users of the platform. Seniors are daily users of Facebook, aggressively scrolling and looking for content. Facebooks powerful demographic profiling makes it easy for businesses to create ads that reach the right age groups and ensure your brand messaging is in the eyes of seniors.
Combining Facebook ads with WhatsApp tends to perform better as seniors prefer the instant messaging app over apps like Messenger or email. If you're running click to WhatsApp ads on Facebook, you'll tend to fare better in terms of conversion rate, however quality of leads my suffer in the process.
YouTube is the 3rd biggest search engine in the world, and for a good reason, it has videos on any and everything. If you're creating content speaking specifically to seniors or simply want to run ads that run on content that appeals to seniors, then YouTube is a great place to spend your digital marketing budget. Seniors are less time-sensitive and aren't prone to using ad blockers, so the likelihood of your ads getting a strong impression and frequency and even completion rate targetting scenarios on YouTube will be pretty good.
8. Local blogs and platforms
Believe it or not, but there are several Facebook groups, forums and websites dedicated to South African retirees and 60-plussers, where people share the best deals, ideas and tips on how pensioners can get the most out of their income. Sites like You've Earned It SA have been a hit with many seniors and advertising with them or getting involved with these forums and Facebook groups are a great way to reach out to active seniors, who if they like your offering my spread it within their network.
Tell us your traffic story
Have you been trying to target the older crowd? How have you been reaching out to them? Let us know in the comments section down below.
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If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on seniors.
- 10 Amazing Jobs For Older People
- 42 Discounts & Deals Just For South African Pensioners
- Essential Factors To Consider When Picking A Senior Care Facility
- Starting Job in SEO If You Are Older