How to Use the Internet to Tap into the Baby Boomer Market

The big misconception in online¬†media buying¬†is that you can’t reach Boomers via the Internet. In fact, Baby Boomers make up one-third of the 195 million web users in the United States, according to JupiterResearch. Additionally, infomercial ad buyers targeted Boomers with close to 5 billion dollars in ads in 2004, out of 13 billion spent in web advertising. So don’t think that Boomers aren’t online and that they reject technology. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, over half (54%) of 60-69 year-olds go online, and 72% of 51-59 year-olds surf the net. Further, studies show that Boomers spend more money online that the average web user, yet they’re still the most underserved audience on the net. Therefore, if you want to serve this demographic, consider the following.

Create a network. Boomers crave social networks. Sites like FaceBook.com and MySpace.com target younger people, and LinkedIn.com focuses on business professionals. While Boomers do participate in such online social networks, they usually discover that these sites have little to offer them. If you want Boomers to be a regular visitor to your site, offer them a place where they can connect with each other and explore topics of interest to them. It may be helpful for you to check out a new site, TeeBeeDee, tbd.com, which is specifically designed for Boomers and is positioned as a Facebook for Boomers.

Offer the right information. Boomers are most interested in such topics as alternative health, entertainment, finance, health, hearth and home, hobbies and fitness, and travel. Boomers are frequent and engaged online users, so make sure your site has the kind of information they are most interested in. This generation is also going through a life stage filled with lots of tough issues, including retirement, investment planning, and healthcare. If your product or service can help Boomers better plan for these life transitions, then you need to prominently state so on your site and offer lots of information on the topic.

Go easy on the multi-media effects. Boomers don’t want a web page to be overwhelming. Therefore, limit how much “stuff” you have going on the screen. Remember, Boomers don’t like to multi-task, so don’t try to pull their attention away from the core information they came to your site for.

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