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6 Ways To Target Seniors More Effectively In Digital Marketing

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6 Ways To Target Seniors More Effectively In Digital Marketing

Digital marketing campaigns that neglect their senior audiences can end up missing key opportunities to expand the brand’s audience and engagement.

This can leave older adults an untapped market in numerous ways.

In fact, there’s even senior growth across social media, including Pinterest, leading searches such as “nomad normal.”

The Pinterest user base continues to expand, and adults are using this platform to shop with an 85% growth in recent months.

Are your current campaigns on Pinterest and other social media platforms genuinely reaching older audiences?

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If not, this should be an area of focus. Older generations, those 50 and older, make up 51% of consumer spending and include 45% of all adults.

They spend more money than younger generations, and marketing strategies should reflect these statistics.

Here, you’ll learn some best practices and methods to market to seniors. We’ll also dispel some outdated generalizations that may be impacting the methodology behind your current marketing strategy.

1. Senior Marketing Is More Than Just Influencer Targeting

It’s true that a large volume of influencer opportunities (family members, professional acquaintances, local news, offline thought leaders) present an added layer of marketing potential when looking at generating outcomes from senior campaigns.

However, the issue is that the attention should not exclude and move away from the intended 60+ aged group but enhance and support this focus as a result of enhancement.

According to the latest Ofcom findings in ‘Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2020/21′:

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Of 55-64s:

  • 86% use a smartphone.
  • 94% use the internet at home.
  • 70% correctly identify advertising on Google.
  • 73% have a social media profile.

Of 65+:

  • 55% use a smartphone.
  • 77% use the internet at home.
  • 58% correctly identify advertising on Google.
  • 59% have a social media profile.

What this tells us, as marketers, is that there is direct access to older audiences through mobile, SMS, and smartphone marketing.

The older audience is growing for YouTube marketing and social media marketing, too.

While the reliance on mobile technology reduces with the audience’s targeted age (primarily those over 65), mobile phones, tablets, computers, and other technology are still high and growing every year.

As marketers, this increases the emphasis of marketing directly to the consumer (and prioritizing the end person over the influencer).

Practically speaking, this means that AMP content alternatives, mobile-first content mindsets, traditional mobile optimization, and related actions are as effective for senior marketing as they are for other demographics.

2. Seniors Are More Loyal & Less Likely To Explore

Ofcom’s report states that:

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 “Although internet users aged 55+ were the least likely to have a social media profile, or to use messaging sites or apps, a majority were using both, and more than three in four were using either.”

For marketers, this increases the need to be the first to educate and present brands, content, and insights to the senior population first.

The added incentive is that 90% of senior people will keep you as their digital ‘go-to,’ providing you help them with their informational needs first.

Seniors are willing to learn about brands to stay informed on new and important trends.

As you would expect, there are many ways to achieve this goal, and some of those I’ve seen most effective over the years include:

  • Community resources and lifestyle hubs.
  • Location-based and local biased content.
  • Free tools, tips, and advice.
  • Increased offline and online seamless user journeys.
  • Digital simplification and joining the dots better between marketing channels.
  • Added discount focus and telephone calls to action (CTA).
  • Increased remarketing on educational and informational content.

3. Experiences Matter Most

Interestingly, some of the latest search trends, such as content personalization, bespoke user journeys, and tailoring the user experience, have some of the most significant potential to impact older audiences.

When you return the focus to what the targeted audience is looking for, it is easier to effectively reach those audiences.

Older audiences tend to consider customer service, personal contact, and traditional communication in higher esteem.

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Once they feel they are heard and valued by the company, they are motivated more to share that experience and repeat it.

There are many effective approaches you can add to your marketing campaigns, such as:

  • Bridging the gap between offline and online user journeys. Keeping marketing messaging consistent easy to digest with clear steps to take.
  • Using CTAs such as single-click actions or incentivizing to call or message.
  • Sharing feedback from customers who love your brand to help build trust.
  • Making the benefits and message clear, plus the action taking specific should be kept in mind.

4. Increase Investment In The Education Process

Onsite and externally through content placement and promotion, the older audience requires added explanation, clarity, and general guidance throughout the information-seeking and buying process.

There are many time-saving concepts (consider online banking) that can positively assist and impact the 60+ demographic more than other age groups.

However, the added barriers in place (aversion to change, misconceptions about the safety of the internet, wanting to have the offline conversational experience) frequently prevent them from taking action.

Integrating online and offline user journeys help overcome this issue, as does added exposure in traditional offline print, such as:

  • Local papers.
  • Household information drops/flyers.
  • Offline CTAs driving online and telephone action.

5. Target Seniors Through YouTube

Videos and YouTube can be excellent methods to reach older audiences. Google states that:

  • One in three Boomers say they use YouTube to learn about a product or service.
  • Similar to other generations, Baby Boomers are watching TV recaps, highlights, and their favorite shows on YouTube to stay in the know.
  • 68% of Boomers say they watch YouTube videos to be entertained.

So what does this mean for marketing teams?

Video can take on more of the heavy lifting when it comes to senior marketing activities.

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The use of video content to explain concepts, demystify technology, and drive intended user activity change should be a priority.

Through videos, brands can build trust with older audiences, encourage herd mentality, and bridge the gap between the offline and online user journeys.

6. Understand Generational Values

Now more than ever, it’s crucial to understand the values and interests of those you’re marketing to, including seniors.

When marketers take time to consider what would resonate most with their consumers, it helps to build trust and engagement with the brand.

It’s important to reach all generations in your marketing strategy and modify your message to each audience based on each campaign’s chosen social media platform and intended audience.

While this may seem difficult at first, there are some commonalities for brands to focus on for their marketing strategy.

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Seniors hold the same values of honesty, authenticity, relationship, and working hard as other adults.

These are widely appreciated values that brands can align with and therefore reach wider audiences.

Conclusion

Older generations utilize the internet more than ever before and present a huge (and relatively untapped) marketing opportunity.

However, marketing teams need to target more than older audience influencers to maximize this.

More than half of adults over 65 with the internet have a social media profile, and over three-quarters actively use the internet at home, creating numerous marketing opportunities.

Social media and YouTube are great avenues to connect with and inform potential seniors customers about your brand

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Simple opportunities are waiting for marketers, such as maximizing the marketing calendar; on August 25, for example, it’s Senior Citizens Day – the perfect time to reach your older audience.

Older audiences are an untapped and underutilized market that, with a little effort to understand how to connect to them and tailor the experience to meet their needs, can yield committed and loyal consumers.

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Whether you are new to paid media or reevaluating your efforts, it’s critical to review your performance and best practices for your overall PPC marketing program, accounts, and campaigns.

Revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with your current goals.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is also a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance with newly released ad technologies.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

Here are 10 PPC best practices to help you adjust and plan for the months ahead.

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1. Goals

When planning, it is best practice to define goals for the overall marketing program, ad platforms, and at the campaign level.

Defining primary and secondary goals guides the entire PPC program. For example, your primary conversion may be to generate leads from your ads.

You’ll also want to look at secondary goals, such as brand awareness that is higher in the sales funnel and can drive interest to ultimately get the sales lead-in.

2. Budget Review & Optimization

Some advertisers get stuck in a rut and forget to review and reevaluate the distribution of their paid media budgets.

To best utilize budgets, consider the following:

  • Reconcile your planned vs. spend for each account or campaign on a regular basis. Depending on the budget size, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually will work as long as you can hit budget numbers.
  • Determine if there are any campaigns that should be eliminated at this time to free up the budget for other campaigns.
  • Is there additional traffic available to capture and grow results for successful campaigns? The ad platforms often include a tool that will provide an estimated daily budget with clicks and costs. This is just an estimate to show more click potential if you are interested.
  • If other paid media channels perform mediocrely, does it make sense to shift those budgets to another?
  • For the overall paid search and paid social budget, can your company invest more in the positive campaign results?

3. Consider New Ad Platforms

If you can shift or increase your budgets, why not test out a new ad platform? Knowing your audience and where they spend time online will help inform your decision when choosing ad platforms.

Go beyond your comfort zone in Google, Microsoft, and Meta Ads.

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Here are a few other advertising platforms to consider testing:

  • LinkedIn: Most appropriate for professional and business targeting. LinkedIn audiences can also be reached through Microsoft Ads.
  • TikTok: Younger Gen Z audience (16 to 24), video.
  • Pinterest: Products, services, and consumer goods with a female-focused target.
  • Snapchat: Younger demographic (13 to 35), video ads, app installs, filters, lenses.

Need more detailed information and even more ideas? Read more about the 5 Best Google Ads Alternatives.

4. Top Topics in Google Ads & Microsoft Ads

Recently, trends in search and social ad platforms have presented opportunities to connect with prospects more precisely, creatively, and effectively.

Don’t overlook newer targeting and campaign types you may not have tried yet.

  • Video: Incorporating video into your PPC accounts takes some planning for the goals, ad creative, targeting, and ad types. There is a lot of opportunity here as you can simply include video in responsive display ads or get in-depth in YouTube targeting.
  • Performance Max: This automated campaign type serves across all of Google’s ad inventory. Microsoft Ads recently released PMAX so you can plan for consistency in campaign types across platforms. Do you want to allocate budget to PMax campaigns? Learn more about how PMax compares to search.
  • Automation: While AI can’t replace human strategy and creativity, it can help manage your campaigns more easily. During planning, identify which elements you want to automate, such as automatically created assets and/or how to successfully guide the AI in the Performance Max campaigns.

While exploring new features, check out some hidden PPC features you probably don’t know about.

5. Revisit Keywords

The role of keywords has evolved over the past several years with match types being less precise and loosening up to consider searcher intent.

For example, [exact match] keywords previously would literally match with the exact keyword search query. Now, ads can be triggered by search queries with the same meaning or intent.

A great planning exercise is to lay out keyword groups and evaluate if they are still accurately representing your brand and product/service.

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Review search term queries triggering ads to discover trends and behavior you may not have considered. It’s possible this has impacted performance and conversions over time.

Critical to your strategy:

  • Review the current keyword rules and determine if this may impact your account in terms of close variants or shifts in traffic volume.
  • Brush up on how keywords work in each platform because the differences really matter!
  • Review search term reports more frequently for irrelevant keywords that may pop up from match type changes. Incorporate these into match type changes or negative keywords lists as appropriate.

6. Revisit Your Audiences

Review the audiences you selected in the past, especially given so many campaign types that are intent-driven.

Automated features that expand your audience could be helpful, but keep an eye out for performance metrics and behavior on-site post-click.

Remember, an audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online.

Therefore, there are unlimited ways to mix and match those audiences and target per the sales funnel.

Here are a few opportunities to explore and test:

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  • LinkedIn user targeting: Besides LinkedIn, this can be found exclusively in Microsoft Ads.
  • Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home ownership, education, household income.
  • In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues.
  • Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors, interactions with ads, and video/ YouTube.

Note: This varies per the campaign type and seems to be updated frequently, so make this a regular check-point in your campaign management for all platforms.

7. Organize Data Sources

You will likely be running campaigns on different platforms with combinations of search, display, video, etc.

Looking back at your goals, what is the important data, and which platforms will you use to review and report? Can you get the majority of data in one analytics platform to compare and share?

Millions of companies use Google Analytics, which is a good option for centralized viewing of advertising performance, website behavior, and conversions.

8. Reevaluate How You Report

Have you been using the same performance report for years?

It’s time to reevaluate your essential PPC key metrics and replace or add that data to your reports.

There are two great resources to kick off this exercise:

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Your objectives in reevaluating the reporting are:

  • Are we still using this data? Is it still relevant?
  • Is the data we are viewing actionable?
  • What new metrics should we consider adding we haven’t thought about?
  • How often do we need to see this data?
  • Do the stakeholders receiving the report understand what they are looking at (aka data visualization)?

Adding new data should be purposeful, actionable, and helpful in making decisions for the marketing plan. It’s also helpful to decide what type of data is good to see as “deep dives” as needed.

9. Consider Using Scripts

The current ad platforms have plenty of AI recommendations and automated rules, and there is no shortage of third-party tools that can help with optimizations.

Scripts is another method for advertisers with large accounts or some scripting skills to automate report generation and repetitive tasks in their Google Ads accounts.

Navigating the world of scripts can seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is a post here on Search Engine Journal that provides use cases and resources to get started with scripts.

Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science — there are plenty of resources online with free or templated scripts.

10. Seek Collaboration

Another effective planning tactic is to seek out friendly resources and second opinions.

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Much of the skill and science of PPC management is unique to the individual or agency, so there is no shortage of ideas to share between you.

You can visit the Paid Search Association, a resource for paid ad managers worldwide, to make new connections and find industry events.

Preparing For Paid Media Success

Strategies should be based on clear and measurable business goals. Then, you can evaluate the current status of your campaigns based on those new targets.

Your paid media strategy should also be built with an eye for both past performance and future opportunities. Look backward and reevaluate your existing assumptions and systems while investigating new platforms, topics, audiences, and technologies.

Also, stay current with trends and keep learning. Check out ebooks, social media experts, and industry publications for resources and motivational tips.

More resources: 

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Google Limits News Links In California Over Proposed ‘Link Tax’ Law

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A brown cardboard price tag with a twine string and a black dollar sign symbol, influenced by the Link Tax Law, set against a dark gray background.

Google announced that it plans to reduce access to California news websites for a portion of users in the state.

The decision comes as Google prepares for the potential passage of the California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), a bill requiring online platforms like Google to pay news publishers for linking to their content.

What Is The California Journalism Preservation Act?

The CJPA, introduced in the California State Legislature, aims to support local journalism by creating what Google refers to as a “link tax.”

If passed, the Act would force companies like Google to pay media outlets when sending readers to news articles.

However, Google believes this approach needs to be revised and could harm rather than help the news industry.

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Jaffer Zaidi, Google’s VP of Global News Partnerships, stated in a blog post:

“It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content.”

Google’s Response

To assess the potential impact of the CJPA on its services, Google is running a test with a percentage of California users.

During this test, Google will remove links to California news websites that the proposed legislation could cover.

Zaidi states:

“To prepare for possible CJPA implications, we are beginning a short-term test for a small percentage of California users. The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

Google Claims Only 2% of Search Queries Are News-Related

Zaidi highlighted peoples’ changing news consumption habits and its effect on Google search queries (emphasis mine):

“It’s well known that people are getting news from sources like short-form videos, topical newsletters, social media, and curated podcasts, and many are avoiding the news entirely. In line with those trends, just 2% of queries on Google Search are news-related.”

Despite the low percentage of news queries, Google wants to continue helping news publishers gain visibility on its platforms.

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However, the “CJPA as currently constructed would end these investments,” Zaidi says.

A Call For A Different Approach

In its current form, Google maintains that the CJPA undermines news in California and could leave all parties worse off.

The company urges lawmakers to consider alternative approaches supporting the news industry without harming smaller local outlets.

Google argues that, over the past two decades, it’s done plenty to help news publishers innovate:

“We’ve rolled out Google News Showcase, which operates in 26 countries, including the U.S., and has more than 2,500 participating publications. Through the Google News Initiative we’ve partnered with more than 7,000 news publishers around the world, including 200 news organizations and 6,000 journalists in California alone.”

Zaidi suggested that a healthy news industry in California requires support from the state government and a broad base of private companies.

As the legislative process continues, Google is willing to cooperate with California publishers and lawmakers to explore alternative paths that would allow it to continue linking to news.

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

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The Best of Ahrefs’ Digest: March 2024

Every week, we share hot SEO news, interesting reads, and new posts in our newsletter, Ahrefs’ Digest.

If you’re not one of our 280,000 subscribers, you’ve missed out on some great reads!

Here’s a quick summary of my personal favorites from the last month:

Best of March 2024

How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

tl;dr

Glen’s research reveals that just 16 companies representing 588 brands get 3.5 billion (yes, billion!) monthly clicks from Google.

My takeaway

Glen pointed out some really actionable ideas in this report, such as the fact that many of the brands dominating search are adding mini-author bios.

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Example of mini-author bios on The VergeExample of mini-author bios on The Verge

This idea makes so much sense in terms of both UX and E-E-A-T. I’ve already pitched it to the team and we’re going to implement it on our blog.

How Google is Killing Independent Sites Like Ours

Authors: Gisele Navarro, Danny Ashton

tl;dr

Big publications have gotten into the affiliate game, publishing “best of” lists about everything under the sun. And despite often not testing products thoroughly, they’re dominating Google rankings. The result, Gisele and Danny argue, is that genuine review sites suffer and Google is fast losing content diversity.

My takeaway

I have a lot of sympathy for independent sites. Some of them are trying their best, but unfortunately, they’re lumped in with thousands of others who are more than happy to spam.

Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updatesEstimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele's site fell off a cliff after Google's March updates
Estimated search traffic to Danny and Gisele’s site fell off a cliff after Google’s March updates 🙁 

I know it’s hard to hear, but the truth is Google benefits more from having big sites in the SERPs than from having diversity. That’s because results from big brands are likely what users actually want. By and large, people would rather shop at Walmart or ALDI than at a local store or farmer’s market.

That said, I agree with most people that Forbes (with its dubious contributor model contributing to scams and poor journalism) should not be rewarded so handsomely.

The Discussion Forums Dominating 10,000 Product Review Search Results

Author: Glen Allsopp

Tl;dr

Glen analyzed 10,000 “product review” keywords and found that:

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My takeaway

After Google’s heavy promotion of Reddit from last year’s Core Update, to no one’s surprise, unscrupulous SEOs and marketers have already started spamming Reddit. And as you may know, Reddit’s moderation is done by volunteers, and obviously, they can’t keep up.

I’m not sure how this second-order effect completely escaped the smart minds at Google, but from the outside, it feels like Google has capitulated to some extent.

John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...John Mueller seemingly having too much faith in Reddit...

I’m not one to make predictions and I have no idea what will happen next, but I agree with Glen: Google’s results are the worst I’ve seen them. We can only hope Google sorts itself out.

Who Sends Traffic on the Web and How Much? New Research from Datos & SparkToro

Author: Rand Fishkin

tl;dr

63.41% of all U.S. web traffic referrals from the top 170 sites are initiated on Google.com.

Data from SparktoroData from Sparktoro

My takeaway

Despite all of our complaints, Google is still the main platform to acquire traffic from. That’s why we all want Google to sort itself out and do well.

But it would also be a mistake to look at this post and think Google is the only channel you should drive traffic from. As Rand’s later blog post clarifies, “be careful not to ascribe attribution or credit to Google when other investments drove the real value.”

I think many affiliate marketers learned this lesson well from the past few Core Updates: Relying on one single channel to drive all of your traffic is not a good idea. You should be using other platforms to build brand awareness, interest, and demand.

Want more?

Each week, our team handpicks the best SEO and marketing content from around the web for our newsletter. Sign up to get them directly in your inbox.

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