Senior Marketing: Connecting with this Ripe, Bold Age on Facebook

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Thomasarts has been focused on marketing to seniors since Dave Thomas founded the agency in 2003. Since then, Facebook marketing has become an effective tactic for reaching all audiences, including many who are 55+. So, we asked a few pros from our media team to reveal some of their secrets to using Facebook to market to seniors. 

Marketing to Seniors on Facebook Pro Tip # 1: Speak to Your Audience

It’s an oldie but a goodie, but one that media director Roger Gibson can’t reiterate enough. “‘Oldsvertising’ doesn’t resonate with this audience,” Roger says. “Marketing to seniors today is really about forgetting stereotypes and finding out how they see themselves and celebrating their life’s journey.” 

Social media strategist Jarica Befus agrees. “Users who are 55+ can be particularly sensitive to how they are represented on social media, “she says. “If you don’t do your homework and reflect what you know about them, they will notice.”

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, this means putting in the time to understand your specific senior segment so you can then use this information to inform messaging and visuals. In addition to segment-specific insights, Jarica recommends using a clear, easy-to-understand call-to-action and a simple, straightforward creative that is eye-catching when marketing to seniors on Facebook. 

“There is less pressure to create the next viral piece of content when designing creative for most older generations,” says Jarica. “Just keep it simple, entertaining and eye-catching.”

“And don’t be afraid to experiment,” adds Roger. “Let data guide your strategy and test a variety of ways to get your message across. You’ll know pretty quickly if you’re on the right track.” 

Marketing to Seniors on Facebook Pro Tip # 2: Grow Using What You Have

To grow your senior audience, Jennie Anderson, a media planner and buyer, suggests using what you have: your existing audience data. “Facebook allows advertisers to target their ads to Lookalike Audiences. These are Facebook users who have similar demographics or interests as those who have previously engaged with your content or visited your website,”Jennie explains. “It isn’t a new tool, but it has been highly effective for my clients looking to grow their senior audience while maximizing their spend.”

In addition to Lookalike Audiences, targeting audiences with interests that align with your target audience’s interests (see tip #1) or remarketing to website visitors on Facebook can be effective. “When targeting older audiences, it’s important to layer in a variety of audiences,” Jarica says.

Roger agrees, adding: “We’ve seen great success taking a cross-channel approach. We use data to triangulate what stage of the journey a prospect might be in and then push the right message to move them closer to a decision. For example, combining direct mail with custom audience targeting on Facebook has been very effective in marketing to many of our senior segments.”

To make sure your targeted audiences on Facebook respond, Jarica recommends taking your existing top-performing creative and testing different iterations against it. “This way,” she says, “you’re starting your campaign from a much better place than if you were to start from scratch.”

Marketing to Seniors on Facebook Pro Tip # 3: Mind the Details

While the fundamentals of marketing are the same, the media pros at TA advise those marketing to seniors on Facebook to be aware of some key differences. 

“Older generations tend to use Facebook to stay in touch with their families,” says Jennie, ”so in-feed ads generally perform better because that’s where they are.”  

“These audiences also tend to share more and speak more freely than younger users,” Jarica adds. “Advertisers should expect a lot of comments and shares on their Facebook ads.” That means monitoring Facebook ads targeting seniors like you would with organic content.

“This is a real opportunity for brands to connect with their senior audiences one-on-one, right in the ad itself,” says Jennie. “I can’t think of another digital platform that allows for this direct connection.”

Conclusion

Like all marketing campaigns, marketing to seniors on Facebook starts with knowing your audience and then using the platform’s unique strength — it’s ability to help brands connect directly with audiences and build trust and an emotional connection with them. Using data and existing customer insights to guide your messaging, creative and audience targeting will help ensure your efforts aren’t wasted. Contact us to learn how our pros can help your next Facebook marketing campaign be more effective. 

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October 20, 2020by jennie anderson, jarica befus, roger gibson

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