News and views to improve the strength and vigor of all your direct response marketing activity.

The way people — including those age 65 and older — consume information is constantly evolving. Brands that know how to effectively communicate with their audience are rewarded with new business and continued loyalty. To stay competitive in the shifting landscape of modern marketing, anyone selling to seniors has to evolve their digital toolset.

Consider this …
There were more than three times as many Facebook users age 65+ than users age 13-17 as of August 2023. Compare that with data from 2010, which showed that almost 90% of people age 65+ didn’t use social media at all.

Previously impervious to digital marketing tactics, the 65+ crowd is now online — and receptive to certain experiences on certain channels. Read on for tips on digital marketing to seniors.

More users age 65+ are using social media and smartphones

Social media is getting older and so are many of its users. Younger users still tend to dominate most social platforms, but growth among users 65+ has increased. In fact, it increased 29 percentage points in just nine years — from 16% in 2012 to 45% in 2021.

And older adults are also becoming increasingly comfortable using smartphones. In 2012, only 13% of adults 65+ reported owning a smartphone. Compare that to fall 2022, when 86% of adults age 50+ surveyed by AARP reported owning a smartphone.

As the Medicare audience continues to adopt modern technology and newer communication platforms, the number of social media and smartphone users age 65+ will continue to grow.

DMW’s Justin Stauffer discussed trends in mobile use among baby boomers in 2017, and most of the trends still hold true today: Seniors are doing a lot on their smartphones, including opening email, which means more opportunities to engage this audience in the digital space.

New platforms are still being introduced — the most recent being Threads, a real-time conversation app that may rival X, formerly called Twitter. While not every platform will be popular among seniors or appropriate for Medicare marketing, learning about emerging social platforms can potentially help marketers gain insights about future Medicare prospects.

Social influencers are 65+

If you’re familiar with social media, you’re probably also familiar with the term “social influencer” — a user of a social platform who has built enough of a fan base that an advertiser is willing to pay them to market a product on their page or channel.

The idea of influencers in the Medicare space isn’t new. Think Joe Namath, William Shatner, George Foreman, and others on Medicare TV spots. And now there are several 65+ influencers on social media, including Oprah Winfrey, Kris Jenner, Morgan Freeman, and others. (In fact, there’s a term for a person age 60+ with a substantial following on social media: a grandfluencer.)

As social media usage among seniors increases, we may see a shift where Medicare spokespeople aren’t just on TV spots … they’re also in the social media space. This may present a valuable opportunity for a partnership.

Lead forms generate more leads

Let’s say a member of your target audience — an adult age 65+ — is on Facebook. They see one of your ads and find it engaging. Great! This would be your opportunity to maximize the value of the ad with a lead form.

Ad experiences, such as Facebook lead ads and Google lead form extensions, allow users to fill out a lead form in the ad environment. This keeps prospects in one place and reduces the amount of “work” they have to do — making it an especially appealing and effective way to understand potential customers and reach your business goals. Easy user experience, more leads. Win-win.

Following the best practices below can ensure your form generates as many leads as possible:

  • Make your ad experience so engaging people actually want to fill out the lead form.
  • Keep the form as short as possible. Request the least amount of information needed.
  • Provide a user with an “asset” (a free download or an email with additional information) as a thank-you for their effort. Sell the giveaway — make people want it!

This is an example of a Facebook lead ad. In exchange for entering their contact information, users get a free Information Kit.

Omnichannel marketing is growing

Providing a target audience with a consistent and positive experience on the channels they like best is an excellent way to drive direct results. Many omnichannel marketing campaigns for seniors feature direct mail, online, and social media components for this reason.

Omnichannel marketing helps align a brand with the customer experience, and it’s getting more popular. However, it’s often confused with multichannel marketing. Multichannel marketing presents the customer with several ways to make a sale — online, in store, by phone, etc. Each channel operates like a swimmer in their own lane. They share a common goal, but they don’t work together.

Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, is like a relay swim. Each channel operates like a leg of a relay race, working together toward two common goals — making a sale and engaging the customer in each leg of the experience.

Before competing in the omnichannel space, it’s important to understand your audience so you can develop appropriately personalized content. It’s key to keep the look and feel of your messaging consistent across all channels. Finally, be sure your CRM software is equipped to integrate your data and technology.

The first image shows a landing page, followed by a Facebook ad and a product brochure. While all three channels are different, the consumer experience is similar and the call to action is the same.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

As marketing strategies continue to evolve, it’s important to think outside of the box to wow customers and give them a compelling reason to act. But it’s equally important to remember what works. The channels we use to advertise may get more elaborate over time, but consumers are still impressed by trustworthy companies that deliver memorable experiences, continuously improve, and create a sense of community.

Go after what you want

Everyone is online. And seniors even dominate some social platforms. It’s vital for a competitive brand to create a digital marketing campaign that resonates with its target audience. Get people talking about your brand and develop an omnichannel campaign that drives direct results. We can help.