Welcome back to our blog miniseries on marketing online to older Hoosier consumers! If you missed our first 5 tips last week, you can read them here.
Remember that although many marketing techniques are similar between older and younger demographics, there are a few simple things your business can do to achieve better results when marketing to an older demographic online.
Here are the final five tips that will help your business reach this growing group of Internet users!
6. Reviews are the new word of mouth: Seniors have a life experience that most younger people do not have. As a result they are more discerning about who they will do business with. Ads will not be as effective with them as a 5 star review from a group of individuals on a site like Yelp, Urbanspoon, Google Reviews or an Angie’s List. In fact, a 2009 Nielsen Global Consumer Survey found that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements. Use this to your advantage to attract seniors by posting customer reviews on your own website and encouraging them to give your business a review on third party sites.
7. Build trust and credibility with a blog: Universal-McCann in 2009 found that 71% of Internet users read blogs. Hubspot (www.hubspot.com) says that a business who blogs has 55% more visitors to their website. Seniors are selective and want to know what their hard earned dollars will get them. A blog is usually about 250-400 words in length and is an opportunity to educate your Hoosier senior why your business is different and how it will benefit them. While it will take time and effort to write good quality blogs you will find it may be the best marketing tool to attract the older shopper.
8. Ask seniors their opinion: The best attribute of a small business owner is his ability to listen to the customer. What is nice about seniors is that they have opinions and are not bashful about sharing them. Older consumers, given the chance, will tell you how they want to be sold, what is important and what is frivolous to them. Use this information to improve your marketing message and close more sales. How do you do this? Try running polls or surveys in conjunction with newsletters, blogs or just on the home page of your website. Offer a comment field at the end of a blog and ask for their suggestions and comments. Don’t worry; you will get plenty of feedback. And, of course, the best place to listen on the Internet is with Facebook and Twitter. Make sure if there is a legitimate complaint or problem expressed that you quickly reply and solve it in a tactful manner. Other seniors seeing how well you solved the problem will like that they found a company that they can trust. Caveat: when replying online to an upset customer never respond in an angry tone. But you probably already knew that.
9. Design for mobile use: The next big revolution in the Internet is beginning to happen now and your older Indiana consumer will be participating. In the future most information from the Internet will be viewed on a mobile device of some kind like a cell phone, iPhone, tablet or a hybrid of a smartphone and tablet not yet introduced. The World Bank says that approximately 75% of the world’s population already has access to a mobile phone. What does that mean for your Hoosier business? It means older Hoosiers will get information about your business while walking in your store, setting in a restaurant or riding in a car. They may be looking for directions from a map, a phone number or if there is a promotion running today. The design of your website for mobile will have to be different than it currently is for a desktop or laptop computer. Make sure your business uses a web design company that is current on the new methods to make information easier to read on mobile devices. Instead of content being shown horizontally it will be shown in an easier to view vertical tack. This process has a name called responsive web design. Easy and quick access to information on your website should be your goal for mobile viewing. Make sure your Indiana business is ahead of the competition when it comes to mobile technology.
10. Don’t waste the senior’s time: Even though older seniors tend to have more time available, they will be using it wisely. When it comes to the Internet they do not want to waste their time. Provide content that is concise and to the point. Offer common sense solutions to their problems. Respond in a timely manner to questions or comments submitted over social media or a blog. Don’t assume all seniors want to use email to connect with your business. They are used to using the telephone. Provide phone numbers and have a real person available to take the call. The Indiana company that respects the senior’s time will have a better chance of earning their business.
The older Hoosier consumer’s buying power has great potential for any local Indiana business. Your company must make it a priority to market online to this valuable demographic group.
Summary: 10 Tips to Market Online to Older Hoosier Consumers
1. Show seniors in photos.
2. Make it easy to find information.
3. Take them to your website.
4. Reach out with email marketing.
5. Use Pinterest.
6. Reviews are the new word of mouth. Use them.
7. Build trust and credibility with a blog.
8. Ask seniors their opinion.
9. Design for mobile use.
10. Don’t waste the senior’s time.