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3 WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE CONTENT STRATEGY FOR THE 50-PLUS DEMOGRAPHIC

They often look, feel and act younger than traditionally portrayed

Marketers need to be everywhere today, but the problem is that there are more places to be than ever before. The path consumers take to the point of purchase is rarely short and straight, which makes a smart content strategy a must, especially when you’re targeting the 50-plus consumer.

The good news is that this is a growth opportunity. The content marketing industry is expanding at an annual clip of 16 percent, topping $400 billion by 2021, and 50-plus consumers are a big part of it. These consumers grew up with 60-second TV spots and full-page, copy-heavy ads, and when the world went digital, many of them led the way.

How will you use content marketing to engage this powerful segment? Here are three things to consider.

Use substance to create relevance

By presenting your brand as a source of information, you can build trust and enhance your other marketing efforts.

Adults 50-plus are sophisticated consumers. They appreciate content that speaks to their needs and interests as it helps them stay informed. For example, one recent study that focused on healthcare found that the majority of consumers 50-plus want in-depth information, and 86 percent do research on health-related issues, which is why educational content is so well-received. If consumers have a favorable view of your brand, they are 74 percent more likely to pay a lot of attention to direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and 78 percent more likely to take action after seeing a DTC ad. By presenting your brand as a source of information, you can build trust and enhance your other marketing efforts.

Personalize content by life stage

While huge in size, the 50-plus demographic isn’t a monolith. There are no hard and fast rules. However, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind to appeal to each life stage.

In their 50s, consumers are likely time-constrained, sleep-deprived and on the go 24/7, juggling jobs, kids, caregiving, personal interests and financial responsibilities.

In their 60s, consumers are at the peak of their career and earning power. Thinking about their professional legacy and impact, they may take on extra projects. And while some will in fact retire, they also are just as likely to launch new careers and ventures.

In their 70s and older, consumers are often still working as well as spending more time volunteering. They want to get the most out of life. They are reaching major milestones all along the way, pursuing professional passions, enjoying life as empty nesters, becoming grandparents, going back to school, traveling more or focusing on fitness.

Just about every image that comes to mind when you picture a “typical” 50-plus person is no longer accurate. Today’s 50-plus often look, feel and act younger than traditionally portrayed. Tailor your content whenever possible and feature imagery that truly mirrors this audience.

Integrate across platforms

It seems obvious that your content strategy needs to be integrated with your overall marketing strategy, but that’s a challenge given all the platforms we now have in place. Look for ways to create a holistic customer experience everywhere: digital, print, TV and video, outdoor advertising, call centers, retail stores, etc. Consumers 50-plus consult an average of 18 sources of information they consider to be on their “most valued” list when it comes to healthcare alone. If you can give them a brand impression that is consistent and compelling rather than confusing, you’re going to win.

You may not always need to create an app to support your content but do take advantage of the fact that 50-plus consumers are tech-savvy. Everything you create should be optimized for mobile.
Content marketing will continue to grow, particularly over the next few years. If you’re looking to build brand, relationships and revenue, now’s the time to get ahead of the trend. Tap into the interests and spending power of 50-plus consumers who control 51 percent of all consumer spending.

This article originally appeared in AdWeek