Today’s seniors don’t look anything like the stereotypes of the past when marketing publications depicted them in wheelchairs and walking with canes. In my experience marketing to this demographic, I’ve learned that seniors live a healthier, happier and more active lifestyle than ever before. Much of that is due to home-care agencies that give them the help they need while allowing them the freedom and independence they desire.

In learning more about the characteristics of seniors in today’s world, I developed a plan for marketing to them considering their current lifestyles. Our marketing efforts show seniors how a home-care agency can meet their needs and enhance their quality of life. Our clients tell us that seniors want information that is clear, honest and concise and makes them feel valued as people. Seniors don’t know all the bells and whistles of today’s technology, but they do know the simple basics of how to find information online. If they’re old-fashioned about anything, it’s that they still enjoy perusing colorful brochures and other types of print media.

Take a broad but customized approach to marketing to seniors online.

My approach to marketing to seniors online focuses on their abilities, rather than on their declining health. Most seniors enjoy reading about senior services, but they can’t always read small print. Choose a larger font for your web pages to make them easier to read.

Our website is nicely laid out with easy-to-navigate sections that take seniors directly to answers to frequently-asked questions. Most of our clients can do some things for themselves while requiring a specific type of help to live independently. Our website gives them tidy boxes with short descriptions that hold links to additional, detailed web pages providing them with more information about filling the gaps in their care.

Pay attention to tone and verbiage.

A very important point of contention with today’s seniors is how we refer to them. Our research and experience tell us that seniors in today’s society don’t want to be called elderly, although they don’t mind being referred to as older adults or seniors.

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Our clients tell us that one of the most difficult things about getting older is that people in society sometimes make them feel as though they have less value than they did when they were younger. They appreciate it when they can converse with people who are patient without being patronizing or condescending. Our marketing approach doesn’t portray the common weaknesses and inabilities that come with age as devaluing their importance.

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Much of our client base comes to us through referrals, but we do get a fair amount of older people who find our services online. That tells me that marketing to seniors online works. Unlike marketing to younger audiences, older adults aren’t drawn in by trendy jargon, slang or internet acronyms. Our marketing materials help seniors hang onto as much independence as they can by allowing them to research services they need without having to grab the nearest teenager for an explanation of the trending terms they read online.

Market to seniors with images and content.

Image selection is a very important factor when marketing to seniors. My rule of thumb is that most people see themselves about 10-15 years younger than they are. I keep that in mind when I’m selecting images to accompany our content. I want our clients to connect to the image of a person they believe could be them.

The best motto that you can have when writing content is: keep it simple for seniors. Get to the point and don’t beat around the bush. Flowery language and unnecessary verbiage won’t cut it with this population. They want to know the who, what, where, why and how as succinctly as you can relay it. Make a point or two that speaks to the needs of their generation like:

Enhancing independence

Providing security

Getting healthier and more fit

Enhancing family relationships

Enjoying life

Seniors want to be able to quickly connect their needs with the services your company provides.

Talk to them, not their kids.

Unless an older adult is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease or another cognitive impairment, they want to be involved in the decision making process for their care. Many seniors make their own buying decisions. Some seniors may request that their adult children accompany them to one of our free consultations, but talking directly to the senior makes them feel valued and important.

Another important thing that I’ve learned is that they are looking for value in home-agency services. Price matters in spending and saving money on care when it provides them with ways to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. Our marketing materials focus on helping them attain their desired lifestyle rather than on the cost of services.

First impressions are always important, and that’s especially important when marketing to seniors. Straightforward, no-nonsense content that reads as if they are talking to a trusted friend is the best way to grab their attention. It’s an approach that gives them solutions to their needs and sets their expectations for the services they’ll receive when they decide to buy.