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Don't forget about baby boomers in your digital marketing strategy

Image courtesy of user Yourdon on Flickr. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Every marketer knows that a social strategy is key to attracting Millennials and Gen-Xers to your brand. What many miss, however, is the rapid increase in Baby Boomers using social media via mobile and desktop technologies. As the Boomer generation is one of the largest and wealthiest consumer segments today, marketers ignore using social approaches with this key demographic group.

BoomAgers notes that on average, the Baby Boomer generation spends even more time online each week than Millennials and are consummate researchers prior to purchase. These realities suggest that savvy marketers can use a robust content marketing strategy to ensure that potential customers find the best information when searching for information about your products or services.

Blogging: the hub of every effective social media strategy

If you have a business and are currently using or considering integrating social media marketing into your current marketing mix, this infographic from QuickSprout should be all the information you need to be convinced that blogging is an essential element of any social strategy.

Some key findings include the fact that websites with active blogs receive 97% more inbound links and have 434% more indexed pages. This suggests that blogging is a key component of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Further, customers are increasingly learning about companies, brands, and products via blogs rather than advertisements, so you are potentially missing out on a huge number of possible customers if blogging isn't central to your social strategy.

Get to it!

This may be the worst digital marketing strategy EVER!

Last month, the New York Post reported that the Union Street Guest House in Hudson, NY, was employing a rather coercive digital marketing strategy to reduce the presence of negative posts on review websites: charging newlyweds $500 for each negative review about the hotel posted by their guests or individuals in their wedding party.

The policy reads:

“Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not,” reads an online policy. “If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event . . . and given us a deposit of any kind . . . there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review . . . placed on any internet site by anyone in your party.”

After news of the policy made its way across the internet, including a report on CNN, HuffPost Live reported that the hotel had received over 500 one-star reviews on Yelp (note: those negative reviews have since been removed from Yelp as they were obviously left by individuals who had not actually visited the Union Street Guest House). 

Talk about a policy that backfired! Americans in particular are very reactive against threats to freedom of speech - especially when those policies intended to stifle free speech incur penalties on individuals other than the speaker.

Certainly, businesses are wise to listen to social media to understand customer perceptions of their products and services - one study calculated the value of a positive tweet at $22.26. However, digital marketers would be wise to focus on addressing concerns and complaints rather than simply working to ensure they are never aired.

For email marketing, keep it visually appealing

Somehow, I've found myself on dozens of email marketing lists. Many of these are from companies I've actually purchased from in the past, or have expressed interest in, and many are from companies who no doubt have purchased my contact information and believe me to be a potential customer.

One thing I've noticed recently is that the really effective email marketing messages (at least for me) are very visual. You find a minimal amount of text and a lot of images and photographs. Take for example, this recent email message I received from my shirt vendor of choice, Charles Tyrwhitt:

Far from a text-heavy, visually unappealing message, the email marketing folks working at Charles Tyrwhitt understand that the average consumer is going to decide whether to read or delete an email within just a few seconds. Creating visually appealing email marketing communications can mean the difference between a trashed message and a message that converts into a website visit - and hopefully a completed purchase.

Video marketing at its finest

This week, I came across an excellent example of video marketing - creating interactive and engaging video content designed to identify potential customers and drive them to your products and services. is a website dedicated to teaching intermediate and advanced Photoshop techniques for digital image and photo manipulation. The videos are professionally produced and do an excellent job teaching advanced image techniques using photoshop. For example, check out this one about removing wrinkles.

Phlearn is a perfect example of video marketing, as they post dozens of tutorials on YouTube for free. Since these videos are high definition, professionally lighted, expertly edited, and get right to the point, they are incredibly popular videos on YouTube. More importantly, these videos helps the folks behind Phlearn establish themselves as content experts, and drive traffic to their website where they sell video tutorials and other learning opportunities for photographers and digital media artists.

As an amateur photographer, I've found Phlearn's resources to be incredibly useful - and as a student of marketing, their content marketing strategy is spot-on.