Influence marketing

How to find influencers for a senior audience?

, 1 November 2018

Of course influencer marketing is the leading channel for reaching millennials. But what about a more senior audience? Are they sensitive to influencers’ recommendations? The studies (sources at the end of the article) are contradictory! Let’s take stock.

An audience that is very present online

Seniors are coming to the fore! For a long time their online activity was limited, or invisible in the eyes of marketers, due to their reluctance to try online shopping. Today, 8 in 10 seniors say that the Internet is improving their lives. Even better, seniors have time, lots of it, so their time spent online (for non-professional reasons) is longer than that of other segments, who might be stuck in school or in the office. In France, more than one in three internet users is a senior, making it impossible to ignore such a reserve of consumers!

To top it off, they often have high purchasing power. And this potential is starting to be seen on online shopping sites. Studies are again contradictory, sometimes mentioning a proportion of 45% of seniors making purchases online, othertimes the huge figure of 9 in 10. Either way, this proportion is bound to increase, leaving a market segment waiting to be conquered, as the older generation is still largely ignored by advertisers.

A nonexistent category of influencers ?

How can you reach seniors? In addition to email to which they’re literally addicted to, and the online banking services they’re so fond of (all those savings to manage!), 43% of over 65s are registered on at least one social network. They particularly like Facebook. No wonder seniors are now the most common profile on the (aging) platform created by Zuckerberg. Teenagers are ignoring Facebook and millennials are moving to Instagram, but seniors are signing up in droves.

The Silicon Valley giants such as Google, Apple or Facebook have already understood the potential of the senior audience for their sales. It’s up to web marketers to seize the new potential by launching campaigns adapted to this very specific audience! (Photo credit: Rosenfeld Media, Flickr, TV advertising screenshot by Apple)

So is a Facebook influencer the solution to reach seniors? This is where it gets complicated because the main use of Facebook by the elderly is to stay connected with their families, not really to follow the peregrinations of a hypothetical senior influencer. Even worse, according to a survey conducted by Zine, only 0.3% of seniors said they were sensitive to the recommendations of an influencer. In fact, the study here refers to influencers only on social networks, and doesn’t take into account influential bloggers. In addition, survey respondents may have had a limited understanding of what an influencer really is. Still, only 1% of influencers on social networks are over 60 years old, hardly making it a place to find a voice for your products!

An audience very receptive to blogs

70% of seniors say they use the Internet to learn about products or services. To do this, they simply use Google and usually land on specialized sites. Which themes should you target? To maximize the return on investment, it’s advisable to observe the e-commerce sectors seniors are most attracted to:

  • Clothing: 57%,
  • House, decoration and garden equipment: 39%,
  • Cultural goods: 37%,
  • Travel: 33%,
  • Online media (subscriptions): 31%,
  • Donations: 14%,
  • Gastronomy and wines: 13%.

Some sectors find a significant share of their customers online among seniors. This is the case of home equipment, travel, and gastronomy and wines. (Photo credit: Rawpixel, Pexels)

So how can you find blogs on these topics? The simplest answer lies in a platform for linking advertisers to bloggers. references 10 000 influential press medias and specializied websites, and all the themes on the list above are covered!

And what if your next growth area was the silver economy? If influencer marketing aimed at millennials is reaching overload, its potential is still largely under-exploited for seniors. Even better, that demographic being much more loyal than younger generations, an influencer campaign (e.g. on blogs) will capture new customers over the long term, and increase even more your return on investment, so you know what you have to do!

Data sources for this article: Silver Marketing (Frédéric Aribaud and Jean-Paul Téguier); Vilisab study, 2017; study Digital Baby Boomer & YouGov France, 2018; Reech study, 2017; Nielsen studies, 2016, 2017, 2018.

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