Tamar, the UK’s award winning social and search agency, today publishes a study into the UK Silver Surfer generation, which finds three out of four choose natural search results when making consumer choices.
The over-55s are the demographic group least likely to follow paid search results – with only 3% choosing this route to online information. Tamar’s Rise of the Silver Surfer study offers marketers ten tops tips for successful engagement with this age group.
By 2025, the number of over-60s in the UK will have passed the under-25s for the first time. Tamar’s study shows that UK brands have a unique opportunity to grow revenues and develop long-term relationships with the country’s fastest-growing online population segment.
These Silver Surfers may well dominate the UK-based online terrain over next five to ten years and should be a key target audience for all companies.
Tamar expects many more people to swell the Silver Surfers ranks over the next few years. More than half of the two million new internet users over the past year in the UK are over 50 and women are catching up with men rapidly. Men over 50 accounted for 38% of the 1.9 million new surfers and women over 50, 15%. In context, more than 38 million UK adults are internet users, with 30 million-plus logging on every day.1
The fastest growing segment on Facebook is women over 55 and a third of internet users in the UK are over-50. It takes time to win the trust of users online and it is crucial to listen to the conversations first and learn from them, before engaging and sharing.
Tamar has gathered research over the past year, including its Search Attitudes 2010 survey to highlight rapid changes in internet demographics, as well as how people of different ages use the web.
The research shows that natural search is the trusted source in older age groups, with the Silver Surfers (55+) being the least likely to choose paid search results (3%) and nearly three out of five (73%) favouring the “organic” results. The “grey” generation is embracing mobile search more slowly but this is also on the rise.
There are now more people aged over 60 than those under 16. According to official projections from the UK government Actuary's Department, by 2025 there will be more over 60s than those under 25. By 2014, those over 65 will overtake the number of under-16s.
Tanya Goodin, CEO of Tamar says: “The rapidly changing UK demographic presents a unique opportunity for brands to refocus online strategies on the older age groups. The Silver Surfers are savvy, keen to engage and value the benefits of being online. Integrated social media and search should be central to any brand strategy that seeks to maximise ROI and we think that the next 5-10 years will be an exhilarating, rewarding journey for brands that understand the new online commercial environment.”
Tamar’s top ten Silver Surfer marketing tips:
1 Focus on community: make a difference by offering relevant, useful resources;
2 Ensure fresh content is relevant to the Silver Surfer;
3 Simplify online engagement and sales cycle to attract older consumers;
4 Engage in social networks and through websites that appeal to older people;
5 Listen, learn, engage and share through social media;
6 Develop mobile apps, particularly for women Silver Surfers;
7 Re-engineer online assets to deliver usable, easy and search friendly mobile web experiences;
8 Partner with digital agencies that understand the over-55s sector;
9 Work with specialists, including charities that are age-focused;
10 Plan for longer-term consumer engagement that builds brand trust, authority and customer loyalty.
Tamar (tamar.com), the UK's award-winning social and search agency, combines extensive expertise in natural search engine optimisation combined with social media to generate more online sales for businesses. This results-focused delivery of campaigns is achieved through expertise in social media, search, analytics, conversion design and technology. Tamar’s approach is to use its 15 years of online expertise and experience and combine this with clients’ customer intelligence to maximise client revenues. Tamar specialises in working with major financial services, travel, gaming and retail brands. Its extensive, high-profile client base includes The Arcadia Group, B&Q, Domestic & General, Endsleigh, LloydsTSB and Royal Caribbean.