By now, everyone knows that Gen Z loves TikTok. But that doesn’t mean the app is only for young people. In fact, TikTok has a surprisingly large number of users over 30 years old, and this audience is continuously growing. As a marketer, if you can learn how to tap into this niche demographic, you could see some serious results. Largely ignored by mainstream marketing, the older TikToker is a powerful demographic that is ripe for conversion. With more disposable income than their Gen Z counterparts, these uniquely tech-savvy and trend-aware users are ready and willing to engage with brands that speak to their interests. Read on to explore the ins and outs of creating TikTok content for the older generations.
Getting To Know The Older TikTok User
Before you can start creating TikTok content for more mature users, you need to get to know your target demographic. Let’s break down some key statistics about this unique audience and how they compare to TikTok’s main user base.
TikTok currently has over one billion monthly active users worldwide. 41% of those users are between the ages of 18 and 24. However, this doesn’t mean the other 59% of users are all teenagers. In fact, TikTok has a very active older demographic, with 24% of users aged 35 or older. This is a significant portion of the app’s user base, and it’s currently growing. The number of older TikTok influencers is exploding, giving rise to the popular hashtag #eldersoftiktok.
In a 2022 academic study, researchers compiled a list of TikTok influencers aged 60+. The main criteria was that they must have over 100,000 followers on the platform. When combining their most-watched videos, they had amassed over 3.5 billion views.
“This demographic is highly active online, and they embrace mobile technology. In fact, 68% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone and they spend as much time using them as Millennials. It should therefore come as no surprise that these older digital enthusiasts are now discovering and using TikTok in droves.”
The Elders Of TikTok — A Growing Force
The Elders of TikTok are a powerful and growing force, attracting followers young and old. But older Internet users are often underestimated and neglected by digital marketers. However, the reality is that 86% of online seniors spend at least 6 hours a day online. They also own an average of five Internet-connected devices. This demographic is highly active online, and they embrace mobile technology. In fact, 68% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone and they spend as much time using them as Millennials. It should therefore come as no surprise that these older digital enthusiasts are now discovering and using TikTok in droves.
During the pandemic, another more mature demographic also flocked to the micro-video platform — parents. The TikTok blog recently revealed that #momsoftiktok had acquired an astonishing 44 billion views by 2021. This growing older subsegment of mature TikTok users interacts with the app slightly differently than their younger counterparts (or those without children). They have a particularly keen interest in videos about home appliances and snack ideas. And interestingly for marketers, they are also the demographic most likely to like and share products online.
By tapping into mature TikTok audiences, marketers can reach a new and growing base of users who are highly active online, and ready to engage with brands. And while making content that appeals to older demographics may seem like a challenge, it’s actually not that different from creating content for any other TikTok audience. The key is to focus on relatable, authentic, and entertaining content that speaks to the interests of this unique group.
11 Tips For Creating TikTok Content That Converts Older Audiences
Many brands can benefit from tapping into this more mature demographic. If this includes you, check out these tips for creating TikTok content that will convert the older and wiser TikToker.
1. Make relatable content
If you’re over 30, which content are you more likely to engage with? A video of a teenager lip-syncing to pop music or a cooking tutorial from someone your own age? When creating content for an older audience, it’s important to ensure that your content is relatable. This doesn’t mean you can’t post videos of young people. Just try to include content that resonates with an older audience as well.
For example, if you’re a travel brand, you could post videos of baby boomers exploring new destinations rather than backpacking Gen Zers. Try to feature scenarios and lifestyles that your target demographic can easily identify with. Your target demographic won’t relate to videos discussing college-related woes and won’t really care for videos of wild parties. However, they might be interested in a video about empty nesters finally getting the chance to travel the world.
2. Use humour wisely
Humour is a powerful marketing tool no matter whom you’re targeting. But it’s important to use it wisely when targeting an older demographic. They are more likely to respond to subtlety and wit rather than crude humour or slapstick comedy. If you’re going to use humour in your content, make sure it’s appropriate for an older audience. Avoid making them cringe with juvenile jokes. Meme-related humour might fly with Millenials and Gen Z, but you risk alienating an older audience if you go too far down that rabbit hole. If you really want to appeal to an older audience, try using humour that’s specific to baby boomers. These could be pop culture references from the 70s, 80s and 90s, or jokes about the realities of getting older.
“If someone over the age of 50 is using TikTok, we can probably make some assumptions about the type of person they are. They’re obviously comfortable with technology, they’re curious, and they like to stay up-to-date on trends. So don’t treat them like they’re out of the loop. They’re just as plugged in as anyone else, maybe even more so.”
3. Don’t talk down to them
Just because your target demographic is older, doesn’t mean you should talk down to them. In fact, doing so will only make them less likely to engage with your content. Instead, treat them like the intelligent, discerning consumers they are. They don’t need to be spoon-fed information. Simply give them the facts and let them decide for themselves if your product is right for them.
If someone over the age of 65 is using TikTok, we can probably make some presumptions about the type of person they are. They’re obviously comfortable with technology, they’re curious, and they like to stay up-to-date on trends. So don’t treat them like they’re out of the loop. They’re just as plugged in as anyone else, maybe even more so.
4. Use older influencers
While younger influencers might have a wider reach, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best option for every brand. In fact, using an older influencer might be a better choice when targeting an older demographic. Why? Because older TikTokers will be more relatable to your target demographic and they’ll be taken more seriously.
An older influencer will also have more authority on certain topics that might not feel credible coming from someone younger. If you’re trying to target baby boomers, look for influencers who are in their 50s or 60s. This doesn’t mean you can’t use younger influencers. Just try to mix things up and use a variety of ages to appeal to a wider range of people.
5. Educate them
Old demographics are often more interested in educational content than entertainment. This doesn’t mean your content has to be dry or boring. Just try to include some informative videos along with the more light-hearted ones. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you could post videos about how to style certain items or trends. Beauty brand content might include videos about the benefits of certain products or how to use them properly. And if you’re a food brand, you could share recipes or cooking tips. The key is to find a way to incorporate education into your content without making it feel like a chore.
6. Make it easy for them to buy
Old demographics are often more interested in convenience than anything else. They don’t want to have to jump through hoops to buy your product. This group just wants to be able to do it quickly and easily. So make sure your content contains a simple call to action that takes them directly to your website or online store (or even allows them to purchase within TikTok itself). And if you’re running any special offers or discounts, be sure to explicitly mention them so that people are aware. The easier you make it for someone to buy your product, the more likely they are to do it.
7. Understand their values
TikTok is all about authenticity, so make sure your content reflects the values of your target demographic. If you’re targeting baby boomers, consider the things that are important to them. This could be things like family, community, or moral values like respect and honesty.
TikTok’s younger demographic are some of the most progressive on the Internet. However, their older counterparts may not be as comfortable with some of the more risqué content on the platform. So if you’re targeting an older demographic, it’s important to keep your content clean. This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative or push the envelope. Just ensure your content is appropriate for everyone.
By understanding the values that are important to them, you can create content which resonates on a deeper level. And when your content resonates with them, they’re more likely to engage with it (and even make a purchase).
8. Appeal to parents (and grandparents)
Parents are one of the most active older demographics on TikTok. This is one demographic you don’t want to ignore. Parents represent some of the most active online consumers. They’re often willing to spend money on products they believe will improve their children’s lives. And if you can tap into this group, you could see a significant increase in sales.
The ups and downs of modern parenting are ripe for content. As such, consider creating TikTok content that offers advice, tips, or even just a laugh. Grandparents are also an active demographic on TikTok, and they’re often heavily invested in their grandchildren’s lives. Can you create content that relates to their experiences as grandparents in today’s world? If so, you’ll likely find a receptive (and largely untapped) audience.
9. Create content based on data (not assumptions)
It’s easy to presume you know what someone over 65 wants to see on TikTok. But in reality, you might have no idea. Older TikTokers are not your average seniors. They’re a group of people who are comfortable with technology and often have very different interests than you might expect.
Don’t compare them to your bingo-going granny. Instead, look at the data to see what they’re actually interested in. Use TikTok’s analytics tools to see which videos are performing well with your target demographic. This will give you a good idea of the content they’re interested in and how you can appeal to them. You can use this data to create highly targeted ads that are more likely to convert.
10. Don’t get too salesy
While it’s important to include a call to action in your videos, don’t bombard people with too much sales information. Old demographics are turned off by content that is too salesy, so make sure to strike the right balance.
Instead of hard-selling your product, focus on creating content that is interesting and informative. Demonstrate how your product can improve their lives, but don’t be too pushy about it. If you can provide value without turning your content into a typical sales pitch, you’re more likely to win them over.
11. Make it personal
Older demographics are often looking for content that’s relatable and personal. This is your opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level and demonstrate that you understand their needs. Consider creating TikTok content that tells a personal story or offers advice that’s relevant to their life.
You can also use this opportunity to show off your company’s personality and let your audience get to know your brand on a more personal level. Be human and approachable, and you’ll be more likely to gain the trust of your target demographic.
It’s Time To Expand Your Reach & Embrace The Elders Of TikTok
Older demographics are often overlooked by businesses but they represent a huge opportunity for brands willing to target them. By creating content that’s relevant to their lives and interests, you can reach a whole new group of potential customers. Older generations are some of the most brand-loyal, so if you can win them over, they’ll be customers for life.
They know how to navigate the online world and they’re not afraid to spend money. As such, you don’t want to leave them out of your marketing strategy. And if you’re looking for some guidance for your next TikTok marketing campaign, House of Marketers can help. We have a team of marketing experts available to help you navigate the weird and wonderful world of TikTok.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.