Baby Boomers on YouTube

Tyler Knowles

August 6, 2019

One of the key tenets of digital marketing is knowing where to find your audience. This is an aspect that must be constantly monitored as it changes often—consumers move around the internet, bouncing from platform to platform with the ebbs and flows of various trends and opportunities. Earlier this year, in an article on Think With Google, Brittney Ackerman discussed three reasons why baby boomers are increasing their usage of one such online destination: YouTube.

Saving Time

One might think that the retiring generation wouldn’t see time saving as a perk of new technology, but one would be wrong. Baby boomers have plans and things to do. And those plans do not include spending endless amounts of time in front of a television for a few chuckles. Instead of being stuck with huge blocks of linear programming, baby boomers can find their ideal content on YouTube in shorter forms—and they can do it with ease. Even if they have just a few minutes to search and enjoy videos, they can find something to watch.

The Google/Ipsos Human Stories Study cited in the same article notes that baby boomers are 1.3x more likely to watch a YouTube tutorial than read instructions.

Learning New Things

The internet is a vast and seemingly endless supply of information (even if a few of us use it primarily for cat videos). Baby boomers enjoy using YouTube to learn new things. Whether they’re looking up something specific, or gaining a bit of general knowledge through a favorite program, boomers are getting educated.

Another fun fact from the Google/Ipsos Human Stories Study: one in three boomers use YouTube to learn about a product or service.

Keeping Up

This one shouldn’t shock you because it’s the primary reason most people watch YouTube: just to know what’s going on. YouTube is a massive collection of thoughts and ideas from millions of people around the world. It not only exists to create content, but collects content from multiple outlets outside itself. If you want to know what’s trending around the world, YouTube is a great place to do it. Boomers are using the platform to catch up on their favorite shows, watch the news, and stay informed so they can participate in whatever “watercooler conversation” they may find themselves a part of.

So, what does this mean for advertisers? Pay attention. YouTube should be an active channel for clients with a boomer target audience (which is most clients). Know who your audience is, where they’re at, and how to best engage them.

Brand Strategy