When discussing the marketing efforts of the reverse mortgage industry and large organizations, including American Advisors Group (AAG), it is common for lenders, originators and brokers to use traditional forms of media, including television and radio. It is also common for these industry players to ensure that an online presence through a company or individual’s website is easily accessible to more tech-savvy seniors or family members. of a potential borrower.
Less common is any reverse mortgage industry interaction with a social media platform primarily used by members of “Gen Z”, typically born between the 1990s and 2010s. popular senior influencer active on the platform and its efforts to educate people of all ages on vocabulary, industry-leading reverse mortgage lender AAG has extended its reach to this unlikely place.
Bev Mahone, a former journalist-turned-author specializing in the baby boomer generation, also hosts podcasts and discusses issues important to the baby boomer population. After being introduced to TikTok by her grandson, her daily posts highlighting different words and their meanings grew in popularity and led to the creation of a “vocabulary challenge” with a prize sponsored by AAG.
RMD recently caught up with Mahone to discuss her vocabulary challenge and her partnership with AAG, and how the lender has assisted and sponsored her in her endeavours.
Connecting with AAG, delivering information directly to seniors
Regarding Mahone’s first interactions with AAG, she describes how she and her husband explored whether or not a reverse mortgage was right for them. Although they ultimately decided against moving forward, the audience Mahone had developed caught the lender’s attention as providing a direct opportunity to engage with the elderly population.
“Well, I’ve been working with baby boomers since the mid-90s and early 2000s,” Mahone told RMD in an interview. “I have a platform with podcasts and websites, and baby boomers come [to those places] receive information. Because of my experience as a journalist, I could offer information that they simply couldn’t get from a regular blogger. Or, if they wanted news and they didn’t always want to watch the news, I created another platform they could use.
The direct connection Mahone developed with other seniors seemed like something AAG could find value in, she explains of her thinking.
“I thought if [AAG] might realize that I have that audience and that I’m an influencer, so maybe that’s something they’d want to engage in so they can reach an even bigger and more diverse audience,” she says. .
Being part of the generation the lender typically targets the most right now, Mahone says she understands what often drives conversations about retirement among her peers. Providing another avenue outside of normal channels had potential, she said.
“We don’t know because we don’t know,” she said. “And if we’re not in circles where people are talking about reverse mortgages or retirement strategies, we don’t know what’s available to us, and I think that’s general. I don’t think it’s limited to African American baby boomers or Asian American baby boomers. So I thought that because I have a diverse audience, this would be a great way to get that information out to them.
She was right. AAG entered into a partnership with her shortly thereafter, which took many forms, including AAG staff coming to one of her shows to discuss the reverse mortgage product in general, until aforementioned sponsorship of the following-powered vocabulary challenge she cultivated via TikTok.
Bringing the reach of reverse mortgages to TikTok
Mahone’s desire to create content aimed at seniors largely stemmed from the perception that members of his generation needed content more specifically tailored to engage, which led to the creation of his first show of online radio using the long-standing BlogTalkRadio platform. This eventually morphed into a more modern and recognizable podcast format, which later allowed him to branch out into video creation on sites like Vimeo and YouTube.
While writing a book, she was told that creating such material could be an effective promotional tool, and has since created content for online platforms aimed at older people. She was introduced to TikTok by her 15-year-old grandson, which led to the creation of a regular series of posts aimed at teaching people of all ages different words in English.
TikTok is a short-form video-based social media network that is defined by users sharing clips ranging from 15 seconds to three minutes, and typically features jokes, stunts, or other types of entertainment. According to a study conducted by a digital marketing agency Omnicorearound half of TikTok’s global audience is under 34, while 32.5% of its US-based users are between the ages of 10 and 19 according to Statistical. Recent Pew Research 2021 Data suggests that TikTok may become more popular with older audiences, with 14% of 50-64 year olds and 4% of those aged 65 or over saying they have used the platform.
All that to say, the platform may not be full of seniors to target for a reverse mortgage, but AAG’s involvement became a reality thanks to Mahone’s “vocabulary challenge.” After being encouraged by her grandson to create a “word of the day,” Mahone’s TikTok profile took off and amassed over 574,000 followers and more than 3 million likes to date. The idea of creating a “vocabulary challenge” as a competition came to Mahone one night during a dream, she says, and the sheer scale of such an endeavor has helped her realize it’s something which could really take off with the proper support. That’s when she contacted AAG, who offered a grand prize of $500 to the eventual winner. Obviously, the monetary prize is a motivator for participants, but there could be more, Mahone says.
“Every time I do the vocabulary challenge with AAG as a constantly mentioned sponsor, if they only got 1% of [my followers] of TikTok, and the same on Twitter, that [will lead to exposure],” she says.
Emerging social media platforms like TikTok certainly haven’t been the focus of the reverse mortgage industry’s marketing efforts lately. Bev Mahone may be a bit ahead of the curve in this regard, but bringing these audiences into the product category could be beneficial, she says.
“That’s the value I think I place on AAG because they get this huge exposure on different platforms because they can’t be everywhere all the time,” she says. “So I’m just like that little arm helping them spread their message.”
Visit Bev Mahone’s TikTok profile to see their “word of the day” messages, and for more details on the vocabulary challenge.