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For many Boomers, retirement means finally being able to focus on themselves and take advantage of what the world has to offer. As for all ages, traveling is a favorite pastime for retirees. In fact, the market for retired travelers will grow by 36% over the next 10 years. But that's not what's most interesting about Boomer travelers.
Boomers are passionate about sharing these experiences, and are blogging about their travel. Not only is this social sharing inspiring many other retirees to travel, the blogs themselves are gold mines for teaching marketers about how to engage a Boomer audience within the travel sector and beyond.
Personable & Intimate
From stories of empty nesting to downsizing, Boomer travel bloggers have few qualms about digging into the personal details of their lives. For example, on Lynn Martin's travel blog, Home Free Adventures, a single post chronicles a trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with her husband. In it, she includes a recap of Tim's medical challenges along with the usual insights on the cultural traditions of their hosts. Surprisingly less concerned about online than offline privacy, the casual tone and personal touches of Boomers' travel blogs create a vibe that feels both relatable and familiar.
Travel marketers can borrow this approach when speaking to the Boomer audience. By putting real names and faces behind the marketing and sharing real everyday challenges, stories feel less like a curated campaign, and more like real life.
Boomers' travel blogs are also incredibly media rich. While longer-form written content is the focus for nearly all of them, many include a surprising number of visuals and alternative media formats. A few examples:
- Posts on Tales from the Empty Nest are composed primarily of photography
- Home Free Adventures includes photos in nearly every post, as well as video and audio content throughout the site. Readers can also buy the paperback book!
- ChuckandLori.com and More Time to Travel offer evergreen resources on topics ranging from independent living to travel guides
While multimedia marketing may be more associated with a Millennial audience, marketers shouldn't shy away from creating interactive, media-rich campaigns. Like any other generation, Baby Boomers are equally intrigued by marketing with varying elements and depth.
Content over Design
While design has been at the forefront of marketing trends for at least a year, a quick peruse through Boomer travel blogs demonstrates that design quality is far outweighed by the quality of content. With basic site layouts and muted color palettes, aesthetics take a back seat to well-developed story lines and consistent publication of high-caliber content. Marketers targeting the Boomer demographic should be certain to invest in the substance of content rather than its surface-level appearance.
As more and more Boomers hit the road for travel, it's certain that an increasing number will share their journeys online, and in hand, offer more lessons for marketers seeking to engage similar audiences.