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The aviation industry is ever-changing, and investing in content marketing, travel SEO and PR is paramount to success. Embracing new technology can also help companies gain a competitive edge, and Virtual Reality (VR) is one of these technologies that’s changing from being a novelty to having real-world, profit-driven uses. We look at how VR is being used by airlines today.

 

What is Virtual Reality?

VR technology comprises a person wearing a VR headset that immerses them into a 360° environment. In addition to visual stimulus, there can also be audio and physical stimuli as part of the VR experience, working seamlessly to transport the user into a new environment. So, you would be able to see a door in front of you, interact with it and open it, while hearing the handle turning and the door being pulled open as you do it.

 

British Airways VR in-flight entertainment

 

 

Since August, British Airways has offered passengers the opportunity to experience VR technology on select First Class flights between London Heathrow and New York JFK. It enables passengers to watch documentaries, movies and series in 2D, 3D or 360° formats. This offers another level of service to First Class passengers and may entice people to fly with BA as it offers a unique in-flight experience. BA’s move to trial new entertainment technology shows that being an industry leader is important in this highly competitive market.

 

Virtual reality training with Lufthansa

German airline Lufthansa has two VR training hubs – one in Munich and the other in Frankfurt, designed to help cabin crew with training. Lufthansa projects that 18,500 cabin crew will be training in these state-of-the-art hubs each year. Using VR tech in this way, Lufthansa is able to reduce cost and increase efficiency as multiple cabin crew members can train at one time without the need for a real, physical aircraft.

 

Furthermore, the interactivity aspect of VR technology means it's favourable to a basic simulator as cabin crew are able to carry out physical tasks and encourage muscle memory of actions – such as safely securing doors and exits.

 

It’s important to note that VR training of pilots and cabin crew isn’t going to replace training in actual aircraft completely, but it does significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency.

 

Virtual cabin tours before boarding

 

 

Lufthansa also has virtual reality assets of its cabins and uses them at a crucial point in a passenger's journey – just before they board their flight. Lufthansa use VR technology as a method to up-sell their premium cabins to people as they allow passengers to experience the cabins before their flight.

 

This usage of VR technology is ingenious as it is an information rich experience that could encourage a passenger to upgrade their seat before they fly.

 

Virtual cabin tours with Emirates

There are plenty of airlines investing in VR tours and experiences of their cabins, but Emirates VR tours are some of the most comprehensive. You’re able to experience Economy, Business and First Class cabins, the on-board bar, and shower and spa rooms. You can access these assets when exploring cabin options for potential flights, and offer yet more information to passengers so they can make an informed choice on who to fly with.

 

The power of these 3D videos give passengers better spatial information and is closer to the actual experience passengers have on an Emirates flight.

 

Adopting new technology is just one step towards creating a competitive advantage in the fast-moving airline industry. Knowing when to use the technology and when to put potential customers into contact with it is key for airlines. VR is one of those technologies, and we’ve seen innovative ways of embracing it. And in the years to come, the use of VR in the airline industry looks set to soar.

With the number of social media users set to reach more than 3 billion in 2021, the way that audiences use the internet has changed and developed.

 

Brands must now keep up-to-date with the latest social trends to stay relevant. As online communications increase in popularity, the need for celebrity endorsement and costly media advertising budgets is significantly lower.

 

Consumers are now looking to ordinary people to promote the latest products and services, which has led to the rise of influencer marketing. Trusting the recommendations of their favourite blogger accounts, non-celebrity bloggers are 10 times more likely to influence a purchase than a celebrity. In an industry filled with competitors, choosing the right travel influencer to collaborate with is vital to reaching the right audience.

 

Here are the top 25 travel influencers to work with in 2019.

 

1) Murad Osmann

 

Looking to get your brand in front of as many eyes as possible? The most-followed travel influencer in 2018 with 4.3m followers, Murad Osmann travels the globe with his wife Nataly. His work came to popularity by the unique camera angle which shows his wife taking his hand and leading him towards incredible landmarks. His #followmeto campaign is followed by thousands.

 

2) The Blog Abroad

 

Featured on both Oprah and Forbes, influencer Gloria decided to head to Europe with US$500 after graduation. Seventy-three countries later, she now lives out of her suitcase and works on her blog full-time. Embracing authenticity and creativity, the blog attracts audiences through motivational and encouraging messages.

 

 

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A post shared by Gloria Atanmo, The Blog Abroad (@glographics) on

 

3) Izkiz

Celebrating a world of colour, Jennifer Tuffen is a British travel writer and blogger who is perfect for any brand looking for artistic visuals. Followed by millions, Tuffen also created a photo-editing app so fans can capture their own travel highlights.

 

 

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A post shared by Jennifer Tuffen (@izkiz) on

 

4) The Bucket List Family

 

Selling everything they owned to travel the world, the Gee family visited 65 countries in three years. The go-to for brands looking to attract families, this account inspires parents to see the world with their little ones. Garett, Jessica and their three young children are watched by thousands as they visit popular destinations. Most recently, they have settled in Hawaii, but continue to share their holidays abroad.

 

 

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A post shared by The Bucket List Family (@thebucketlistfamily) on


5) FunforLouis

 

Is your brand all about the adrenaline? Louis Cole has built his following by taking risks. Acknowledged by Forbes as one of the top 10 world travel influencers in 2017, he started by eating unusual local delicacies in various countries. Louis has now set his sights on finding the world's most exhilarating activities, including flying round the world in a biplane.

 

 

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A post shared by Louis Cole (@funforlouis) on

 

6) Pip and the City

Pippa Jones' message to her followers is Travel. Eat. Write. Repeat. Capturing bright images around the world, the blog gives handy tips and advice on affordable luxury for young travel enthusiasts.

 

 

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A post shared by Pip and the City - Travel Blog (@pipsays) on

 

7) Mr Ben Brown

If your brand is looking for video content, then Ben Brown is the ideal collaboration for you. With more than 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, Ben uploads daily vlogs in exotic destinations. Ben has worked with big brand names such as BMW, Hilton and LG.

 

 

8) Girleatworld

Influencer Melissa Hie is on a mission to 'eat her way around the world'. The perfect travel account to reach food lovers worldwide, the images focus on the delicacy first and then the location. With thousands waiting for the next tasty treat, it celebrates a much-loved aspect of seeing the world.

 

 

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A post shared by ❤️ Mel's Food & Travel log (@girleatworld) on

 

9) Runaway Juno

Leaving her job as a mechanical engineer 2011, Juno Kim is now followed by thousands as she uploads photos and blogs about her travels. Highlighting the social aspect of travelling, she focuses on the inspirational stories of the people she meets along the way.

 

 

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A post shared by Runaway Juno Media (@runawayjuno) on

 

10) Rosie The Londoner

Being a travel influencer doesn't always mean you have to cross the globe – and influencer Rosie Thomas has realised just this. An expert in all things London, the blog recommends hotels, restaurants and hidden gems in the city. Working with fashion brands such as Michael Kors, she is one to approach about the latest in the capital.

 

11) Twins That Travel

What's better than two influencers for the price of one? Twins Claire and Laura found they were both anxious when it came to travelling. After deciding to take on the journey together, they now share their experiences of seeing the world. With thousands of followers and a podcast, enjoy the twin perspective on all things travel.

 

12) bymariandrew

Unusual for a travel influencer, Marian Drew doesn't use photographs to show her travels. Instead, the account highlights the importance of descriptive writing and is filled with writings and drawings on paper of her latest adventures.

 

 

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A post shared by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on

 

13) Tuula Vintage

Mixing the worlds of fashion and travel, influencer Jessica heads around the globe in vintage and designer clothes. A mother since April 2017, Jessica attracts an audience of young mums as her and her daughter travel side by side. Voted one of the most influential style bloggers by fashionista.com, she is a great choice for brands wanting incorporate the latest catwalk trends.

 

 

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A post shared by Jessica Stein (@tuulavintage) on

 

14) thepointsguy

With his site attracting four million visitors a month, Brian Kelly advises travellers on how to make the most of their travel reward cards. The page also gives audiences the latest deals and top tips in travel.

 

15) Otts World

After quitting her full-time job, Sherry Ott now focuses on the experiences of travelling the world as a solo female wanderer. Her travels have taken her all over the world, with diverse destinations such as Panama and Antarctica.

 

 

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A post shared by Sherry Ott (@ottsworld) on

 

16) Daman and Jo

Attracting millennials worldwide, they are two 1990s-born vloggers with more than 600,000 subscribers. Education young people on different cultures and topics, they are both multi-lingual and upload videos in different languages.

 

 

17) theplanetd

Husband and wife Dave & Deb use the power of colourful visuals to attract thousands. Offering travel tips and advice after visiting more than 105 countries, they have been named by Forbes as one of the top 10 travel influencers.

 

 

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A post shared by Dave & Deb?ThePlanetD (@theplanetd) on

 

18) travelbabbo

Using #takeyourkidseverywhere, family travel writer Eric Stoen captures his travels through sharing photos of his children in spectacular locations. A skilled photographer, he is also an ambassador for AFAR and Travelocity.

 

 

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A post shared by Eric Stoen | Family Travel (@travelbabbo) on

 

19) Jacksgap

Filmmaker and environmentalist Jack Harries has gained millions of followers through captivating vlogs around the world. The videos give a unique insight into the lives of the people in each of the countries through interviews and incredible photography.

 

 

20) triphackr

Sharing useful travel tips with thousands of followers, travel hacker Clint Johnston shares the latest deals. Visiting more than 100 countries in the past decade, he's been featured in the BBC, Lonely Planet and CNN.

 

21) Ovunno

If breathtaking landscapes is part of your brand guidelines, then Oliver Vegas is the perfect collaboration for you. His photo's consist of landmarks around the globe shot in unique angles. For animal lovers, there's also some incredible wildlife close-ups.

 

 

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A post shared by Oliver Vegas (@ovunno) on

 

22) migrationology

Showcasing dishes from around the globe, this account is one for the foodies. With a huge passion for food, Mark Wiens has millions waiting to see what is next on the global menu.

 

 

23) Lee Abbamonte

Having visited every country on the planet, Lee shares his outdoor adventures with thousands online. His experiences include the world's highest bungee jump in South Africa and silverback gorilla tracking in Rwanda. Now a multimedia travel personality, you can can catch him regularly on BBC and Fox News.

 

 

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A post shared by Lee Abbamonte (@leeabbamonte) on

 

24) Keira Rumble

Foodie, traveller and nutritionist, Keira combines both lifestyle and travel by motivating her followers. Struggling with her weight in the past, Keira now travels around the globe giving healthy lifestyle tips along the way.

 

 

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A post shared by Keira Rumble (@krumble) on

 

25) chrisburkard

Working as a freelance photographer for the likes of Apple and American Airlines, Chris's eye for detail has gained him millions of followers. Snapping incredible moving shots around the world, he is now senior staff photographer at Surfer magazine.

 

 

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A post shared by ChrisBurkard (@chrisburkard) on

 

The key to a successful influencer marketing strategy is collaborating with the right influencer for your brand. When deciding on one to approach, always consider their audience and whether this aligns with your demographic. These steps guarantee that the new partnership brings positive results.

 

Avoid sending mass emails to influencers. Most receive offers every day, so make your brand stand out by tailoring your response. Explain why you think their work and your brand are the perfect fit.

 

With travel writers and bloggers reaching millions of people around the globe, influencer marketing can be that all-important exposure that your brand needs to get to the top.

 

It’s been predicted that in 2018 online purchases will account for 18% of all retail sales made within the UK. It’s great news for e-commerce businesses, yet the industry’s unprecedented growth has inherently led to a boom in the number of brands vying for valuable online real estate. The more competitors your business faces, the harder it is to grow your brand organically online.

Digital PR is one of the most cost-effective ways to boost traffic, improve brand awareness and encourage positive engagement from your audience. While the relationship between PR and e-commerce may not always be immediately obvious, we've proven that it's possible to achieve award-winning results when using digital PR as a tool to support your wider content strategy. With that in mind, here are just a few tips for growing your e-commerce business with digital PR.

The benefits of digital PR

The first question to ask yourself when working with a new content format, is 'how your business can benefit?' Understanding the process of digital PR, and establishing what you're hoping to gain from it, is vital to maximise content ROI.

The benefits of digital PR are vast. For e-commerce businesses, they can include:

printed and digital PR

Unlike print marketing forms, pickup from digital PR also generates links which can be tracked and monitored. This enables you to evaluate the success of your digital PR campaign in near-real time. All of this is great news for any e-commerce business hoping to enhance their digital strategy with PR.

Digital PR for e-commerce businesses

Depending on the scope of your e-commerce business, there are a variety of ways to incorporate digital PR into your existing content strategy. Whether you’re announcing the launch of a new product or service, or simply sharing some good news relating to your brand, digital PR is a great way to get your message out and showcase your brand identity.

Digital PR typically consists of three key steps – planning, implementation and measurement. Regardless of your industry, it's all about knowing how to tell a story in a way that engages its audience. Getting your message heard by the right people is an important consideration, while measuring the success of your campaign is vital to optimising future campaigns.

Top tips for growing your e-commerce business with digital PR

Put your story first

story

You've got a great e-commerce brand, so naturally you want to shout about it. The most important thing to remember however is that all successful digital PR campaigns are founded on a compelling story. Without one you run the risk of struggling to draw interest from journalists and publishers, the likes of which have hundreds of press releases land on their desks every day.

Even if your press release is announcing the launch of a new product or service, great storytelling is key. In the same way as other forms of content, digital PR is all about offering your audience new and valuable information. Let your story speak for you and increased brand awareness will naturally follow.

Don't neglect SEO

Gone are the days when PR and SEO teams worked in silo. Nowadays, there's a real focus on how one can benefit the other. Coverage and engagement which stem directly from PR coverage will help you to grow your e-commerce business, but so will reaping the potential SEO benefits of your digital PR strategy.

Understanding the relationship between PR and SEO is vital if you're to get the best possible return from your campaign. Backlinks and mentions from influencers and journalists are a great way to get your story heard. They're also effective at supporting SEO and driving increased organic traffic to your site over a long period of time.

Measure your success

There are multiple facets to measuring the success of your digital PR campaign, each of which can be used to improve your strategy moving forward. Taking a closer look at the publications that feature your campaign is a great place to start, giving you a clearer view of how valuable each backlink is and the level of engagement your story is likely to have generated.

You should use Google Analytics to view and analyse any spikes in traffic and metrics relating to your revenue goals. Adding a UTM code to links included in your campaign is one way of tracking how successful your campaign has been in contributing to your objectives.

Digital PR is often overlooked in the e-commerce industry, yet it can offer huge benefits when implemented well. Successful digital PR campaigns are a cost-effective way of growing your e-commerce business and establishing relationships with consumers and publishers alike.

For more information on how our digital PR strategies can help you, get in touch today.

Digital PR is often a lengthy process, but can ultimately be broken down into three key steps - the planning and creation, pitching and distribution and tracking and measurement.

We've rounded up 30 of our favourite tools, each of which attempt to make the whole process just that little bit easier and ultimately pave the way to digital PR success. (more…)

We’re consistently reminded that journalists and publishers are busy people, with overflowing inboxes that are brimming with people wanting to get their story heard. So how can you make sure that yours is a pitch that stands out amongst the rest? (more…)

The marketing industry is changing rapidly. No longer confined to their own isolated spaces, the constructs of ‘traditional’ and ‘online’ marketing are beginning to merge.

This broader concept of marketing also encompasses public relations strategies, and promises to change the way people discover new brands and their products.

As consumer habits continue to evolve, the need to connect with your audience in a way that consistently reinforces your company’s values across channels is increasing. Public relations is no longer a distinct entity, but one that can and should be closely integrated into present day marketing strategies.

Join us as we take a look at why PR should be a major part of your marketing mix.

Content opportunities

One key benefit of introducing public relations into your online marketing strategy is the potential to create new and engaging content. With 76% of marketers aiming to increase the amount of content produced during 2016, the value of offering something unique has never been greater.

Generating newsworthy PR content is a fresh approach that could go long way to getting you noticed, especially with so many marketers still demonstrating a reluctance to integrate PR and marketing content in practice.

The most effective PR content will make journalists, editors and bloggers take note of your business – reproducing your story in the their publications and raising awareness of your company with their readership. You can also repurpose the story on your own site as a news story or a blog post, written specifically for your audience.

Innocent

Innocent Drinks is particularly good at this, crafting shareable content for its blog off the back of press activity. In doing so, it ensures their customers find out about their latest activities, even if they miss the news.

Social sharing

When your news story appears in widely read publications and on popular websites, you’ll find that your content gets distributed on social media by its readers.

The best way to secure these shares is by creating PR stories that are unique and of a consistently high quality. If it surprises or impresses readers, they’ll be likely to share it with their friends and followers. This amplifies the reach of your story and should have an impact on traffic to your site.

You can even influence social activity yourself, by sharing press mentions on your own channels, encouraging people to read and share the story. Individuals that follow you online will already have buy-in and relate to your business, so will be more likely to share the story than someone who comes to your story cold.

 

Unilad

A story we promoted for CruiseDeals.co.uk was published by numerous websites, including Unilad, which secured more than 8,000 shares on social media, bringing the company to a brand new audience who may never have considered taking a cruise holiday before.

 

Promoting brand values

Consumer habits are evolving and are now as heavily influenced by company values as by the products themselves. An increased focus on public relations is one way to ensure that your audience is familiar with your brand identity in the lead up to making a purchase. This is particularly relevant within more saturated markets, where the core beliefs of a brand can become one of its few defining features.

By creating a PR story that reinforces your business’ core values, you will strengthen how you are perceived. For instance, if you want your company to be renowned for its work within the community, you may choose to share a story about your company’s charity work. If you want to be perceived as innovative and market leading, a release about your company’s latest research will support that.

 

Guardian

John Lewis’ advert being shared by The Guardian online reinforces the importance of relationships with an audience likely to share those values, encouraging engagement and social sharing.

Dobbies

Dobbies in Northern Ireland reinforced its community focus, by sharing news of its charity partnership with a local audience, having secured mentions from the Ulster Star.

Building trust

Getting your news story into a publication that’s trusted by your audience – whether that’s a national newspaper, blog or a social media account – will increase their trust in you. They will perceive your brand as legitimate and worth mention in these articles.

Regardless of whether you’re reporting good news – such as your work within the local community – or about research you’ve conducted – you will be perceived as an expert by your potential customers.

Providing that the content on your owned channels is consistent with this perception, it will reinforce this trust. If the tone of voice, for instance, is inconsistent with the tone of the news story, it could be jarring and damage how readers see your brand.

If you’re keen to learn more about the benefits of introducing PR to your existing online marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

With more and more emphasis being placed on the importance of digital media marketing, businesses across the board are investing more time and money in boosting their online presence and their SEO profile in particular.

Because of the amount of specialised knowledge that goes into social media, PR & marketing, and content production, it becomes tempting to contract each of these disciplines out to separate firms and have them focus all of their energies on maximising the potential of that particular niche.

While such an approach can seem logical, it can create issues by overlooking the holistic environment that is your digital identity. All too often, such segregation leads to poor communication between teams, which hampers their cooperation and can even add costs. By having each facet exist in a separate silo, you damage the potential of your marketing team as a whole.

The crux of the problem

What this means on a practical level is that teams – regardless of their quality or competence – are often not kept in the loop by other groups. For example, Google's ever-changing algorithm means that PR efforts that have already been put in place can be upset by updates to Google, even as the social media team may benefit from a clearer roadmap. Search engines are now giving poor quality links low priority, and often now penalise companies that pursue them; this has led to SEO companies pursuing strategies to counteract these negative effects, but they need to make sure all their content and outreach teams are on the same page.

Similarly, working in tandem can reap benefits for all parties. The same content can be reused multiple times – for example, a survey conducted by the PR team could become the basis for a blog by the content marketing team and simultaneously be promoted on social media—but only if all of the various departments are working together. Furthermore, SEO teams can often help PR professionals reach the goals that matter most to them, receiving exposure and quality links from the websites and brands which matter in return.

How to find the solution

It’s imperative to build a good working relationship between all of the marketing limbs of the organisation. If everyone is pulling in the same direction, greater results can be achieved. Similarly, smooth integration of the various departments allows a company to embark on bigger projects, yielding better traffic and resulting in more engagement and conversions.

For example, a video marketing stunt set up to promote your business can be very effective when appropriate content is created by the content marketing team, sent to relevant news agencies and outlets by the PR team and promoted by the social media team on all platforms. Such a project is simply too hard to embark upon unless everyone is on the same page.

Allow your business to reach maximise potential with its marketing efforts – abolish the silos which they inhabit and the silence which exists between them.

Walk into any restaurant, café, or bar and you’ll more than likely see half of the patrons glued to their smartphones, tablets or other handheld devices.

The same goes for pretty much any public (or private) sphere you can think of—in fact, there’s a good chance you’re reading this very article on your own mobile device right now.

As such, it’s clear that the Internet has become an integral part of our lives — at home, at the office and on-the-go — therefore, digital marketing is of ever-increasing importance to any advertising campaign or business plan. To fully grasp the web’s influence, take a look at these incredible stats concerning different areas of the digital marketing spectrum.

 

The personal encroaching on the business world?

B2B buying can be heavily influenced by emotion, it seems. Business value is all well and good, but to a consumer, personal value packs twice as much punch in terms of their likelihood to buy. Indeed, 71% of users who see personal value in a product will be prepared to fork out their hard-earned cash, while 68% who see personal value will be ready to pay a higher price for the benefit. Emotional advertising is effective for a reason.

While the head should rule the heart in terms of a business approach, it’s important to remember that from the consumer’s point of view, the heart often has a hefty say in matters.

 

Social media: Overrated?

Social media – or anti-social media, as it may well be termed given how much it encroaches and diminishes our real-life interactions with our fellow humans—is well and truly king of the digital marketing domain. For well over 5 years, social media has been the most common online activity, and today, 78% of companies have a dedicated social media team. But is it worth it?

Well, perhaps not, if you’re only interested in financial ROI — but it does depend on who you are. For the bigger brands, less than 0.25% of new customers were generated via Facebook and less than 0.1% via Twitter. Furthermore, a measly 22% of consumers trust advertising emails they receive from companies, while even less (13%) trust ads found on websites. There’s more to marketing than just making sales, and while customer sentiment and loyalty may be more tricky to measure than financial ROI, they’re still extremely important — and social media is perfect for this.

 

Email marketing: Underrated?

The humble email seems to have fallen slightly out of favour with many online marketing companies, but the stats show that it’s still an incredibly valuable channel. While social media is deemed to be the giant in the online marketing business, there are actually three times as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitters users combined!

With 83% of marketing emails making it into the inbox of the desired customer and a whopping £28.66 return on investment for every pound spent, the email should not be forgotten as a strong weapon in your marketing arsenal!

 

Mobile marketing: Upwardly mobile or going nowhere fast?

After highlighting the benefits of email, it may be of interest to know that precisely one quarter of all emails are opened on a mobile device. 63% of all mobile phone owners currently use it to go online, and more than half of those use it as their main method of browsing.

However,  70% of users say they received unwanted marketing mails to their phone. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. This illuminative infographic highlights how rapidly mobile sales increased over 2014, especially in comparison to desktop sales.

Even though businesses understand the social relevance of YouTube not everyone realises its bigger potential for bringing in new clients.

While the majority of views may be focused around cute cat videos or comedy sketches, businesses can achieve a much more personal approach to their advertising by getting on board. (more…)

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