The travel industry is constantly developing and has to move in tandem with consumers changing attitudes and behaviours – and this makes it hard to know what next year will hold. Content marketing is a driving force in inspiring people to travel, and marketers are well adept to helping shape future trends. From eco-friendly travel to family holidays, let's look at six trends to watch out for in 2020.
It’s estimated that roughly half of the UK and US workforce will be freelance by 2020 and there now are more children homeschooled, which helps contribute to an increase in family-holiday bookings. This should lead to families being in a position to take more frequent holidays. Ian Crawford, a representative of Holiday Hypermarket, says: ‘Parents will take advantage of the flexibility that freelancing and homeschooling offers, and will look to go on more holidays as a family. This presents holiday companies with a great opportunity to offer tailored family holidays.’
In an unforeseen but clever move, homeware brands are now getting involved in the travel industry by opening hotels. One of the first to do this is Made.com, which opened its own MADE hotel in Manhattan in 2017 and a boutique Boathouse hotel in London in 2018. The success of the two will pave way for more homeware businesses to open their own hotels – and giving the chance to showcase their products to customers.
People are now seeing travel having a level of personal fulfilment – a recent survey showed that more than half of respondents said that their trip taught them valuable life skills. People are now wanting to experience a level of personal fulfilment when they travel and are often wanting to learn life skills and experience the local culture. Couple this with an increase in interest for volunteering, personal fulfilment while travelling will be something people look for and should be considered if you’re a travel company.
As the number of solo travellers increases, airports have begun to find ways to make passenger journeys easier. Dublin Airport discovered that the majority of passengers coming through the airport were solo travellers, and decided to find an initiative that would make solo travel easier – Bus & Fly. As the solo travel segment gets bigger, airports, holiday suppliers, hotels and more can find their own ways to serve this portion of travellers better.
Although solo travel has been on the rise, it can be quite lonely – this is because finding good, cheap accommodation such as hostels and Airbnbs often means having to stay outside city centres. WeLive (a sister company of WeWork) now has apartments aimed at connecting solo travellers with each other through co-living, joint activities and relaxing common areas. You can stay there for a couple of nights or even a couple of months – the focus is on creating a social atmosphere.
With more travellers wanting to make more sustainable travel decisions, travel-related businesses will want to keep this in mind. The majority of travellers have indicated that this motivation will have an impact on how they travel, so the industry will need to align themselves with this viewpoint. If not, there could be tough times ahead for those not willing to keep up with the growing trend of eco-friendly travel.
As traveller attitudes and behaviour and the global environment changes, it’s key for the travel industry to keep up. These five travel trends to watch out for are some of the largest, but only time will tell if there are any others to be wary of.
Check out WooContent's video marketing services and see how we can take your travel brand to the next level.
In certain circles, cruising has garnered a reputation for being something of an older-person’s holiday option, but taking an objective look at what a break on the water can offer reveals that it is so much more.
Forget what you think you know about cruises and you might just discover that they are the perfect holiday choice for most, if not all of us.
Modern travel marketing has taken an interesting turn. While there is still a huge amount of fantastic writing, coming from a place of genuine experience and interest, social media has leapt in to take holiday promotions to a new level.
Instagram has been particularly useful for the cruising world, with travel influencers posting pictures of incredible sights, irresistible food and stunning cabins, all while topping up those picture-perfect tans or wrapping up in the latest must-have outdoor gear. This might sound like a superficial motivation for boarding a luxury liner, but with holiday bragging a serious cause of jealousy on social media, travellers of all ages are trying to get THE picture that will make strangers follow them and friends mute their feeds. Selfies in the Norwegian fjords, sunbathing on the deck and sailing into the Caribbean, all hashtagged #wishyouwerehere and #wanderlust, are proving that cruising is still a popular holiday choice.
Back in the day, cruise excursions were a little less imaginative than they are now. You’d pull into port, jump onto dry land and spend a few hours seeing all the expected tourist sights and, if you were lucky, maybe a market. Today, things are radically more interesting, with scenic and cultural shore excursions allowing cruisers to see as much of every country as possible.
Many cruises are meticulously planned to allow passengers the maximum amount of time on dry land, if they wish to leave the comfort of their cabins. Pulling into port early in the morning, liners are emptied as curious cruisers head out into new cities to get a feel for the local charm and they now spend all day exploring. Booking ahead can open up even more experiences, such as local cooking classes, 4x4 tours and tables at the most exclusive restaurants, but that’s not to say that a lazy day or two on a new beach isn’t a worthwhile pursuit, too.
If the idea of wandering around the same deck for days or even weeks sounds like your idea of holiday hell, that’s because you missed the memo about all the entertainment aboard the best liners now. There’s more to cruising than just sun loungers and shuffleboard.
Depending on which company you decide to cruise with, you will find yourself hard-pressed to enjoy everything that a modern cruise ship has to offer. Numerous restaurants, fitness facilities and evening entertainment are all a given but what about multiple swimming pools, zip lines, yoga classes and cooking courses? Even younger children can be kept amused, when parents want a little grown-up time, as many operators offer kids' clubs that keep youngsters occupied into the early evening.
Think about a traditional holiday and you’ll realise that there’s usually an element that doesn’t quite live up to your imagination. Whether it’s a pool that’s out of action, a hotel that’s less glamorous than the online images, or food that doesn’t quite hit the spot, something often fails to impress. With a cruise, that’s unlikely to be the case.
From bow to stern, cruise liners are designed and built to offer the most luxurious accommodation possible, with nothing left to chance. Even the more modest cabins are fitted out to offer comfort and style, just in smaller proportions and then there’s the food. With numerous restaurants on offer, the dining options on a cruise are incredibly varied, meaning that you’ll always find something to satiate your appetite, whatever your cravings.
Cruising has enjoyed a buoyant few years, with 2017 setting new passenger number records and the trend continuing. If projections are accurate, upcoming years are set to break records as well. The reasons for this are numerous, but multigenerational cruising, where families travel together, an increase in wellness awareness and sustainability are all cited as key motivations.
As more travellers look for thrilling holiday options that leave a smaller footprint but don’t diminish the Instagrammable moments, cruising looks set to enjoy another surge in popularity, proving that wanderlust on the water is anything but over.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re fed up of being told to ‘picture yourself on a beach, under a palm tree, with azure blue waters lapping at your feet’, then join the club.
Travel copywriting should be an effective way to craft engaging content that elicits a sense of adventure in the reader, but so often we see the same old tropes being used to, at best, mediocre effect. Below, you’ll find a few of our all-time most hated travel writing cliches. Did your bugbears make the list?
We don’t know about you, but we’ve never actually seen sand that glitters and radiates the same warmth as gold. Most of the gritty stuff that we’ve walked and laid on has been a dull beige colour, but nice enough to while a few hours away on if the weather is warm. As we see it, beaches come in pebble, black sand and regular sand varieties. All have their merits and don’t need to be verbally photoshopped.
When travel copywriting includes the word 'vista', it’s because the writer has struggled to find an alternative word for view. Everybody knows it, but nobody admits it, for fear of sounding less intellectual and worldly. The crux of the matter is that travellers want to know what they can expect to see, in terms of memorable sightseeing spots, not generically pretty views out over some water. After all, we’ve all seen a sunset by now!
Describing the local cuisine as ‘flavourful’ or a ‘rich blend of cultural influences’ tells us nothing about the dishes themselves or, more importantly, if we’ll like them. A little research goes a long way here, so instead of the half-hearted ‘sweet, flaky pastry’ baklava descriptions, for example, let’s hear about the blend of rose water and pistachios that make for a floral yet earthy palate and the syrup topping that will have you desperate to clean your teeth (if you eat too many pieces).
One man’s heaven is another’s hell, so how can any holiday destination be described as 'paradise'? Let alone nearly all of them? Yes, perpetual sunshine, warm water and tasty cocktails on tap all sound relaxing and enjoyable, but is it really paradise? Let’s call a spade a spade, or in this case, a perfectly pleasant holiday destination.
If the citing of every destination as paradise gets your goat then you’ll probably also hate the blanket use of the phrase ‘hidden gem’ for anywhere that has yet to become a top 10 holiday hotspot. Thanks to social media (Instagram, we’re looking at you), nowhere stays a secret for long these days and all it takes is one blogger with the right infinity-pool snap and filter to make what was a little-known treat the talk of the internet.
We all know that the point of creative travel copy is to encourage consumers to dig out the credit card and make a booking, but ending a piece of writing with a flashing neon ‘book it now’ button is so unappealing. If the writing had succeeded in whisking the reader off to another part of the world that they suddenly felt compelled to visit in person, this gaudy ending would snap them straight out of their fever dream and back to real life.
Turquoise, azure, crystal clear, oh and don’t forget ‘gently lapping’. Water is a lot of things in travel writing, but rarely just blue. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have the sea or ocean described in realistic, relevant terms, rather than using every thesaurus entry known to man? And since when did water even need describing? It’s wet, refreshing to swim in after a day in the sun and covers a large proportion of the earth. Enough said.
It’s shocking how many travel destinations seem to have incorporated ‘something for everyone’, if tired copy is to be believed. What a stroke of luck, for absolutely everywhere to be the perfect beach/snowboarding/spa holiday, all rolled into one. Pull the other one. It would be less trite to admit that there are plenty of activities, but the certain demographics will enjoy particular spots more than others.
Honest travel copywriting stands out for all the right reasons. It’s written by people who have clearly either been to the places they are describing or have done enough research to know what they're talking about.
Great travel writing instils a desire to see, smell and touch the individual elements that make a destination special. What it should never do is make the reader eye-roll through another exaggerated description of ‘rich cultural heritage’!
When you think of cruise ships docking in ports around the Mediterranean, the image of the passengers disembarking for their day isn’t usually one of youthful vigour. Cruises have long been thought of as the holidays of choice for the over-60s. And why not? When all you have to do is get yourself to the port at the start of the cruise, they’re a great way of seeing a handful of different countries in one go, with minimal effort on your part.
However, things are changing. Cruisers have either discovered exceptional skincare regimes that roll back the ageing process and are fooling us all. Or, more likely, the people who choose to holiday this way are turning up before they’re eligible to collect their pension. So what’s going on? Ad-Rank digs deeper.
According to research carried out by Cruise Lines International Association:
'younger generations…are embracing cruise travel, rating it as a better vacation type than land-based vacations, all-inclusive resorts, tours, vacation house rentals, or camping.'
By choosing a cruise, holidaymakers are able to see and experience more of the world, the people, places and cultures that otherwise wouldn’t normally be easily accessible. And with our greater desire to travel, it makes sense that younger generations discover the benefits of choosing cruise-based holidays over land-based ones. With a cruise, you’re no longer limited to one location – you can travel far and wide while you sleep and enjoy a new place each day.
Two years ago, the BBC reported that more under-45s were choosing cruise holidays. They found that a cruise from Rome had people in their late 20s, family groups with young children, a 40th birthday party gathering, and even groups celebrating hen parties. It seems that what was once a holiday option reserved for an older generation who’d made their money and now had time to sit back, relax, and enjoy it onboard a cruise, is now a choice for much younger holidaymakers, too. And an article by The Maritime Executive found that the average age of a cruise ship passenger in 2018 was 47 years old – considerably younger than you might expect.
These days, cruise ships resemble floating mini-cities. Swimming pools, spas, shops, a different restaurant for every day of the week, climbing walls, gyms, running tracks, cafes, computer hubs, kids’ games rooms, casinos – the list goes on. And with so much to do onboard, it’s little wonder that younger generations are wising up to this method of holiday travel.
One of the benefits of taking a cruise holiday is how they can cater to each and every family member on the holiday. For the very young, there are the kids’ clubs that entertain them when parents are flagging. For the teenagers, there are games hubs, climbing walls, and cinemas. For the parents longing to see a bit more of the world, there’s a new port most days – and tons of relaxation facilities onboard. And for older folk, there are lavish restaurants, stylish sun decks, and West-End-style shows in the evening.
Cruising also offers a way for those who suffer from aerophobia – or fear of flying – to get out and see the world. Aerophobia affects around one in four people. And while these sufferers may want to see the world, often their fear of boarding a plane is so high that it stops them from travelling. Choosing a cruise that sets sail from the country you reside in is a way round this problem.
With the experience on board cruise ships ever improving, and with people looking for new ways to travel and see the world, we believe the average age of cruisers will only continue to fall.
Blockchain and travel – two words that invoke a lot of feelings on their own, but mostly confusion when combined. While blockchain may sound overly technical and complex (because, well, it is), we promise that its potential benefits to the travel industry are phenomenal.
When you think of travel companies, you may think that their content is the most important part of the package. While it's a huge part of the marketing mix, the logistical side is just as crucial, and this is where blockchain can make its mark.
Blockchain is a rather misunderstood protocol born of the crypto-currency age. It was originally designed for Bitcoin and Bitcoin transactions, but boasts extra security, boosted efficiency and reliability. It can create palpable, real-time results, such as faster and easier data access and cost reductions for businesses and customers. Therefore it's unsurprising that this nifty system is already making waves in a variety of sectors, from finance to enterprise.
Experts are saying that blockchain has the potential to transform the entire travel industry. As avid travellers, we're keeping our fingers crossed for its success – here’s why…
Blockchain is a system of decentralised storage that works by storing data on blocks that sit within a chain. This is network speak, of course – we're not talking about physical chains or blocks cluttering up server rooms. The idea of decentralising data means it is on a wider network that's easily accessed by all agents. It's more secure than local data, as is less likely to come under cyber-attack or data loss via accidental deletion. Blockchain can harvest a wealth of benefits from business to business, improving customer interactions as well as efficiency.
The travel industry is a very data rich sector with information shared in high volumes between a huge number of businesses, services and agents. This begins with the travel advisor, and goes onto the airline, hotel, car hire and even car parking and transfers, as well as credit-card companies and banks. There is data provided to and produced by nearly every single purchase or enquiry of a traveller's journey.
For the most part, this data is centralised meaning that information such as traveller names and passport numbers have to be passed physically from agent to agent. This obviously leaves a lot of room for error, this system is also more likely to experience a cyber-attack. With blockchain, all of this information would be stored on a network which is accessible to all of the appropriate agents, meaning the information is made available immediately when required.
Blockchain goes beyond the initial booking processes described above. When implemented correctly, it provides the foundation for more efficient systems across the entirety of the travel sector. The benefits are realised by both travellers and businesses. a great example of blockchain in the travel industry is the snappily-named Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype which is currently being tested in several countries. It allows customers to supply all of their ID information digitally, hugely speeding up passenger verification and cutting down wait times for security checks at airports. The full digitalisation of IDs and visas would see a massive boost in efficiency in these areas.
Also inside the airport, the world of baggage handling could be reinvented. If blockchain was implemented in a baggage handling system, luggage could be tracked instantaneously without needing to contact other airlines and handlers for tracking information, minimising luggage loss.
For frequent travellers, hotel reward points could become available from the moment they are earned, as opposed to waiting days for the hotel and reward networks to sync up.
Personalisation is a marketing trend that's here to stay. 58% of consumers say that personalisation is very important when making a purchase, with 52% claiming they'd be likely to swap brands if they could get more personalised content elsewhere.
Using your customer data and understanding their behaviour to tailor experiences is key if you want to be the travel brand that wins their trust and ultimately earns their bookings. Here are three ways of exploiting the personalisation trend in order to wow customers, earn trust and drive bookings.
Travel brand KLM used its 50th anniversary to release an interactive version of its digital brand magazine, iFly 50. The stunning imagery and slick, interactive user experience creates a piece of content worth engaging with. At the end of the experience, users are asked to pick their favourite five destinations and enter their email address for the chance to win a trip of a lifetime.
This is a clever way of collecting data from engaged users with a view to personalising their experience further down the line, possibly with follow-up emails or digital marketing that features their favourite five destinations. Generating a piece of stunning content like this to delight users and collect the data necessary for personalisation, is a shining example of how great travel PR can make customer experiences better overall.
Virgin Hotels doesn't shy away from hiding its desire to personalise behind competitions or content. It is upfront with guests, giving them access to a personal preference centre called The Know. Here, guests can tell Virgin Hotels who they're travelling with, what they like to do or eat, their favourite bands, sleeping habits – even what they'd like to see stocked in a fantasy fridge.
Virgin Hotels then uses this data to optimise customer experiences, creating little touches that personalise their guests' stay and make for a wonderful experience. Knowing that a brand wants to listen to and make you happy in this way, on such a personal and bespoke level, is an amazing experience for customers – and an experience which they will carry forward to future travel brand interactions and expect more of.
If you're a travel brand with a website, you have the capability to personalise at your fingertips. Cookies and marketing automation software are a stellar combination for understanding how your customers engage with your website and what their interests are. This is turn can be used as powerful data to ensure that marketing comms are relevant to the customer in question.
You can see what's been searched, whether certain products or destinations have been visited multiple times, whether a user came close to the end of the booking process but then left. This rich data, available on an individual level, allows for follow-up email or digital media campaigns that are more likely to resonate with users on an individual level and so drive bookings.
These three examples scrape the surface of the potential that personalisation has for delighting travel customers and growing business. Gone are the days of treating people as a homogeneous group, with no interest in or ability to understand their individual preferences or needs.
Travel is a very personal business; we all have our favourite destinations, preferred means of transport, activities that we do or don't enjoy – and these personal preferences all come from very individual experiences and motivations. Travel business must start treating customers as individuals if they want to flourish, and personalisation is key to success in this area.
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.
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
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.
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
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.
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
View this post on Instagram
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.
We may only be part way through 2017 but content marketing professionals are already starting to look forward to the new trends and media opportunities 2018 might bring, to help get ahead in travel. Its made even more difficult with a staggering 94% of leisure travellers using more than one device when planning or booking a trip. Brands are under increasing pressure to create seamless cross-channel content that both evolves with the times and aligns with their overarching business goals.
An industry as diverse as travel presents natural opportunities to tell interesting stories that encourage shares and engagement. Still, the content marketing process needs to be refined if brands are passionate about using it to truly improve ROI. Here we outline a few recommendations for creating compelling content that keeps user intent at its heart.
The consumer decision process can vary greatly between industries, but for travel it can be roughly sectioned into three key parts – pre-trip research, decision making while travelling and post-trip engagement. As such, it’s vital for travel brands to create content that's of value throughout each step of the process, or "micro-moment".
These moments should form the focus of any travel content marketing strategy. From the initial idea to plan a trip right through to the experience itself, the goal is to generate relevant, branded content that can be accessed across a range of devices.
At this early stage travel content should be all about selling an experience. Decisions regarding where to go, how to travel and plans for when they arrive are all made here. In order to offer genuinely valuable content travel brands should really get into the mindset of their customers, factoring in important considerations like how budget and time constraints might impact the decision making process.
Striking the right balance between serious, information-led content and that which sells a fun travel experience is crucial. For many, the research phase is one of the most important and enjoyable parts of the travel experience, so making sure that your content is entertaining is also key.
A strong visual focus – consumers aren’t purchasing static products, but an entire experience. Visual content is predicted to be huge in 2018, so make good use of high-resolution imagery and video content that enables users to visualise exactly what they’ll be signing up for.
Shareable branded content – unless they’re loyal to one particular brand, consumers are likely to shop around during the early decision making process. Focus on creating content that encourages social shares and engagement in order to get your brand at the forefront of people’s minds.
Exactly how we choose to access digital content is evolving all the time, and in 2018 it will be more affordable than ever for consumers to use the internet on the move. In 2016 it was estimated that 85% of leisure travellers wait until they've arrived at their destination before deciding on activities, a number that is likely to increase as mobile access becomes even easier abroad.
Informational content that is fully mobile responsive should be your focus. Consider how content hubs and other branded content can be utilised in a way that encourages engagement while travelling. There’s also ample opportunity for travel brands to make the most of location-based content. GPS and location accuracy is continually improving, giving brands the chance to share content tailored to users' destinations.
User-generated content – not only is user-generated content hugely valuable within the travel industry, but it’s usually completely free to create too. Consider how photography competitions or branded hashtags can help to spread the word about your services online, while showing future consumers exactly what they can expect for their money.
Destination-led content – content that is specifically geared to each individual and their destination of choice is crucial here, so think about ways of making your consumer really feel a part of something. Remember, location-based content should not only be fun and engaging, but should offer genuine informational value to its audience.
Contrary to popular belief, the need for travel brands to continue their content marketing efforts doesn’t end as soon as the plane touches back down on home soil. 92% of people booking travel online admit to using review sites as part of the research process, so it pays to encourage those who have used your services to share their thoughts and feedback afterwards.
Post-travel engagement has another purpose too – attracting repeat business during the inevitable stage of post-holiday blues. Time your content correctly and you may just be able to convince those struggling to adjust back to normal life that the ideal way to get over the last holiday is to start planning the next one.
Reviews and feedback questionnaires – consumer feedback not only has value for the brand itself, but reviews and recommendations are also effective in encouraging future sales. In fact, on-site customer reviews were proven to increase conversions by as much as 74% in 2016 . Encourage users to share their thoughts and experiences or offer incentives - like money off vouchers - to users who spread the word about your brand.
Personalised email marketing – this is the point when email marketing really comes into its own, giving travel brands the chance to infiltrate consumer’s inboxes with further deals and recommendations that are likely to appeal to them. Create a regular flow of relevant content to entice users back time and time again.
To discover how Ad-Rank can help your travel brand to get ahead of the content marketing curve, get in touch today.
From re-tweeting and re-gramming photos to harnessing the power of real-time customer engagement, it has never been so important for travel brands to make the most of user-generated content.
Sharing content on social media networks has been the number one online activity for almost a decade, ever since it stormed ahead of adult content use in 2008. Not only is user-generated content proving likely to engage users twice as often as brand-made media, it’s also a fast and cost-effective way to keep your social feeds fresh and build trust with your audience.
With 82% of consumers saying they trust travel brands more if they are involved in social media, it’s time to dive in and get interactive with user-generated social content.
90% of internet users base decisions on online content.
Whether someone is shopping for a hatchback or a holiday, a new blender or a pair of a shoes, a recent survey has shown that 90% of internet users will look to online content to help them make decisions on how to spend their money. Two thirds of people trust the opinions of other consumers online – as well as editorial content - while less than half trust regular advertising that they see on social media.
Posting regular, relevant, interesting content is always important – but if you can utilise user-generated content, there’s a good chance that consumers will trust it above and beyond adverts you’re producing yourself. With 76% of travellers now sharing their experiences on social media, it’s easier than ever to share trusted content with your target market.
Photos and videos drive engagement
It’s a fact of marketing life that incorporating video marketing and product photography into your strategy will get you better results than neglecting to do so. Content that contains relevant images gets up to 94% more views than that which doesn’t – and tweets that contain images get 150% more retweets than those without.
For travel brands in need of up-to-date, appealing imagery, Twitter and Instagram can be a real lifesaver – especially if you consider the cost of generating your own, custom travel content. Users share photos and videos of your products and their experiences in real time, enabling you to share fresh, genuine content that people will feel is an accurate representation of what you’re offering.
With evidence suggesting that users are up to three times more likely to engage with user-generated video on Twitter than any other kind, it’s also safe to also suggest that a travel brand that regularly shares UGC will get higher engagement than one that doesn’t.
Whether someone is booking a package holiday or a round-the-world backpacking trip, encourage them to hashtag your brand on Twitter and Instagram when they share their experiences. Successful campaigns by STA Travel, Expedia and Real Gap have seen users uploading vast amounts of usable content in the hope of winning a prize or simply seeing their photo featured in a blog post. Not only does this mean an abundance of free images and videos for the brands to use, it also means a whole load of social media accounts that are pushing that brand to friends and followers.
The importance of interacting
Whether it’s a question, a complaint or a compliment, people are getting more and more used to instant communication. People expect to be responded to, and they expect it to happen quickly. A third of people who’ve used Twitter to contact customer services recently were contacting travel brands – and 71% of all users expect to get a reply to a query within the hour.
Travellers review as they travel, and it’s these reviews that are so important to other people looking to spend money. Retweet positive tweets, reply quickly to queries and you’ll build a positive image on social media.
It’s not all about images and sharing the best feedback – don’t be afraid to get user-generated editorial content too. With WordPress alone now hosting over 76 million blogs, chances are you won’t struggle to find a few blogging customers who are happy to promote themselves by writing a post for you. Encourage people to write about their experiences and feature the best content on your blog – you might say that a particular trip is great, but like anything, potential customers are more likely to believe what’s said when another consumer is the one telling them.
Here are some tips for leveraging User Generated Content in travel
Speak to us if you'd like to find out more about our travel business services.