The travel industry has reached a new peak in its digital transformation over the last couple of years.
In-store travel agents and print brochures are fast becoming a thing of the past, with online-savvy consumers being fully equipped to plan, purchase and review their trips from the comfort of their own sofas. With search engine algorithms favouring unique content, and online users becoming more and more selective with which content they choose to engage with – the time is now to make sure your travel brand stands out in the online maze.
If you’re not already using personalised content, well, you should be! Research by Econsultancy and Monetate revealed that 94% of businesses feel personalisation is crucial to their current and future success. Tailoring content based on who the reader is, where they are or even which device they are accessing from has proven to not only be beneficial to businesses, but to customers too. Research conducted by Boxever revealed that 56% of customers want to receive content specific to their interests and needs.
Virgin Atlantic’s Let it fly campaign is an example of personalisation at its finest. The campaign encourages potential customers to fly by creating a personalised inspiration film through either the mobile or web app. In order to craft the video, the experience asks users what they would pack for their dream holiday given a choice of items. Based on these answers, a personalised film is then created which caters to their specific tastes. Inspired to fly? We are.
We’ve all seen community management done right, we just might not know it yet. For example, take the #FixGreggs hashtag that came about from some praiseworthy community management. In responding to a complaint on Twitter about how their logo appeared on Google, Greggs went on to post a photo of a delicious tray of donuts and offered them to Google under the condition that they fix the problem. Google recognised the issue, and went on to propose a speedier fix in exchange for a sausage roll – we’re sure a deal was made.
The moral of the story – it pays for brands to connect with their new and existing customers online. If you can empathise with how frustrating it can be when you feel like you’re not being heard, you’ll see the importance of responding to customer queries online. This is especially applicable to travel brands' PR, providing live updates on service delays, flight cancellations and visa requirements will be very welcome from customers wanting to stay in the know. As well as gaining insight into how your brand is perceived in the market, it is an equally efficient tool for collecting customer feedback about products and services.
If all the content a user is looking for is in one destination, your website becomes a sort of one-stop shop for visitors. Keeping up to date with publishing trustworthy content onsite is a sure way to gain the trust of online buyers. Having unique, useful content also benefits SEO, with the quality of content being determined by search engines during the ranking process. Creating content which users engage with leads to a whole stream of benefits such as the sharing of pages to other prospective customers, and gaining new email signups.
The American Express Open Forum is a content hub designed to share content which is specifically useful to business owners. The content hub is divided into section subheadings, such as building your team and managing money, in order to give users a clear navigation path to the content they’re looking for. The Open Forum is an example of how design and content can collaborate to create a satisfying user experience.
It’s worth to remember why users are where they are in the first place. If a customer wants to book a flight to Morocco, but your site doesn’t have any information on the visa requirements, they’re likely to move off the site and could end up making their purchase elsewhere. Your content should always be informative and answer the questions that people are looking for when they visit your website. If a customer has a positive experience while using your site, they are much more likely to visit again or recommend to a friend. Creating useful and relevant travel content is a sure way to build trust as well as grow engagement with your customers and your travel brand's SEO and rankings.