Coming up with effective content marketing strategies when working in the travel industry can be difficult given the competitiveness and saturation of the market. Given travellers and holiday-seekers look at an average of 38 different websites before making a booking, it’s important to stand out from the crowd when it comes to content. As audiences have more and more platforms, websites, services and products to choose from, engaging them because harder. Looking at the success some companies in the travel industry have had when it comes to content, is one way to be able to formulate better strategies. Here are four examples of content strategies used effectively that resulted in great success for the company.
If you’ve ever planned a trip or gone on holiday somewhere new, chances are you’ve used TripAdvisor. Whether it’s to find accommodation, a good restaurant or an activity in the area, it has become one of the most valuable resources for travellers online. The reason that TripAdvisor stands out, and has been successful for so long, is due to their user-generated content. The company has demonstrated the effectiveness of this type of content strategy, which also requires little work due to its self-sustaining nature. User-generated content is not only helpful to potential travellers, who want to know people’s direct experiences with hotels, restaurants etc, but it also gives TripAdvisor a lot of data about where people are going and what people are searching for. With more than 30 million unique visitors a month, this type of strategy speaks for itself!
(Current Visibility Trend) TripAdvisor is doing quite well, with organic traffic and organic keyword growth trending well.
In 2014, Qantas was trying to figure out how to connect with their younger audiences, especially those travellers who are looking for destinations and experiences that take them off the beaten track. With a clear, defined purpose for who they wanted to target (18-35-year-olds, more adventurous travellers), they began a partnership with the youth publishing group Sound Alliance, knowing that they would be the right fit for the type of content Qantas was wanting to produce. The result was AWOL, an online content hub, almost like an in-flight magazine, but designed specifically for young Australians. It is produced by Junkee Media, and as the site itself says, content focuses on discovering the best new experiences either in your own backyard or around the world. The content is often written by millennials, for millennials and the tone of the articles works to engage young people. Thanks to AWOL, data is showing that the intention to fly Qantas has gone up 50 percent among people aged 18 to 34 who have read the site. This was a successful strategy because it is an example of knowing the demographic and the kind of strategies they might respond to. Qantas knew for a millennial, adventurous, fun-loving audience, a traditional marketing campaign would not work but something digital would.
(Current Visibility Trend) Qantas has grown quite well over the last 12 months. It is evident that SEO and Content is a key part of the brand’s strategy.
Airbnb has transformed the travel industry and continues to go from strength to strength. Part of the travel and tech industry, part of what has made Airbnb so successful is arguably their foray into content and their making content a priority. Airbnb uses and produces content in many different ways. They feature original videos and guided tours. One example is the video series Community Stories is made up of both written and visual content (articles and videos) and focuses on Airbnb hosts and the ways in which Airbnb has changed their life. This inclusion of real people, talking about their real lives, is a great strategy for enticing people to use Airbnb because it shows the direct impact an extra source of income can have. The neighbourhood and city guides (often produced with the help of hosts in the area) provide visitors of the site with tools they need to find out important information about where they’re going. Part of why it works is because it allows users to envision the trip they might have, it gets them excited not only about the holiday they’re planning but about future travels as well. The videos, the guides, the personal stories, all contribute to the engagement users have with the platform and are easy to consume, interesting and relevant to the brand.
(Current Visibility Trend) AirBnb has also shown strong signs of growth in the last 12 months with SEO and Content proving to be a key part of the growth strategy.
Chatbots are one way to digitally engage with your audiences. As messaging apps grow and grow in popularity, it has affected the way people consume content. Content can now be in the form of a personalised conversation, allowing companies to use branded storytelling at a large scale and to interact with their users more easily. One brand that has recognised the power of the chatbot is the airline Lufthansa. Their bot, Mildred, who has pink hair, and helps Facebook users find the best price available. She speaks German and English, provides useful guidance and replies speedily. Chatbots are a good strategy because they allow you to be somewhere where your potential customers already are – on Facebook. Bots are a way of engaging directly with users while also gathering valuable data.
(Current Visibility Trend) Lufthansa seems to be on a slight downward trend in the AU market for search visibility, that said the Australian market is probably not key for the brand.