Rarely is there a more perfect pairing than travel and technology. Once upon a time, travellers had to rely upon brochures and guide books to plan their next adventure, but now they have a plethora of information at the click of a button. And savvy travel brands are making sure that they are part of the travel conversation by being nimble enough to navigate new and exciting technology as it becomes available. Here are the 5 ways your travel brand can embrace technology and make more money.
Podcasts: It’s been ten years since Virgin introduced their podcast guides to places like New York and Thomson currently has podcasts available for many destinations, such as Bulgaria, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. The appeal of a podcast is clear, a mini guide to a destination or product that appeals to those customers who are more auditory than visual, or just prefer the convenience of being able to listen whilst completing other tasks. Podcasts can also be used to promote services such as the In The Travel Know interactive e-newsletter for agents https://m.soundcloud.com/user-655658290/getinthetravelknow. In The Travel Know will also make use of podcasts by offering peer to peer content giving the low-down on a destination, brand or service. First up, beautiful Grenada!
Live streaming: Buying travel involves a whole heap of trust, and if travellers can experience a destination in real time, their trust levels will rocket. Trey Ratcliff, owner of travel photography blog Stuck in Customs is producing a number of live, interactive shows for Facebook Live from six continents with up to 100,000 viewers watching; if they go viral these figures can increase significantly. Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming video service also offers similar opportunities with luxury hospitality brand Hilton recently offering fans a virtual front row seat to a Nick Jonas’ performance. Live streaming can aid engagement between travel brand and customer, strengthening the relationship and ultimately helping the brand to make more money.
Email marketing: This technology isn’t new but is still one of the most effective ways of staying in touch with customers and selling your travel brand. A newsletter or email should be engaging, relevant and useful for the audience it is aimed at, full of specific information tailored to them. Of course, you can bring it bang up to date with the addition of embedded podcasts such as seen in the In The Travel Know interactive e-newsletter.
Augmented reality: Just this week we’ve seen customers going crazy for Pokémon Go, the augmented reality app where users attempt to capture Pokémon at Pokéstops which can be found by using a smartphone and google maps. And some travel brands such as Visit Anaheim and Travel Portland are already getting involved with blogs showing users where they can find Pokémon within local attractions- this is clever as it ups traffic and engagement in one go.
Social Media – Snapchat is maintaining its popularity with young adults, and brands targeting this demographic are tapping into the trend. WOW Air recently launched a competition specifically for Snapchat users where travellers were asked to post videos and photos to the brand’s Snapchat account for a chance to win four trips- all of which would be fully chronicled on Snapchat of course! And over on Instagram, the perfect visual medium for any travel brand, individuals such as Murad Osmann are turning themselves into travel experts by utilising their stunning travel imagery- Osmann now has 4.3 million followers on Instagram. To be successful with the new wave of social, think how relevant they are to your users and consider new and innovative ways to interact using the mediums.
Jamie Lee Abtar is The Travel Marketer and founder of Be Distinctly Different a boutique travel marketing, PR and branding agency. With experience of working with destinations, tourist boards and brands alike, both direct and through the trade, Jamie Lee helps travel and tourism brands to grow, develop and make more money. Jamie Lee is also founder of Your Caribbean www.yourcaribbeantravel.com, a digital travel planning and management platform that helps customers to develop, plan and organise authentic experiences around the Caribbean. For further information please contact Jamie Lee email@example.com or 07557675091.