Looking to get your travel advertising off to a flying start as lockdown restrictions start to ease? Here are five travel trends you can’t afford to ignore for 2021-2022.
With more than 148.3 million people using the internet to make bookings for their accommodations, tours and activities (more than 57% of all travel bookings each year) travel brands can’t afford to ignore the potential of online marketing.
But where should they focus their activities and budget for the best result? To help you, we’ve uncovered five travel trends you can’t afford to ignore for 2021 and 2022.
1) Connected TV
All the signs point to connected TV (CTV) being the future of travel marketing. And it’s easy to see why it’s increasingly popular. You can engage audiences via video and CTV ads to build your brand, and highlight your key messages, including hygeine and eco-consciousness.
CTV also has a lower barrier to entry, as ads can be targeted more easily to TVs that are directly connected to the internet, avoiding the need for a dedicated platform. Here’s a visual demonstration of just how much CTV use is growing among marketers:
2) Bleisure travel
The concept of ‘bleisure’ travel (aka a ‘bizcation’) may not be new, but it has a host of new fans in Millennials. Bleisure travel combines travel for work or business with leisure activities. And the frugal under-40 traveller has embraced the concept with enthusiam, enabling them to explore places they otherwise could not afford.
At it’s simplest, blesire travel involves extending a business trip for a few days for a bit of sightseeing. And at the other end of the spectrum it includes digital nomads, who travel the globe working from their laptop.
It’s a trend that looks set to stay, too: according to according to Expedia Media Solutions, 43% of all US business trips are bleisure.
It’s no surprise that in a post-pandemic world people are much more aware of – and care more about – hygiene and safety. It’s emerged as one of the major travel trends, and an important factor for customers when making purchasing decisions.
But this is one area where empty words don’t work. Yes it’s important to reassure travellers through marketing messaging that hygiene and safety are a priority, but your actions need to back up your words to keep customers safe and avoid negative publicity.
4) VR video
If you want to really seduce a traveller and have them racing to book with you, your marketing needs to enable them to somehow experience the magic of a destination without leaving home. And what better to bring to life the travel experience than virtual reality?
VR video has transformed the travel industry by enabling travellers to explore a property, facilities and even a destination before they book, to get a feel of whether it’s right for them. And it’s popular: according to Adobe Digital Insights, social mentions for travel and AR/VR-related experiences have increased 13% year on year.
So it’s easy to see why the format that saw the most growth in 2019 and is likely to see even more growth in 2020. Although video is generally considered a branding piece, it is critical to making online purchases (especially more expensive purchases) as it helps customers see the product up-close while also building trust via human voices.
In a competitive travel market, VR video might just be what gives you the edge – and gets you the bookings.
5) Personalised ads
We already know that using first party data to personalise ads can have a significant effect on results. And travel is no exception to this rule.
According to a study by American Express, 83% of Millennials said they would let travel brands track their digital patterns if this would give them with a more personalised experience. And 85% of respondents of all ages also thought that customised travel itineraries were much more desirable than general, mass-market offerings.
In a world where everyone is unique, no one wants to be served generic ads with a broad, unspecific message. The more tailored your ads are for the people seeing them the more likely those same people will book with you.
How can you use these trends to increase your bookings?
It’s one thing being aware of trends, but actually making the most of the insights can be trickier. That’s where we can help.
With our dynamic creative ads capability and proprietary technology we can produce completely bespoke, interactive creative that matches travellers’ journeys through the lifecycle. We can serve bespoke, consented ads with the right message, at the right time, to the right people.
It’s a strategy that works brilliantly. Just ask Jazeera Airways who we helped achieve a 20:1 ROI with dynamic creative ads that used website pixel data to collect flight search details from users, then populated the creative with lowest possible prices from the data feed.
Or Abu Dhabi Culture and Tourism, for whom we ran a dynamic ad campaign that highlighted the real time weather differences between users’ home cities and Abu Dhabi, and beat the CTR benchmark by 400%. (We also increased the value of stays by 35%.)
If you’d like to learn more about how we achieved these results, and how we can help you, please get in touch.