Our recent brand storytelling research among 2,000 UK adults highlighted this issue. When asked what type of digital content will make them more interested in a travel brand, nearly half of consumers (40 percent) said they wanted humorous, dramatic or heart-warming stories.
That made it the second most-popular choice overall (the most popular, unsurprisingly, was discounts and special offers – 62 percent want a bargain when they go on holiday). Storytelling also ranked joint top, right along with discounts, among millennials: half (49 percent) of 18-24-year-olds want discounts from travel brands and the same proportion say they want stories.
That makes brand storytelling the most-desired non-monetary form of content among travellers. And we also know from the study that 51 percent prefer so-called ‘user generated content’ (UGC) while 49 percent want to see content created directly by travel companies.
On top of which, two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers prefer content to be about regular people and more than half (57 percent) want stories based on real people and events rather than fiction – and 38 percent specifically want to hear and read about a brand’s customers.
So what’s the lesson here for travel brands? What should hotels, resorts, airlines, travel companies and the like be looking to do with their online content strategy?
It’s simple, really. Travel is about new experiences – and those are the building blocks of stories. Travel brands have already learned to embrace online reviews through TripAdvisor and the like – now they need to take it a step further and cultivate advocates willing to tell positive stories about their travel experience as part of the brand’s own marketing efforts. Video is the obvious medium, both because our research showed it was the preferred channel for storytelling and because travel is about showing off new and exciting places – and pictures (especially moving ones) are worth a thousand words.
A number of travel brands have already begun to explore making storytelling a larger part of their digital activity, such as Airbnb and Singapore Airlines. But there’s still a real opportunity here for businesses in this sector to tell the same amazing and enticing stories about holidays that people tell their loved ones.
We worked with Brittany Ferries to promote its wonderful holidays in Northern Spain through engaging relevant influencers to help us spread the word. Tailoring short breaks to their interests, we supported influencers with content creation.
While we were working with the Carnival Group on various campaigns, we also supported as an overflow service for Cunard's community management requirements when there was extra support needed during bigger campaigns or holiday periods.
‘Making every journey better’ was the objective for social we identified for Heathrow. By auditing their content and designing a number of customer journeys for their different audiences we developed a content-led social strategy.
Working with the senior marketing team at National Trust’s head office, we used our customer journey framework to enable them to develop their visitor and member focused content marketing strategy.
To promote P&O Cruises world cruise portfolio, we developed a tablet and mobile app with content specifically focused around the earliest stages of searching for a holiday. A P&O Cruise should be on any holidaymaker’s shortlist!
While we were working with the Carnival Group on various campaigns, we also supported as an overflow service for their community management requirements when there was extra support needed during bigger campaigns or holiday periods.