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Leverage content that travels places with native advertising

Sandeep Balani, Head of India at Outbrain, says people have vacations in mind after Covid and travel marketers can cash this opportunity to a great extent

Sandeep Balani

After months of lockdown and with summer officially underway, people are eager to escape and recharge, signalling an oncoming high demand for travel. Ernst & Young’s Future Consumer Index says vacations are the highest priority of post-outbreak purchasing. With this in mind, there’s a real opportunity for travel marketers to influence summer plans and engage consumers who are ready to take their next trip.

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Network trends: An opportunity for travel marketers

Traveller optimism is increasing, evidenced by the recent trends on our network. Globally, over the past month, travel as a category has been among the highest growing areas in terms of page views. For example, interest in content related to cruises and hotels have grown considerably, with a 104% and 417% respective increase in click-through rates. Even air travel, despite not being fully operational across the globe, has seen a 67% CTR increase. Certain types of travel — business trips, traveling to nearby destinations, and luxury getaways — are picking up more quickly than other forms, but these trends still indicate that dreams of a getaway, and action taken to make those a reality, are inching closer.

A new normal of travel behaviour

As we all get on the road to recovery, travel marketers should be aware that consumer behaviour is going to be different than in years past. An April study by the Global Web Index finds that only about 20% of travellers plan to keep their regular vacation behaviours post-outbreak, meaning 80% will adjust and adapt to this new reality. With the risk of infection still high, travellers will prioritise safety in every way — from how they travel and where they stay, to only booking options with flexible cancellation windows. They also want to know how travel brands are implementing social distancing, as 58% of consumers say the feeling of safety will restore their confidence to travel again. Moreover, travel activities need to provide value for consumer consideration, as 24% of travellers expect to make use of promotions and discounts when booking vacations. Unsurprisingly, as many people’s income has been affected during this time — impacting travel savings — travel deals will be an important influencer in the booking process.

The perfect time to discover with native advertising

As Covid-19 is an evolving situation country-by-country, travellers will want to closely monitor the status of their destination’s preventive measures and how the easing of restrictions impacts the rise in case numbers. That means consumers will frequently check trusted news sites to stay informed on the situation, or fact-check the rhetoric of world leaders and scientific developments. With less reliance on search and social, people will put a greater focus on quality journalism. By turning to trusted publishers instead, there is more opportunity for ‘discoveries’, enabling travel marketers to leverage native advertising platforms and connect with audiences across the open web.

Additionally, the pandemic has revitalised consumer desire for businesses to be more accountable, as 77% of consumers value trust, reputation, and conversation almost as much as price and convenience. People feel confident about the quality of the content they read on premium publisher sites, such as CNN or BBC, and there’s a “halo effect” created merely by being on a trusted site that impacts advertisements in these placements. In fact, these ads are 44% more likely to be trusted than ads on Social, 21% more likely to be clicked on, and 24% more likely to lead to future purchase from that brand.

Reach your travel campaign destination

Being able to leverage premium publishers' trusted environments and reach audiences on the open web gives marketers the ability to be agile and responsive to consumers’ interests and concerns in the post-Covid world. Whether it’s to inspire with content that promotes your high safety standards; convert with travel discounts and showcase the experiences that await your guest; or build loyalty with an interactive video to bring a place or experience to life; there are ample opportunities for marketers to address today’s consumer about the actions they are taking to safeguard a country, airline, hotel, or service. Discover more insights and benefits of Outbrain’s Native Discovery platform, and make your brand top of mind for travellers’ next destination.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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