Another fantastic year of WTM has come to the end and this year was extra special, as the show celebrated its 40th anniversary. Influencers dominated discussions at last year’s WTM, but this year, conversations were much more diverse.
Here are three things we learnt at WTM 2019 that every travel brand should be doing.
1. We’re not telling enough powerful stories
We all know how much of an impact a good story can have; they evoke powerful emotions that empower us to act. Just look at the impact of documentaries like Blue Planet, which has helped lead the public backlash against single-use plastic.
Although it may seem like common sense, Monty Halls, Managing Director at Seadog Productions, said that although people understand the power of a good story, not enough travel brands are using them to sell their destinations. Instead, holidaymakers are faced with endless streams of generic images that could be any destination. Monty explained that more travel companies need to look beyond the obvious and find the real human stories that make their brand unique, and that by doing this they’ll start to see incredible results.
Travel reviews are a great way to discover stories from your customers about your brand. Video in particular is a powerful form of user-generated content, and while video reviews from your travellers may not have high production values, they're an engaging and authentic way to promote your brand.
Monty’s emotional story of an injured manta ray struck a chord when it was shared on Facebook. The video received 138,000 posts engagements and 205 pieces of coverage, including The Metro, BuzzFeed and Unilad.
2. We’re not being inclusive
When’s the last time your brand collaborated with a disabled influencer? Or your campaigns featured a Muslim traveller? Worryingly, diversity in travel (or rather the lack of it) is a huge issue, that desperately needs addressing. 72% of multicultural travellers would pay more to travel with a brand that understands their identify, according to Martinique Lewis, a Diversity in Travel Consultant and Content Creator.
She shared some amazing stats about why more travel brands should be inclusive when creating campaigns and deciding what types of travellers they want to target. By not appealing to certain demographics, businesses are potentially missing out on a huge amount of revenue…
- LGBTQ American travellers spend more than $79 billion on travel annually
- Mexican American travellers spend more than $67 billion
- African American travellers spend more than $63 billion
- Muslim travellers globally account for more than $220 billion travel dollars!
So how can travel brands start working with more diverse influencers and content creators? Martinique said the best way is to start getting involved with diverse online communities, consider what holidaymakers from those communities need and the struggles they face, and stop relying on stereotypes.
3. We’re not thinking outside the box
Every business knows the struggle of trying to get people to see your content on social media. It seems the algorithms are out to get everyone, and the only way to succeed is to pay for your content to be seen, or is it?
George Rawlings, Founder of Honeypot, didn’t have the budget to spend on ads or influencers. As a small start-up, he’s had to think outside the box and come up with unique ideas that tell a story and provoke a reaction. So, he bought a whiteboard and “engineered the viral” by writing a fake story and placing it around London. The goal? To get more people to download his dating app.
He discovered that the more shocking the stories got, the most attention and downloads his app received. At the end of his guerrilla campaign, he achieved almost 10,000 downloads and spent a mere £269.
Not every brand can promote themselves in such a controversial way, but it does show that travel businesses need to think differently if they want to stand out amongst the noise, especially if they’ve got a tight budget.
Stand out by telling your travellers’ stories today
At Feefo, we love a story. We believe the voice of your customers is the best way to sell what you do. Start sharing their stories, photos and videos by collecting them through Feefo. Stand out online, build trust and understand how to make your travel experiences the best they can be. To find out more, get in touch with one of our friendly reviews experts today.