EyeforTravel North America 2018

October 2018, Las Vegas

Understand how data, digital and partnerships can make your marketing work again

6 ways to boost conversions with social savvy and quality content

Content and social media distribution is vital to reaching and converting travellers finds a recent report from EyeforTravel

Quality content marketing and a strong social media presence can help brands to build a loyal customer base, while underpinning more effective sales and marketing funnels, according to EyeforTravel’s recent report, Converting the Customer.

Indeed, strong content not only helps raise awareness of a destination or particular brand, it also delivers clues about consumer intent that can then be used to build on marketing strategies.

So, on that note, here are some ways to deliver.

1. Stay in touch with people authentically

“What helped us boost conversion is that we managed to build up a sustainable brand loyalty over social media so people are in contact with our brand every day or when they see things in their news feed,” says David Armstrong, CEO of HolidayPirates, who will be speaking at EyeforTravel Las Vegas.

That’s helped the firm drive both brand and organic traffic on its website and on its mobile app which, in turn, has helped to drive conversions.

In fact, HolidayPirates has taken social to another level by building its brand almost entirely through the medium. The group has invested in editorially driven viral content on social media, and within seven years has amassed over 10 million Facebook fans, and more than 10 million app downloads. In 2017, the group delivered an estimated TTV [total transaction value] of €362 million.

2. Be humorous and informative, and engage

Thanks to a mix of relevant travel offers, and humorous  – think ‘Thai me up and take me to Phuket’ - and informative content, as well as engaged community managers and a committed following of ‘pirates’, the travel deals and comparison site has gained a global following across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. In fact, the Facebook page currently reaches fans from 58 countries around the world from Algeria to Uruguay.

3. Let technology do the legwork

According to Armstrong, growth has surged despite only paying for 7% of its traffic. It helped, he says, that the business started as a travel blog recommending fantastic deals. Now, algorithms and technology do much of the legwork, and the results are posted on social media to hook in customers and stimulate viral sharing.

4. Inspire people

Holiday Pirate’s says its group’s recipe for ‘virality’ has four components:

  • An entertaining tone of voice
  • Transparency
  • Relevant content deals with a call to action
  • A little controversial to foster engagement

As Armstrong puts it: “You have to inspire people.”

5. Tell a story

At Eurail, it is a slightly different story, but storytelling too is crucial. “Our struggle is brand awareness,” says Roel Verhagen, head of e-commerce at Eurail, who will be speaking at EyeforTravel Amsterdam in November. “We are not top of mind when you think about travel…but we do have 2,5 million visitors a month. Our return on-investment on ad spend is hugely important.”

However, a video campaign that told the story of a couple – Chloe and Justin – who met by chance in Amsterdam and travelled Europe together paid off. The group elected to use longer-play and short versions of the videos for both paid adverts and social media pages. They also used Facebook Pixel to track customer responses to the adverts and to discover where people dropped through the funnel. Seven stages were tracked, from travellers discovering the Eurail brand to purchasing the ticket.

According to Verhagen, “at a certain moment, the return on advertising spend was better on our own channels like Facebook, and we had [strong] success with engagement”. 

One video clocked up 1.5 million views leading to Eurail to work with video production firm Boomerang to make more the couple’s journey in Europe a more permanent marketing fixture.

6. Find partners

Adding social and review functionality into the digital experience doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, a growing number of new digital media companies allow smart partnerships to help host, monitor and improve social interactions.

Dan Christian, chief digital officer of The Travel Corporation (TTC), believes in harnessing the potential of advertising via social media recommendation. “Mary Meeker’s latest trend report says selling on social platforms is very real – people see social content and make purchases,” he told the EyeforTravel Europe Summit 2018 in London. “We were looking to get all of our travel directors active on social media.”

For TTC group, which is home to 30 international brands, a solution was to partner with a Toronto-based start-up PostBeyond, which connects enthusiastic employee advocates with potential customers on social media, and Feefo, an independent online review site.

“PostBeyond was a tool that our team could use and with one click could share – their SaaS [software as a service] model worked perfectly. We also needed user-generated reviews – independent reviews from people who had been on our trip [with Feefo]. We see consumer behavior changing and we won’t be relevant if we aren’t where they are spending their time, and we need the tools to do that.”

To learn more about how to drive up your conversion rates and revenues download the new Converting the Customer report, which includes findings on:

  • How to measure and understand intent to purchase.
  • What content and marketing will drive up conversion
  • How to retarget and remarket in a way that brings customers back
  • How to use different channels effectively
  • Why social proof is critical and how it can dramatically raise revenues 

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