CLIA Webinar: Travel Blogs - what role do they play in a traveller's decision making process

  • 1,344 views
Uploaded on

Webinar I ran for CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) UK & Ireland about Travel Blogs and the role they play on a traveller's decision making process. It covers what a blog and blogger is, …

Webinar I ran for CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) UK & Ireland about Travel Blogs and the role they play on a traveller's decision making process. It covers what a blog and blogger is, what travellers are looking for, what content and approach if developing your own blog and how to engage with bloggers

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
1,344
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2

Actions

Shares
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide
  • This is about “Creating Content for Travellers”It is not going to be about how to tell better stories, how to write better or where to place your content.It is going to be about how you create content that travellers really want.Something that travel blogs may not be doing today, as I will explain in the session.Hopefully you will find it interesting, provocative and make you think. It does not matter if you agree with what I will have to say – in fact hopefully you will not as it is about making us challenge and think about the role of travel blogs in the very cluttered travel content space.But before that, a bit about me
  • This is about “Creating Content for Travellers”It is not going to be about how to tell better stories, how to write better or where to place your content.It is going to be about how you create content that travellers really want.Something that travel blogs may not be doing today, as I will explain in the session.Hopefully you will find it interesting, provocative and make you think. It does not matter if you agree with what I will have to say – in fact hopefully you will not as it is about making us challenge and think about the role of travel blogs in the very cluttered travel content space.But before that, a bit about me
  • Workshop versus “telling”Expertise in the room must outWill need to keep things moving – I will stay afterBlackberry free zone (break for a “hit”)
  • 80% of travellers that read blogs travel less than 6 weeks a year. Almost 40% only travel 1 – 2 weeks a year (one major annual holiday probably)70% of bloggers travel over 6 weeks a year. Only 28% claim to travel under 6 weeks a year.
  • Q: Which of these has a travel blog made you do? (Select any that apply)55% - helped to reinforceor confirm a decision I had made about a travel plan.47% - Inspired me to visit a specific destination, stay in a particular place, or travel with a specific company.35% - Made me change my mind or decision I had made about an existing travel plan.22% - None of these. I read them to entertain me or inform me.
  • This is about “Creating Content for Travellers”It is not going to be about how to tell better stories, how to write better or where to place your content.It is going to be about how you create content that travellers really want.Something that travel blogs may not be doing today, as I will explain in the session.Hopefully you will find it interesting, provocative and make you think. It does not matter if you agree with what I will have to say – in fact hopefully you will not as it is about making us challenge and think about the role of travel blogs in the very cluttered travel content space.But before that, a bit about me
  • Workshop versus “telling”Expertise in the room must outWill need to keep things moving – I will stay afterBlackberry free zone (break for a “hit”)
  • The reasons why travellers trust Friends & Family and Tripadvisor more than other content sources though give me great source of optimism for the potential for travel blogs.60% of online travellers say they have never read a travel blog. There is a huge potential. Only 1 in 4 online travellers who have ever read a travel blog used them in the last year. We have a way to go.But if we look at the 4 reasons they trust Friends & family and Tripadvisor today more than any others, these are all things that I believe travel blogs can do if we focus on creating the right content with their needs in mind – and deliver it in a user friendly environment.The 4 reasons travellers say they trust Friends & family and review sites like Tripadvisor are:48% - familiarity. I know them, comfortable using them and proved reliable in the past.37% - Honest, and does not gloss over the negatives36% - Not driven by commercial considerations30% - from experts and well informedAll things a blog should be able to deliver
  • I think the survey confirms my hypothesis that everyday travellers are really looking for content that will help them to reduce risk when making travel choices.In response to the question “Below are some reasons other people say they read travel blogs. Which of these best reflect why you read travel blogs?”: 58% said: I like to hear the opinions of others about places they visit.48% said: I am looking for unbiased and honest reviews and opinions.47% said: I like to read about the real life experiences of travellersOnly 34% said: I am always on the look out for new travel ideas and inspirationI believe that this insight about helping real world travellers to reduce the risk in travel decisions is something that bloggers could capitalize on when creating content – and help to differentiate and distinguish from other sources. Travel brands are trying to sell their destination, resort etc. and so will be focusing on the positives and the upsides.Sites like LonelyPlanet, Frommeretc tend to focus on what to do and how to do it.Blogs can focus more on helping travellers to make up their minds and reduce risk in the short times that they are able to travelThere is another piece of data from the study that I think helps to make this case even stronger
  • I asked Travellers who have ever read blogs what specific content they found most helpful on blogs. I gave them a list of content and they could chose. I also asked bloggers what content they thought their readers found most helpful, using the same list.Question: “what content do you find most helpful on the travel blogs you read?”Travellers said the 3 most helpful content was:54% said: Money saving tips (e.g. how to get the best deals, saving money while traveling, frequent traveler miles etc.)52% said: Hotel, hostel and guest house reviews48% said: General travel tips, advice and “how tos” (e.g. safety in hotels, what to pack etc.)Bloggers did not see these items of content as being valued by bloggers:Only 13% said Money Saving Tips was helpful for blog readersOnly 17% said hotel, hostel and guest house reviews were helpful for blog readersOnly 36% said General Travel Tips were helpful for blog readersThere seems to be, based on the study, a real difference between what travellers are looking for and find helpful and what bloggers think they want and are looking for. The lack of the content that travellers really want could explain why only 1 in 4 online travellers that have read a travel blog used in the last year.It is really important to know what your audience values – and not what you speculate what they value (based more on what you personally value perhaps)
  • There is another aspect to creating content that travellers value, seek out and are loyal to. So far I have spoken about how the surveys seems to shows that travellers value content that is under-estimated by bloggers.Travellers are seeking real life, first hand advice and tips and value content that is around money saving, general travel tips and places to stay.However, another possible reason that only 1 in 4 online travellers that have read a blog used in the last year could be because the environment that they find the content in is not one they value or enjoy using. So I asked travellers who have ever read blogs about things they did not like about blogs.Question: Which content do you find least helpful on travel blogs you read?There were 3 things that really stood out:72% of blog readers said: Pop-ups, such as those asking you to sign up for a newsletter60% of blog readers said: Articles with poor spelling and grammar57% of blog readers said: advertisingThe results showed that travellers are looking for content to be delivered in a user friendly and respectful environment. They expect it to be well written and not too intrusive.It is not unusual for “advertising” to be quite high, the same is true in any media. However, in the case of blogs this also refers to things like sponsored guest posts and links which are a popular source of revenue for many blogs – but if off topic and not meeting the needs of travellers then it can risk and may be a major cause of lack of loyalty to blogs.
  • This is about “Creating Content for Travellers”It is not going to be about how to tell better stories, how to write better or where to place your content.It is going to be about how you create content that travellers really want.Something that travel blogs may not be doing today, as I will explain in the session.Hopefully you will find it interesting, provocative and make you think. It does not matter if you agree with what I will have to say – in fact hopefully you will not as it is about making us challenge and think about the role of travel blogs in the very cluttered travel content space.But before that, a bit about me
  • Workshop versus “telling”Expertise in the room must outWill need to keep things moving – I will stay afterBlackberry free zone (break for a “hit”)

Transcript

  • 1. travel blogs: what role do they play in a traveller’s decision making process? @garybembridge tipsfortravellers.com
  • 2. marketer, blogger & writer
  • 3. topics:  why blogs are important for engaging with customers  how to write a travel blog yourself  how to engage with bloggers
  • 4. what is a blogger? person who keeps and updates a blog Site containing the writer’s own experiences, observations, opinions (1) Long-form multi-media content + (2) micro-blogging social media campaign creators
  • 5. Why work with blogs and bloggers? growing use & importance (40%) proven to influence (88%) real life advice & tips to complement others create multi-media content deliver specific & niche audiences engaged and interactive audiences may be existing advocates
  • 6. what are travellers looking to get from blogs?
  • 7. travel habits influences content needs travellers do not travel that much… travellers Under 6 weeks / year 70% of readers want 80% 40% want to reduce risk “real life, first hand advice & tips” to get most out of travels Source: Survey Monkey Study March 2013: Travel Content Usage Survey (276 Internet User Travellers. 176 Bloggers)
  • 8. 88% say blogs influence final travel choice 47 55 35 22 Entertain Only Changed Mind Drove Specific Choice Reinforced or Confirmed traditional sources can inspire and create desire, blogs can make or break a decision Source: Survey Monkey Study March 2013: Travel Content Usage Survey – Gary Bembridge / Travel Bloggers Unite. 276 respondents.
  • 9. blogs are important for engaging with customers:     complements traditional content helps reduce risk & get most out of travel with real life, first hand advice & tips influences their final choices
  • 10. how to write a travel blog? approach and content you need (or to look for in blogs you work with)
  • 11. most trusted sources of travel information: Why trust them more than others? Familiarity. Know them, comfortable using, proven reliable 48 Honest, not gloss over negatives 37 Not driven by commercial considerations 36 Well Informed 30
  • 12. Main reason travellers read blogs? Opinions of Others 58% Unbiased & Honest 48% Real Life Experiences New Ideas/ Inspiration helps reduce risk 47% 34% Inspire Source: Survey Monkey Study March 2013: Travel Content Usage Survey (276 Internet User Travellers. 176 Bloggers)
  • 13. Giving travellers what they want: Top 3 most helpful content? 54% money saving 52% accommodation 48% general advice 13% 17% 36% ensure your blog or blogs you work with have right content Source: Survey Monkey Study March 2013: Travel Content Usage Survey (276 Internet User Travellers. 176 Bloggers)
  • 14. top 5 content: travellers vs. bloggers Blog Readers 54 Bloggers 52 48 46 45 39 35 13 16 Money Save Tips Accom Tips 21 General Tips Destination Reviews & Tips Attraction Reviews
  • 15. Giving travellers what they want: Top 3 dislikes? 72% pop-ups 60% poor writing 57% advertising Deliver content in user friendly environment Source: Survey Monkey Study March 2013: Travel Content Usage Survey (276 Internet User Travellers. 176 Bloggers)
  • 16. How to write a travel blog:      complement other content & advice give travellers content they want help reducing risk and get most out of travels be like a trusted friend: honest, unbiased user friendly environment
  • 17. how to engage with bloggers? tipsfortravellers.com/CLIA
  • 18. engaging with bloggers? set clear objectives build and follow list of key influencers evaluate bloggers (against 10 key factors) specific proposal with value for them contract agreement measurement build on-going relationships
  • 19. set clear objectives: bloggers are best at delivering 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. awareness building reaching specific and new audiences recruiting to your social media communities driving website referrals creating multi-media content supporting crisis management / time sensitive amplifying traditional campaigns SEO activities
  • 20. build and follow list of key influencers: finding bloggers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Ask blogger community Invite blogger pitches Conferences, Meet-Ups & Travel Markets Use Blogger Alliances Blogger Associations Online Tools Top Blogger Lists
  • 21. evaluating bloggers: ten key factors to assess 1. Traffic 2. Audience 3. Longevity 4. Strategy & Plan 5. Activity Level 6. Look & Speed 7. Engagement levels 8. Social Amplification 9. Balanced Coverage 10. Case Studies and Results
  • 22. some things to remember  bloggers provide multi-media & social media content.  travellers use blogs to reduce risk in their travel decision-making.  blogs are influential in driving traveller choices.  Bloggers can and should complement traditional sources – not replacing them.  have clear objectives and measures (some things bloggers best suited to deliver).  assessing and establishing a relationship takes time and effort.  contract with bloggers before any activity to ensure both sides understand what is expected and how it will be measured.
  • 23. Further reading tipsfortravellers.com/CLIA