Will this prove to be summer of all summers for the travel sector, or another like Easter, be beset with challenges?
Our Insights team crunched the numbers and highlighted areas where travel advertisers can exercise control, and maybe even outperform the competition. When it comes to activation in particular, and the variety of options around smart, ID-free contextual targeting, travel brands are especially well placed right now to reach the many consumers hoping to reignite their love of travel:
1) Keep tabs on the changing consumer to capitalise on demand
Travel went through a turbulent time during the pandemic. And it still has a little way to go to regain pre-Covid levels of demand: this is reflected in flight content-related impressions being 30% down from the pre-pandemic highs. Indeed, according to eMarketer, though the number of US online travel bookers will be up almost 20% this year, they won’t surpass 2019 levels for another two years.
This is a challenge, of course, but could also be an opportunity for some able to adapt to the fast-evolving needs of the 2022’s travel consumer – with train travel, for example, already performing higher than pre-pandemic levels – up 5%.
2) Flex budgets and creative to exploit real-time trends
Impression opportunity for holidays spike during the winter months, with the 2020 peak occurring in December and the following seasonal peak coming slightly later, in January 2022.
One possible reason for this later spike may have been consumers searching for but not taking action on booking flights. And in some cases, looking for UK-based staycations instead, as we can see from the spike in Airbnb demand shown below.
Should this reoccur, it may reflect the increase in staycations through the pandemic becoming somewhat of a longer-term trend. As widely reported in June, the number of UK holiday-let homes has spiked by 40% over the past three years. Just one simple example of where buying teams’ monitoring of content trends can inform their buying choices.
3) Challenger brand opportunities in competitor conquesting
By analysing millions of consumer searches and content trends, we are also able to track the relative impression demand of specific travel brands.
Major brands’ dominance through the past two years has fluctuated, clearly suggesting opportunities for challengers – and real-time contextual targeting offers important opportunities here, particularly around brand building and conquesting for those building their footprint.
TUI, for example, which saw an unsurprising dip through the pandemic, but a sharp increase only in Jan 2022. Or Airbnb, which saw various peaks. These periods represent opportunities for competitors to reach an audience on the path to purchase, with awareness-building creative showing why they should choose their service instead.
The key point here is the under-appreciated opportunity for competitor conquesting across different travel verticals – in precise, accurate contexts.
One of Nano’s particular strengths here is a broad index of 168 travel brands across multiple company types.
4) Take Seasonal Targeting to the Next Level
We’ve touched upon seasonality already, but how does it relate to travel destination intent in particular? One of the great promises of contextual targeting, especially now with the deprecation of cookies, is its scalability – and ability for advertisers to flex budget when and as they wish.
For some destinations, seasonality is not as simple as one annual peak, and this is where the content intent insights Nano provides may come into their own.
While from the graph below, you can see Spain has one clear yearly peak, other destinations such as Croatia have two or more, especially as you dive more deeply into the data. In essence, for travel operators, flighting campaigns around both recent past and real-time seasonal trends could bring a key advantage over competitors.
As third-party cookies are deprecated, it’s important for advertisers not to limit their audiences, to accelerate partner testing and get set up for success. At Nano, our unique live-intent targeting and contextual offering can help you future-proof your digital strategies and drive performance. Learn how we can help by booking a demo today!