On Tuesday TripAdvisor launched its new website in a bid to become the first-ever travel social network and to change the way consumers research and plan their travel. The travel platform has partnered with brands and influencers to launch a brand new social-driven strategy.
While the new version still has user reviews, this update also has a homepage which focuses on providing members with “advice from the people and experts they trust”. It has launched with 500 trusted brands and influencers on the platform, including National Geographic.
The new TripAdvisor provides its members with great content from the people, brands and influencers they rely on for travel and in-destination advice before and during their trip. With the introduction of new voices to TripAdvisor, travellers can better plan their trips by easily finding their ideal hotel, experience or restaurant.
TripAdvisor has immense influence within the travel and tourism sector. In one year it generated 22 million trips, $64 billion in incremental travel expenditures and 352 million tourism nights. An incredible 62% of travel bookers visit TripAdvisor before making their purchase. So what do the changes to the platform mean for brands hoping to reach and influence their audiences?
What does this mean for brands?
Whether you are a visitor attraction, domestic or international DMO, there are a few things you should be thinking about in terms of your future marketing on TripAdvisor. While there have been big changes, the important focuses have stayed much the same.
- Content (and authenticity) is still king. While high impact, visual content will remain important, the key will be to make sure that the content balances aspiration and desirability with authenticity and valuable information. This is where influencers and content creators can become a key part of your marketing success.
- Reviews are still important. The data is clear – people don’t book without reviews. Which is great news for you. According to Justin Reid of TripAdvisor, between September 2013 and July 2018 attractions and experiences received reviews of between 4.2 and 5 stars, while eateries and accommodation scored much lower. Encourage and reward reviews from your visitors and get in touch with those that leave bad reviews. Consider it free market research.
- The conversation is happening, with or without you. People are talking about your attraction or destination online. They’re sharing reviews, posting content and asking questions. It’s essential that you are part of this so that you can help shape and steer the conversation.
How does TripAdvisor feature in your strategy for next year? If you’d like help with your TripAdvisor marketing strategy, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear more about your plans.
Simon is one of the founders of Digital Visitor and has over 20 years of marketing experience in the tourism sector, particularly with destinations and visitor attractions.