Tag : online travel

Affiliates Need to Promote Travel as an Experience

promoting travel experiencesWith more people looking at travel as an experience, there’s a big push to promote it in a way that resonates with on a deeper, more emotional, and personal level with consumers.

Many would argue that travel is inherently experiential by definition. While that’s true, many consumer are looking for more unique, immersive experiences that align with their values, interests and spirit.

Whether your promoting ziplining in Bali, or spelunking the Blue Hole caves of Belize, or a family vacation to Orlando, you need to sell the experience.

Here are ways some ways to amp up the experiential factor and stand out from competitors:

Be the Source

Make your  travel site the central hub for all information that might be relevant for travelers. Have sections where people can find out more about your city or each destination beyond what is fun for leisure tourists. This includes the local culture, traditions, environment, and businesses. By putting all of this information in one place, you’ll make it extremely easy for visitors to learn about the destination. Strive to be the go-to source.

Use Video

Video is the most powerful visual medium. And there’s no denying the impact of using video as a persuasive tool to promote travel and tourism. But it doesn’t have to be just for beaches and excotic locales. Many people want an idea or some context about what the experience will be like with their travel plans. Check with the brands you promote to see if they have video you can use. Alternatively, you could simply create a video montage of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel property, add in some local events and local attractions, as well as scenery. The idea is to provide a sense of excitement and make them want to go visit.

Create Niche Itineraries

Instead of just listing attractions, restaurants and hotels, groups things together in fun ways. For example, The Ultimate Foodie Day in San Francisco or a Hidden Gems of Old Las Vegas. Creating a different guides or experiences are a good way to present your destinations that offer additional appeal for travelers.

Use Social Media

Many people’s travel experiences start on social media. They use Facebook and Pinterest for travel inspiration, and online reviews to select specific hotels and activities. Leverage these platforms not only for advertising, but by connecting with social media influencers, engaging with individual followers, and sharing engaging content. This can range from branded geofilters on Snapchat, to promoting the destination with 360-degree video and virtual reality experiences that can be shared on YouTube or Facebook.

Encourage User Generated Content

Find creative ways to get people to share their travel photos with you. And then post them on your site. You can run contests or offer a giveaways for those that share photos with you. You can request that your audience tag your site in their photos. Then add those images to a photo gallery. This is an impactful (and inexpensive) way to market to others. Consumer seeing these photos will likely be more encouraged to take similar trips.

Leverage Technology

To further set your site apart from the pack, think about including technology like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences on your site. VR experiences appeal directly to the experience-driven traveler. It allows them to see what exactly what travel to a specific location or attraction might be like. It’s also more likely to make them want to go in real life.

Extend Stays

Many travelers like to extend a business trip into a vacation. So, be sure to include messaging about extending trips, adding extra activities to their itinerary, or upgrading their travel experience.

Overall, the key for travel affiliates is to focus on memorable experiences and opportunities to share them with friends and family. The more experiential the marketing campaign, the more likely it is to attract travelers.

Will Affiliates Turn a New Leaf for Cannabis?

affiliates cannabis legalizationThere’s a popular saying “as California goes, so goes the nation.” The implication being that tech innovation, social and political movements, pop culture trends and more often start in California and then become widely adopted across the country.

This week it became legal to sell pot in California for recreational use. So, as affiliates enter the new year looking for new niches and new opportunities to make money, will the legalization of marijuana in California convince mainstream affiliates to embrace weed as viable online marketing opportunity?

There are 28 other states where cannabis is legal in some capacity. But legalization in California – especially since the Golden State is the largest and most populated state in the US (with 39.5 million residents)  – might just represent the tipping point for more online marketers to promote cannabis. which is predicted to do over $7.1 billion in sales in 2017.

According to a Yahoo News/Marist Survey from April 2017, nearly 55 million Americans (22 percent) have used marijuna.at least once or twice in the past year. Close to 35 million are what the survey calls “regular users,” or people who use marijuana at least once or twice a month.

California’s pot legalization is already having an impact. Nearly $2 billion has been invested in the stock market since California’s January 1 statewide marijuana legalization, and shares of companies producing, distributing or selling marijuana soared on Tuesday, Fortune reported.

Cannabis and Affiliates

The cannabis vertical is already growing within the affiliate space. Last year Weed Reader published the top 10 marijuana affiliate programs. These programs (and hundreds more) focus on everything from growing seeds and cannabis growth training to selling edibles and actual marijuana (to medical patients where legal).

Obviously, some affiliates will question the moral and ethical issues of legalization. Those online marketers will likely avoid the space – just as they do other areas considered controversial like adult content websites, online gambling, and some nutriceuticals.

However, some affiliates may opt to promote products that tout that the medical and health benefits of cannabis. Some may choose to pursue the more recreational use aspect as they do with liquor and wine products.

Additionally, there could even be travel affiliates that more aggressively promote California and other states where cannabis is legal as a premiere destination. Think Amsterdam’s tourist messaging in the 1980’s and 1990’s that made it a must-visit location for travelers that wanted to indulge legally.

Additionally, millennials may be a huge factor in deciding whether or not to promote cannabis products. Millennials make up one quarter of the US population with a total of 77 million. (Nielsen). Their generation is larger than the Baby Boomers and 3 times the size of Gen. X. (Aimia). This demographic doesn’t have a social stigma associated with marijuana (52 percent of the estimated 55 million users are millennials). Also, millennials wield about $1.3 trillion in annual buying power. (Boston Consulting Group). They will have the most spending power of any generation by 2018. (Bazaar). And specifically, their spending power is projected to reach $3.39 trillion by 2018. (Oracle).

The Challenges

Although state governments are rolling out more progressive cannabis legislation, marketing marijuana is currently fraught with roadblocks. Mostly because while marijuana is legal in more than half of  the US, it’s still illegal on a federal level. This makes advertising and marketing extremely complex. Online marketers fear being liable for aiding and abetting the sale of drugs – a felony crime.

There are, however, some federal law exceptions. They can be granted for “any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute such items”.  Still, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have strict advertising policies. These policies deny paid posts that “constitute, facilitate, or promote illegal products, services or activities” – including marijuana.

Because of advertising restrictions and  inconsistencies in enforcement regarding “educational content,” cannabis-centric social networks have emerged. Cannabis-centric social networks include MassRoots (valued at $44 million with 725,000 users). There is also  the social app Duby, which functions like an Instagram for the cannabis savvy. And a glut of digital marketing agencies and consulting practices dedicated to serving the cannabis industry have sprung up.

For now, most cannabis affiliates choose to focus on content and educating the public. That means using traditional digital marketing tactics. Affiliates are blogging, optimizing SEO, linking to influencers in the space, sending out newsletters and email, and establishing partnerships with researchers and doctors for more legitimization.

But that also means those marketers are likely preaching to converted. Reaching new users and increasing brand awareness online is difficult because advertising is restricted.

Cannabis might not be a market for all affiliates. But there’s no doubt it is growing vertical that will evolve over time as pot becomes legalized and more socially acceptable. Affiliates are likely to play a big role in pushing forward this space.

Online Travel by Numbers

online travelChateau 20 is thankful to work with so many amazing clients and affiliates in the travel and hotel space.

So, after you ponder whether or not to have that second slice of pumpkin pie and unbutton the top button of your pants, here are some articles about the online travel space that you can easily digest.

6 Articles You Need to Read

  1. Why Amazon, Google and Facebook are the Travel Space’s Biggest Threats
  2. Sojern Buys Ad-Tech Firm Adphorus to Better Compete on Facebook
  3. Airbnb Acquires Ad-Tech Startup AdBasis
  4. Distribution of Adults in the United States by Their Preference of Hotel Booking Online or Offline in 2017
  5. Internet Travel & Hotel Booking Statistics
  6. 65 Travel Statistics to Know about in 2017 & 2018