By Tom Smith, Head of Search at mporium
Consumers may no longer be popping into travel agents to book their holidays, but their desire to explore the world, and the ease with which they can do so, has increased. While consumer behaviour has changed in that research and booking mainly happens online, TV continues to play a major role in terms of inspiration, research and awareness.
When searching for holiday destinations, potential travellers tend to search for generic terms such as “holidays to Spain” or “cheap flights” rather than searching for a specific brand name, and are increasingly doing so via a mobile device.
Brands can do more to monetise real-time mobile searches based on how consumers behave while watching TV, capitalising on consumers’ multi-screen habits. At mporium, our specialty lies in uncovering the best multi-screen monetisation opportunities for our clients and in this article, we’ll showcase some of the more interesting correlations we’ve observed.
Is Benidorm a holiday destination?
Popular ITV sitcom Benidorm, set at the splendid Solana Hotel, has unexpectedly inspired viewers to pick up their smartphone or tablet and look for their next break in the sun. A particular episode of the show not only caused a spike in obvious search terms such as ‘Benidorm holidays’ and ‘Benidorm flights’ but also for more generic phrases such as ‘Low cost holidays’ and ‘on the beach’.
The increase in multi-screen engagement while watching television means consumers will increasingly reach for their smartphone to satisfy curiosity at precise moments. Unsurprisingly, people didn’t just search for holidays, some were also searching for details of the Benidorm cast.
An ‘always on PPC campaign’ targeting generic and highly competitive search terms around travel is not always financially viable for brand marketers and agencies. Brands wanting to maximise ROI from digital advertising content should consider where and when it is best to optimise search terms, so as to reach consumers with context and relevance. Being able to identify TV-related causes for spikes in certain search terms, and managing a campaign ‘second by second’ rather than ‘day by day’ will generate the largest revenue impact.
Getting wooed by sea and sunshine
This behaviour is by no means restricted to shows about travel or those set in sunny climbs. Shows like A Place In the Sun, unsurprisingly result in consumers craving the sun and sand, but there are other more unexpected shows that can also lead to increased travel search.
An episode of The Great Interior Design Challenge, a national search for the best amateur interior designers, alongside driving searches for ‘new ways to design your home’ also drove searches related to the location of the episode ‘Briantspuddle’, a small scenic village in the Piddle Valley in Dorset. Although the village was only briefly featured onscreen in an episode largely filmed indoors, that fleeting moment drove viewers to search and find out more about the area.
By identifying these unexpected search patterns, brands can have the opportunity to capture consumers’ attention when they are engaged with content, and as a result, can drive mobile conversions.
Travel is hugely important to social media networks and has been widely publicised, with Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook all looking at ways to allow brands to capitalise on the audience provided by the platforms. This can be seen with “buy buttons” on both Twitter and Pinterest.
For Facebook, travel remains a vitally important focus, allowing users to post pictures from their own trips and comment on their friends’ excursions. A historic relationship between Facebook and TripAdvisor has also publicised the importance of travel content for its users.
The influence has been compounded by an increase of 23% in mobile users since 2015, with 1.15 billion daily active mobile users. With the recent addition of Facebook Instant Articles – which are seeing an increase of 20% for click throughs and 30% for shares – the options for travel brands are constantly increasing.
The crucial moments matter
In the past, travel programmes prompted a surge in travel agent visits or telephone orders for brochures. TV still provokes consumers to research and book holidays but technological advancement has allowed us to do so spontaneously and instantly.
Looking at the correlation between television content and the increase search activity can allow marketers to target consumers at appropriate times, maximising the ROI for ad spend. Although a particular show or episode may not be directly promoting travel, the content can produce certain reactions from consumers, resulting in an increase in a particular search term.
Advertisers need to respond to crucial moments on TV and how consumers use mobile devices when watching TV, creating a search and social strategy that allows them to modify spend for generic keywords whenever relevant TV content occurs.