A study of the impact of 2,000 pieces of travel-related online content has found interactive posts are by far the most effective.
London-based digital agency Kaizen assessed content against three measures: social shares and the quantity and quality of the links, URL Rating and Referral Domains.
Interactive content like games, quizzes, and calculators and videos outstripped all other forms of content for both social shares and referring domains.
Kaizen broke the 2,000 individual pieces of content down into seven categories as well as interactive including: Infographic; Presentation; Video, Influencer, Non-Influencer, and Other.
Influencer content fared poorly for both social shares and referring domains while Non-Influencer content came in second behind Interactive content on both measures.
Other top line findings included Videos ranked second behind Interactives for URL rating. Kaizen said video is “highly successful for reliably earning unique backlinking domains”.
Infographics were found to suffer due to their static appearance and variable quality, but performed well for URL Ratings and for social shares, for which it was second behind Interactives.
Articles were found to represent the lowest resource cost of the content types and were able to achieve high rating both for URL Rating and Referring Domains.
Interactive content was on average found to be 40% stronger than the next most effective. “The high performance may be due to a greater chance for users to engage with the content over formats like infographics or video,” the Kaizen said.
Kaizen concluded that Influencers are “at their most useful when contributing to collaborative content pieces, rather than as outlets for traditional link building”.
URL Rating and even Social Shares for Influencers was lower than for Non-Influencers and even among successful pieces shares averaged 151.8 compared to 1,384.7 for other formats.
Kaizen indicates that the reason for such a poor performance for Influencer content is its relative preponderance today with even brands with limited budgets able to access influencers with blogs and social media presences.
Kaizen found that the sectors within travel with the most active content creation were travel comparison, insurance, car rental, hotel operator and reservations and route planners.
Global hotel chain Marriott was one of the most active brands in terms of high-quality video, having produced two short, cinema-feel films: Two Bellman Three and the French Kiss.
Kaizen says in the report: “Travel content is some of the most ambitious in the industry today.
“From 360 degree holiday videos where you can try out experiences before visiting the destination, to animated reconstructions of ancient ruins, marketers are using the best in cutting edge technology to get people travelling.
“As a result we have conducted a study of nearly 2,000 pieces of travel content, including infographics, interactive tools and guides, videos, influencer written articles and more to find out what makes any given piece of content successful.
“While there is no clear formula for successful content, this study should help display the specific benefits of the major format options available to use in your content strategies. By combining these insights with a focus on the creation of valuable content, marketers should be able to develop effective campaigns.”