Guest Post: Sun, sea and swiping

Guest Post: Sun, sea and swiping

Dating platforms are the perfect match to reach single travellers, says Peter Foster, GM of Global Advertising and Brand Solutions at Match Media Group

While many people think that single people are looking to stay local to make a connection, many are using dating platforms abroad to find their next potential match. From a love interest to new friends and authentic experiences, singles are flocking to dating platforms to find like-minded people who share their passions. For travel brands looking to tap into single people’s desire for adventure, this means that dating platforms are the perfect match to advertise their products!

Single people and travel

Solo travel and travel with friend groups is on the rise. According to research from Expedia, 25% of holidaymakers are planning a solo trip in 2018, and not just for a long weekend. If companies can tap into these trends and make singles feel welcome, they will reap the benefits of a highly engaged audience who value travel experiences and put their money behind it.  However, for travel brands to fully understand how to market to single people they must recognise why single people want to travel abroad in the first place.

Single people desire new experiences. For travel brands this taps precisely into what they can offer. Travel brands create authentic experiences in faraway locations with new people – helping single people find a local turned “tour guide” or recommendations for the best restaurants and sites. As research has recently found single people were more likely to report feeling that their life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth.

The increase in high disposable incomes and the introduction of disruptive travel brands like Airbnb and Uber have also increased the number of single travellers. These brands allow single people to “live like a local” even if just for a week and are easy to book with a few taps on your phone. According to research, millennials are the most likely demographic to book a holiday on their phones (40%), and over a third (36%) have searched online after seeing a travel ad, 25% checked out reviews online and 21% clicked on the ad.

Dating apps and reach

With single people travelling more, the question remains why do travel brands advertise on dating platforms? Dating apps reach people all over the world and help them build connections wherever they are. Tinder, for example, reaches people when they are in the “discovery mindset.” This mindset occurs when people are actively seeking to connect with new people and experiences that expand their horizons. A discovery mindset is perfect for travel brands as they can open the world to new locations, new people and new languages. Simply, travel brands offer a journey into the unknown.

Travel brands offering an experience

The trend of offering an “experience” instead of just a product or service is key to the success of marketing brands on dating platforms. For example, while Class Pass is primarily an app to book exercise classes, they’ve found significant success by marketing their experiences as yoga retreats. Additionally, these options are often less expensive, more flexible, have peer to peer recommendations which they value, and match their lifestyles. The lesson for other brands is that they can connect with our users when they show how they can organically integrate into their lives and provide them with an experience and not just a one-time purchase.

Travel companies (hotels, airline, general booking sites) must build on this by leaning into the needs of the audience – offering a deal, providing insights on what makes your profile better, or just fun language – to have success. A notable example is Delta’s marketing campaign with Tinder. Creating a Selfie Wall, in Brooklyn last year, Delta was able to tap into an engagement goldmine thanks to its clever concept of creating backdrops that would make you look like an international adventurer in your dating bio. Fun and engaging, the advertisement was able to build around the narrative of creating an enjoyable experience.

The perfect match

The lesson for any travel brand looking to advertise to the growing number of single travellers is to use dating platforms. Using demographics – age, location, and gender – travel brands can target a group of individuals with holidays that suit their preferences. For single people this means that ads correspond with their individual needs and therefore are more likely to click. However, using demographics alone will not work. As single people want a fun and authentic experience in their dating life, travel brands should follow Delta’s example by putting engaging experiences in their marketing campaigns.

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