Those in the travel industry know that content is king – particularly the luxury travel industry who cater to the elite. Unlike typical business road warriors, luxury travelers can afford to go anywhere and can be lured off on holiday through marketing as story-telling. This is why the travel industry spends a tremendous amount on direct marketing. In the digital channel alone, travel is increasing digital ad spending faster than almost all other US industries. According to eMarketer’s Digital Ad Spending Forecast, travel will steadily gain market presence, rising from $1.84 billion in spending in 2010 to $4.7 billion in 2016 and from 7% of all US digital advertising to 8.5% respectively. Travel’s 8.5% share puts it squarely in the middle of US digital ad spending by industry, and aside from media, travel leads all other industries in market share growth.
Travel is even marketing its marketing. The Four Seasons recently issued a press release on their “five star content” starting with:
“Five-star. Content, that is. It’s the philosophy behind Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ digital strategy that puts experiential stories in the hands, hearts and minds of luxury travelers. While media mavens everywhere are jumping on the content bandwagon, Four Seasons has steadily built an efficient storytelling ecosystem using authentic tales from locales around the world.”
These guys are serious about content.
The Four Seasons Magazine has been redesigned in partnership with content agency and publisher Pace, and together they are building a “content network” of the world’s top journalists and photographers to showcase the latest products, share timely opinions and explore compelling stories across luxury, culture, science, technology and travel. In addition to digital sites such as FourSeasons.com and FourSeasonsMagazine.com the network includes the following supporting platforms:
- The newly launched food blog, Taste , which speaks to the inquisitive gourmand
- A family blog aimed at travelers with kids, Have Family Will Travel
- Multiple in-language sites, including Revista, aimed at Brazilian outbound travelers, TravelNotes, for the Russian market, Matices to engage the Latin American audience and a Chinese-language version, Life by Four Seasons, to encourage travel in and outside of China.
- Four Seasons’ social network is localized with nearly 90+ properties speaking daily to local audiences, exponentially amplifying the brand’s presence.
In the past two years, Four Seasons has built a sophisticated content universe that drives engagement and inspires action. Publishing more than 3,400 pieces of content (articles, videos, images and posts) a week, Four Seasons reaches users in more than 200 countries, in five languages, across nearly two dozen different content platforms.
We may not all have the marketing budget of a luxury brand like The Four Seasons but, whether we are in Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare or Mobile, we can look at building a content network to tell the story of our brands, our services, our successes. One great thing about a content network is that it’s like planting a garden; with a bit of care and nurturing it starts to feed you instead of the other way around.