Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The sound of the Wanderlust: how to use digital audio for travel advertising

by Faye Leneghan, Creative Strategy Lead, AMA

The festive season is in full swing and with that, many consumers will be thinking about getting away from the cold. As they consider their winter escapes, travel brands have the opportunity to engage with audiences and capture their imaginations, but they must do so in ways that tap into the notion of ‘meaningful’ travel experiences.

Since the pandemic, people are approaching travel very differently, and this has meant consumers are more engaged in the holiday buying process and for longer. The opportunity for travel brands is a significant one, but this limited window needs to be approached in a way that provides the consumer with relevant experiences that build a connection between the consumer and the travel opportunity being presented to them.

So, how can brands achieve this?

The answer lies in the power of digital audio, and how immersive audio experiences can help to inspire wanderlust and entice people toward getting away from their day-to-day lives this winter.

Connecting in the cold

The advent of streaming services, podcasts, and smart speakers has opened up fresh audio possibilities for travel brands, so they can connect with audiences in new and exciting ways.

According to research from Spotify, 73% of people are open to listening to ads on audio streaming services, if the tone fits. Luckily, digital audio ads can be customised to cater to the specific surroundings or demographic traits of a consumer to ensure they are being targeted with relevant content.

Being able to reach consumers with this relevance is so important, especially over the winter months. With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and New Year all falling in close proximity, consumers are inundated with advertising around time-sensitive deals. But brands have an opportunity to stand out from the crowd by connecting with people in a way that matters to them.

Reaching travellers dynamically

Throughout the winter months, travel brands can use dynamic creative within their digital audio ads to harness real-time weather updates, engage the listener and tempt them into booking a getaway to a warmer destination.

Particularly in relation to Christmas and January sales, brands have the opportunity to serve up offers, package deals, and benefits that are relevant to the individual listener. And these offers can be presented in rotation so, every time a listener tunes in, they are served a different relevant travel deal.

Serving these relevant deals to consumers is imperative as, according to research from Booking.com, 63% of global travellers use “deals, hacks and smartly-timed travel” to help them save money when booking holidays, while 60% seek value for money through discounts and loyalty programmes.

Dynamic creative can also be used to drive holiday bookings by namechecking the closest airport, station, or port to the listener, and highlighting the destinations they could travel to from there. This provides a deeply personalised feel to the ad, that truly resonates with the listener.

Moreover, digital audio ads offer the possibility to grow purchase intent by tailoring the destination, offer, and creative message to different target audiences. For instance, a particular podcast may appeal to a wide selection of listeners from all generations i.e. Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby boomers, but dynamic creative audio will ensure that a relevant iteration of an ad is served to each individual listener.  

Sounds good

Digital audio – whether that’s music streaming, podcasts, or radio – offers the perfect avenue for travel brands to reach audiences with relevant, immersive, sound-powered experiences that inspire them to consider booking a getaway.

These ads can be tailored to the individual based on powerful contextual data cues, piquing the interest of the consumer by delivering a highly personalised experience without compromising their privacy.

Travel brands have an incredible opportunity to bring the sounds of holiday destinations right into people’s homes, and through their headphones.

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