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Andy Mallinson Managing Director Stackla

How Consumers Fuel Travel Inspiration and Validation

People look for travel inspiration and validation before deciding to book their next adventures. We recently surveyed 2,000 adults in the U.S., UK and Australia, examining the content being created and shared online, to find out what influences booking decisions most.

Luckily, for travel marketers, consumers are increasingly sharing their travel experiences online, fueling travel FOMO for others, in turn, driving the booking cycle.

Our Consumer Content Report: Influence in the Digital Age found 48% of consumers post about places they’ve visited at least twice in an average month, and that 43% of consumers have made travel plans based on a friend’s social post.

Other key findings for travel marketers include:

  • 42% of consumers say content from friends or family influence their purchase decisions, while just 23% say content from celebrities are influential.
  • 57% of Millennials have made travel plans based on an image or video they saw a friend post on social media.

So what does this mean for travel marketers?

Today’s marketers are in constant competition for consumers’ attention – not just with each other but also with people’s social feeds. Combined with an increasing distrust of advertising and marketing, authenticity has become absolutely critical for brands.

When it comes to who consumers trust and what content is most persuasive, brands can’t beat the authenticity and influence of consumer-created content, known as user-generated content (UGC). 60% of people said UGC is the most authentic form of content.

But travellers aren’t just referencing UGC when making booking decisions, they’re actively creating it. Consumers are constantly sharing positive experiences on social networks about everything from the places they visit to the products they purchase and food and beverages they consume.

The abundance of UGC is a goldmine for marketers who are constantly struggling to break through the noise and reach travellers with content that connects. By leveraging compelling, real customer stories, travel marketers can deliver relevant brand experiences and ultimately, drive bookings.

Read the full Consumer Content Report: Influence in the Digital Age.