The video-sharing app is helping to build travel brand awareness
Travel brands are increasingly joining TikTok in a bid to increase their global reach. Although the app has been popular for a few years, according to recently released analysis by PhocusWire, more travel brands are now entering the TikTok world, eager for engagement with new audiences.
TikTok’s video format allows travel providers to transport viewers to a destination while showcasing their brand personality.
Booking.com launched its first TikTok-centric campaign, called TikTokMadeMeBookIt, on 20 July 2022. The online travel agency aims to inspire people to travel, create positive brand interactions and get people to think of the brand as the leader in travel.
Booking.com director of social media Laura Kaye said: “The TikTok community is already actively engaged in travel content – #travel has more than 90 billion views – so it is a natural fit for Booking.com to be an active part of this.”
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The company’s experience on the app will be as much a chance for Booking.com to learn about TikTok users as it will be for the app’s users to learn about Booking.com.
Kaye added: “We don’t really know what the TikTok community is looking for. We’re using the launch to build an audience, and we’re attracting people by giving away trips and putting out a bunch of different content to see what is resonating.”
Kaye finds video to be an especially effective format for promoting travel brands: “You can really convey the experience of a trip – from the flight, to the accommodation, to a slight breeze at sunset sitting poolside while sipping a frozen drink.”
Booking.com is working with influencers, also referred to as 'spokespeople', who the company typically defines as having one million or more followers on the TikTok platform.
The OTA is paying influencers to convey to their community Booking.com-focused messages, but are asking them to tell the story however their audiences would be most interested to hear it.
The OTA is also employing another approach by partnering with content creators, who have audiences of fewer than 100,000. Content creators will produce and share content on Booking’s TikTok channel rather than their own channels. According to Kaye, the OTA is leveraging them as content producers, not for their audience.
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Skyscanner is another brand in the early stages of exploring the video sharing app. The travel search engine sees TikTok as a way to connect with travellers in the discovery phase of their journey.
Though Skyscanner has yet to post any videos, similar to Booking.com, it plans to get its TikTok channel going in-house and with the support of influencers.
A Skyscanner spokesperson said: “We want Skyscanner to be top of mind for travellers when they are starting to think about taking a vacation, particularly as flights are often one of the first elements that travellers consider when deciding which particular destination to visit.”
Other travel brands active on TikTok include Expedia.com, Viator and Airbnb.
For more information, visit www.tiktok.com