Booking.com and Time Out leverage consumers’ wanderlust for mobile bookings
Booking.com is joining forces with global multimedia publisher Time Out to roll out a native campaign featuring social media influencers to fuel mobile bookings from spontaneous millennial travelers.
The partnership, which is set to span six weeks, aims to encourage travel enthusiasts to indulge their wanderlust and use the Booking.com mobile application to make last-minute bookings for hotel accommodations. The campaign will be featuring famous bloggers and Instagram influencers from the United States and Britain, who will use Booking.com for their spur-of-the-moment travels, which will be documented on Time Out.
“Our brands are aligned through the content that is being produced for a dedicated features package, which will guide our Time Out users for inspiration on how to navigate their way through a city spontaneously,” said Chris Lauder, senior director of creative solutions at Time Out North America. “Using the Booking.com app, each blogger engages with the UX of his or her app, whilst pushing their weekend adventure socially through blog posts and social channels.
“Time Out recommends a Top Ten Things to Do, whilst Booking.com also delivers the Top Ten Hotels for each city,” he said. “Inspiration and navigation are key to both brands – and this campaign cements that beautifully.
“This partnership also highlight’s Time Out’s global expansion, with over 20 cities represented in this campaign.”
The campaign, which is spanning multiple platforms and cities, will see dedicated digital hubs play host to inspirational content, such as destination reviews, travel tips and contests. Users will be able to follow along via the #WingIt hashtag.
Several U.S. and Britain-based Instagram influencers and bloggers have been selected to document their impromptu travel plans and arrange their trip details via the Booking.com app, while using Time Out to help navigate them upon arrival at their destination cities.
Designer and photographer Nathan Michael is one of the influencers chosen, alongside Walk in Wonderland’s Sheryl Luke and Kelly Rizzo of Eat Travel Rock.
Consumers who aspire to live the lifestyle of these travel aficionados can partake in Time Out’s Guess the Destination competition, where they must solve a series of clues regarding an undisclosed location to win a trip. The contest is keeping in line with the theme of spontaneity by requiring that winners be able to travel the next week, with free arrangements taken care of by Booking.com.
Social media influencers are an ideal strategy to leverage for this campaign. A Schick executive at the 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York affirmed that tapping social media influencers on YouTube catapults the effectiveness and reach of mobile video advertising, provided that the influencers are allowed creativity to expand on the brand’s message (see story).
Showcasing the app
Booking.com is seeking to highlight its updated mobile app and attract a thrill-seeking audience. The brand has steadily been ramping up its focus on driving mobile bookings, no doubt thanks to millennials’ browsing and purchasing habits on their smartphones.
This past April, Booking.com announced it is rolling out the first travel application with booking capabilities for the Apple Watch, enabling consumers to select and book hotel accommodations directly from their wrists (see story).
The partnership is a smart move for the travel brand, as Time Out’s readers typically seek new experiences in different cities and can be more easily swayed to book a vacation package on mobile if targeted with the right deal at the right time.
“[Mobile strategy] is key to our business this year, and for most publishers,” Mr. Lauder said. “Consumers are spending increasingly more time engaged with their handsets – it isn’t only a communications device, but a delivery mechanic for content, products and services that are intrinsic to their way of life.
“More than half of our site traffic comes through a mobile device, and all of Time Out’s sites are fully mobile-optimized for the best user experience.”
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York