October 24, 2014

OTAs dominate search for travel deals


When it comes to offering consumer savings opportunities, travel sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor have mastered the right content, whereas airlines and hotels haven’t performed as well historically in this category, according to new data by BrightEdge. In fact, nine of the top ten players are OTAs - only Hilton made it into the list.

We’re at the outset of Q4, which means that the holidays are fast approaching. Travel deals, accommodations and hospitality are always in high demand this time of year, as consumers lock down holiday travel plans and make reservations. Whether you’re a travel agency, an airline or a hotel, your company needs to be prepared to capture market share in this highly competitive season. It’s not enough to create content for content’s sake; in such an oversaturated market, marketers won’t be able to move the needle without understanding where the demand lies — and what they can do to take full advantage.

Today, agencies and conglomerates have proven highly effective at understanding consumer demand and developing content to cater to that demand. Online travel agencies (OTAs) dominate within each category, boasting an almost consistent share of the top three listings across the board. Hotels, airlines and individual providers, on the other hand, are taking a less strategic approach, fueled primarily by guesswork and basic content creation efforts.

But this guesswork isn’t enough anymore. With vast amounts of marketers creating content on a daily basis, and if brands want to rise above the noise and make an impact, they’ll have to go beyond traditional content creation and focus on performance. By understanding the ecosystem that surrounds content — particularly what consumers want and when they want it — marketers can conceive and deliver content that meets consumer need and delivers effective, relevant information. Trial-and-error strategy won’t cut it in today’s sophisticated content market; instead, if marketers focus on targeting demand and optimizing content accordingly, performance will naturally follow.

For our latest quarterly report, we’ve leveraged our BrightEdge Data Cube — a massive content repository built to analyze large data sets (including rich media, content, international, etc.) and their performance on the web — to perform this research. Utilizing the BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine, holiday trends were also analyzed historically over time. Our findings focus on three specific travel categories, Travel & Accommodation; Travel only; and Accommodation only. These three segments of the travel industry encompass a huge variety of suppliers, vendors and agencies, which all experience different levels of content marketing success.

Click here to download the complete report (PDF 262 KB)