Are You Confident That Your Online Activities Are Working?

This won’t shock anyone: families, like other travel segments, are researching their next holiday online. But what may come as a shock is that multiple studies show that over 70% of purchasing decisions are made online before a consumer engages you directly. That’s a big chunk of the market that you may never hear from unless you can engage with them online.

You’re probably already running multiple online activities, but how do you know they’re working effectively? Facebook suggest that a 2% engagement ranking is around average for a travel campaign. At Bound Round we’ve been able to deliver rates as high as 10% on recent campaigns. Online engagement is a numbers game but here’s my 3 proven guidelines to maximise results.

Targeting the right audience

The most common mistake is trying to target everyone. Be specific; start with your ideal customers in mind and focus on the most appropriate medium to get in front of them. For example, we target travelling families and we have over 19,500 subscribers, so we know it works.

Create engagement through content

Content is still king. Families make up around 30% of the travel market yet they’re mostly forgotten and barely catered for on the popular online portals. Boundround.com has been designed specifically to address this issue. In fact, we’ve built tens of thousands of hours of content so families, especially the kids, can research and explore a host of travel and activity options.

Strong call to action (CTA)

Especially within this industry, customers carry many apprehensions when it comes to making a definitive decision on where to go or what to do when they get there. That’s why it is imperative to have a strong call to action to drive your customers to book. Avoid being iffy or open-ended so as to make holidaymakers more compelled to hit “purchase”.

Our recent campaign with partners Club Med Bintan and Scoot Airlines was the most successful campaign we’ve run yet– and shows what’s possible when you tick all three of those boxes. We achieved better than average benchmark scores across all categories and generated over 2,500 new subscribers.

Want to connect better with the family travel market? We have the experience and platform to help you maximise your online activity. Contact us today to see how you can work with one of Australia’s top booking sites for family travel.

Travel Industry Giants Finally Talking Kids

Wotif.com, who in 2014 was acquired by travel giant Expedia, Inc., recently published research and launched a campaign focusing on how things are changing with holiday planning.

Wotif.com’s campaign featured emotionally charged video posted to their Facebook page, which amassed thousands of interactions and more than 1 million views. Besides bringing viewers to tears and sending a message of family unity, this video successfully explored the family vacation from the kid’s perspective. For the first time, an industry leader has adopted kid-produced video as a medium to explore family travel options.

The video shows three families, and three kids preparing for their family vacation. Some are going to stay in hotels, some taking flights, and some going outdoors, but all parents are expressing the same apprehensions around packing, costs, planning activities. The kids are each given video cameras before the families set off for their separate holidays. When they return, the kids show the parents the videos they have made and for the first time, those parents began to understand the little things that kids enjoy and look forward to on family holidays.

Travel Specialist at Wotif.com, Kirsty La Bruniy says, “Kids see the world through simpler eyes and remind us that often it’s the little things that count towards the most memorable holiday moments.” (source: New Research Highlights Holiday Anxiety For Parents)

Almost all of the large travel websites have already agreed on the importance of using video content to showcase locations and experience packages. But now, they are also realising the importance of kid-produced video.

Bound Round was one of the first to move on by kids, for kids video content. Since 2012, Bound Round has produced over 700 videos (many available on familytravel.com.au)showcasing destinations and activities from a kid’s perspective. By building information pages, photo and video content for our partner businesses in popular destination cities across Australia and abroad, Bound Round has been able to reach the real family decision maker, the kid.

It is exciting to see the industry giants building on the efforts we have been making to offer families a better travel experience, as it is clear that we are and have been on the right track. This news does not only come as valuable insight to Bound Round, but more so as an pivotal opportunity for forward thinking businesses to lead by utilising by kids, for kids video.

Sponsored Content Delivers Results for Family Travel

In 2016, boundround.com ran a competition with partners Club Med and Scoot Airlines. We think it showcases the power of timely, targeted sponsored distributed on Bound Round’s managed platforms (such as familytravel.com.au or mydiscoveries.com.au) can reach, engage and sell to Australian families.

What were the objectives?

To drive awareness of boundround.com (now familytravel.com.au) and deliver brand exposure to Club Med and Scoot among Australian families. We targeted families with children between 5-18 years old who have an interest in travel and holidays.

What did we offer?

A competition to win a packaged Club Med all inclusive 7-night holiday at Bintan Island, with return flights from Scoot, for 2 adults and 2 children.

How did we promote it?

We delivered the campaign through a dedicated competition website, an eDM program to the Bound Round database, a comprehensive Facebook strategy targeting our family audience, and additional digital advertising to amplify the message.

What were the results?

  • Brand exposure to an audience of over 135,000 contacts
  • Engagement levels that exceeded industry benchmarks across all our campaign assets
  • Over 4,500 unique competition page views
  • Over 2,600 competition entries

And the real kicker…

  • 76 additional nights booked in one week!

This campaign shows the power of connecting your brand with our audience.  Contact us to see how you can connect with the home of family travel.

 

 

Survey gives new insights on young kid’s use of digital media

 

The report The influence of children’s gender and age on children’s use of digital media at home identifies a handful of different perceptions of parents who are trying to limit the amount time their kids spend “plugged-in” are having, but what stays the same among all parents is that their young kids are spending time online. That’s why, coupled with the growing rates of children engaging with digital media, companies must focus on supplying content made especially for kids.

“Children aged 8-11 are spending more hours per week using the internet than in 2013 (10.5 vs. 9.2 hours)” (Ofcom 2014, pg. 7)

“Seven in ten children aged 5-15 now have access to a tablet computer at home…” (Ofcom 2014, pg. 6)

The influence of children’s gender and age on children’s use of digital media at home reports and analyses parent’s perceptions on their children’s use of digital media (activities including watching TV, tablet usage, reading on e-readers, time spent on game consoles, and the use of computers and smartphones) based on a survey of over 700 parents with children aged 0-8 years old.

The two variables explored in the survey are the children’s age (0-8 years old; in groups “0-2”, “3-5”, “6-7”, and “8 and older”) and gender (boy, girl), and what effect these variables have on the parent’s perception of their child’s digital media use.

A main question analysed in the survey results was the extent to which parents felt they were or weren’t able to effectively control the balance between their child’s use of digital media and off-screen alternatives (e.g. reading a print book). Parent’s survey responses ranged from addressing concern over inability to establish an effective balance, health concerns drawn from inability to limit digital use, concerns specific to overuse and the accompanying effect on the social relationships of their young children, the parent’s experiences of the social pressures on themselves regarding limiting their kids use of digital technologies, and finally responses that addressed parent’s inability to establish a balance and their lack of concern about that.

Results and analysis of survey responses

Out of all of the parents that sought to strike a balance between digital and non-digital media usage, parents with young boys were more concerned with the health effects of too much screen time. Alternatively, parents with young girls felt they were able to strike a balance well due to effective house rules and regulating screen time.

Parent’s concerns of health as associated with an imbalance toward the overuse of digital technologies were more prevalent in parents with a very young (0-2 years old) child. Parents with older kids also tended to cite the reason for their inability to limit their child’s screen time as being the overall appeal of digital technologies in comparison to non-digital alternatives.

One of the main concerns arises from parents with 3-4 years olds about the quality of online content. And, while some feel that all use of digital technologies by children at a young age, one salient parent response to the survey was as follows, ‘As long as he’s being educated that’s all that matters’ (pg. 20).

With there being a gap between the perceived amount of quality online content and increase in young children’s use of digital, there is the need to bridge that gap with quality and educational content. The content that will get the attention of the parents is the stuff that provides their kids with something of value while they are online.

“…parents are the primary gatekeepers when it comes to the provision, availability and accessibility of digital technologies for children at home…” (pg. 24)

That is exactly why parents will be looking to guide their kids away from random and misfitting content toward kid-appropriate, digestible, relatable, and quality content.

Further reading

 

Getting to Know Your Customers

There are three distinct types of family travellers. We know them by name, but now it’s time to know them by behaviour and attitude. Thanks to research conducted by the Family Travel Association and the NYU School of Professional Studies, we can get a pretty clear picture about who’s walking in the doors of various destinations and attractions around the country.

Cautious Travellers

mcocha-omni-orlando-resort-championsgate-pool-family-1
The Cautious Travelers are families who value travel and often put great effort into researching and planning family trips. They are attracted by many different travel products and destinations. However, they tend to stick to trips that are traditionally seen as ‘family friendly,’ such as theme parks and family-friendly hotels and resorts, because these products are regarded as ‘safe bets.’ Their travel decisions are greatly influenced by worry and uncertainty: they worry about safety, hygiene, whether a destination offers value for the money, whether a child will get sick, and whether activities are appropriate for children. They believe more strongly in the value of travel for children and would consider taking their children out of school, but they are generally too worried about all the uncertainties associated with travel to go far off the beaten track.

* More likely to worry about safety
* Tend to prefer theme parks, hotels, and resorts
* More likely to find it hard to identify activities appropriate for children
* Like trying new places, but also return to destinations they enjoy
* Feel that travel strengthens family bonds and makes children better global citizens
* Still may travel to experience different cultures
* More likely to take children out of school to travel

In particular, cautious travellers have concerns about:
* affordability and value—travel is a considerable expense for families and they want to make sure they make the right choices
* safety of children in crowded places
* maintaining healthy diets on vacation, as well as worries about food allergies
* providing children with experiences that are iconic (e.g. famous theme parks)
* children being bored – many express preferences for destinations that offer a lot of on-site activities (e.g. entertainment, pools)

Hassle-free travellers

happy mother and son riding in travel bus
The Hassle-Free Travelers are families who see travel as a time for relaxation and indulgence. They seek comfort and do not want to spend much time planning the trip. Just like the Cautious Travelers, they are attracted to theme parks and family-friendly hotels/all-inclusive resorts, but their motivations are different: whereas the Cautious Travelers worry about safety and value, and tend to research travel options carefully, the Hassle-Free Travelers look for options that allow the whole family to effortlessly relax.

Hassle-Free Travelers are more likely to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations; however, they are likely to stay in all-inclusive resorts or take organized tours, as opposed to the Intrepid Travelers. Hassle-Free Travelers are more likely to prefer staying at home instead of traveling. They also tend to place greater value on material possessions than travel experiences.

* More likely to prefer cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and organized tours
* Least likely to take children out of school to travel
* More likely to think travel with children is a hassle
* More likely to return to the same destination
* Still place value on the educational value of travel
* More likely to place more value on material possessions
* More likely to stay at home during vacations

Intrepid Travellers

Girls riding Camel in Fuerteventura desert at Canary Islands of Spain

The Intrepid Travelers are families that greatly value travel and are confident, independent, and often experienced travelers. They emphasize their interest in exploring new cultures, are likely to travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations, and often express disinterest in all- inclusive and packaged products. They have an interest in many different travel products and accommodation options, although the majority prefer hotel stays. Just like the Cautious Travelers, they are more likely to take their children out of school to travel.

* Tend to prefer new destinations every time they travel
* Tend to travel to experience different cultures
* Tend to worry less about safety
* More likely to travel to unusual destinations
* More likely to take children out of school to travel
* Tend to value travel over material possessions

Knowing the types of families that come to your venue or attraction hopefully gives you added insight into the things they place importance on. Once you know the bigger picture of what these families are looking for, you are hopefully able to better deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations.

Flight Centre

Flight Centre’s Travel Blog recently published a profile piece on Janeece Keller and her efforts as Bound Round’s founder.

KarryOn: New Tech to Draw Families to North Queensland

KarryOn, known as ‘the voice of the travel industry‘, has recently posted a profile article about Bound Round’s unique partnership with Tourism & Events Queensland: an innovative approach to increasing awareness of Townsville to holiday makers.

About Bound Round they write: “Finally, an awesome travel app that has been designed just for kids.”