Three Tips for Using Reviews To Leverage Cross-Platform Trends
The phrase “three screens” has been tossed around a lot the last few years, but it’s officially time to move on. We must broaden our horizons, because travel marketing on the internet is about more than a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop. It’s about total flexibility. Devices and their screens have transcended themselves to become one large digital mass where every strategy must transform to fit every method of delivery. And the end goal of each initiative must include travelers who feel more in control of their planning and experience.
This can be challenging simply because the sheer amount of data is cumbersome and audiences are broad. However, cross-platform strategies are essential. Here are 3 crucial ways to respond to the cross-platform current to win over travelers.
Be Accessible Anytime, Anywhere
According to a recent ComScore report, many mobile users are downloading just a few key apps in the social networking, games, and radio categories. This means that travel sites can’t rely only on mobile apps. While they are certainly important, your site should be able to cater to travelers on whatever device they want without giving up any content or features—or having to download or use excessive data. This is really about giving travelers control over when, where, and what device they use to do their planning.
Offer Travel Reviews Across Platforms
Many travelers are reluctant to read reviews on anything but a desktop, because heretofore they were cumbersome. An average review on a mobile device looks like an essay and the overall ratings are harder to decipher. Travel intermediaries can easily integrate Meta-Reviews that offer high-level summaries about a property based on reviews from across all review sites. Meta-Reviews are easy to read (and totally customizable) so they display well on different screens and they give travelers a summary on the true highs and lows of a property without the requisite reading of thousands of words on a small screen.
Empower travelers to participate (on any platform)
The concept of real time is one of the most compelling things about the proliferation of devices and wifi access. Encouraging travelers to post reviews and inviting them to ask questions in real time (using your responsive system that’s available on any device, that is) is one way to empower travelers and draw them in to your brand. Becoming a source that travelers can truly have at their fingertips can allay any concerns about OTA customer service, because they know they can reach you in an instant, and can increase your value as a planning resource for travelers who want the most up-to-date travel reviews and information.
This year, the travel industry will truly be required to think on a universal digital level. This means that just as intermediaries are required to personalize results and have dynamic content at the ready, you also must serve up everything you have to offer at every turn, no matter the engine, the device, the browser, the screen size, the app, or the location. It’s tricky business drilling down and also expanding at the same time, but sites that embrace it will win over travelers.
*TrustYou’s Meta-Reviews are based solely on verified travel reviews from more than 250 sources worldwide. They do not include data from TripAdvisor.