By Karen Osman, Managing Director of Travel Ink
I have been attending Arabian Travel Market in Dubai for years – either as an exhibitor, a visitor, or media and always thoroughly enjoyed it. This year though, I was given the opportunity to speak on the travel and technology panel on the topic of social media and blogging. It was an incredible opportunity to share my expertise (gained through my work at Travel Ink) with the industry and I was delighted at the amount of interest the presentation attracted. It was also fantastic to see the amount of questions and engagement following the session and I’m already looking forward to ATM 2017!
The presentation was titled Tips, Trends and Techniques on Social Media and Blogging and looked at new trends for 2016 as well as case studies of brands using content and their results. I was also lucky enough to be joined by two colleagues in the content industry Shane Dallas – professional social media expert, and Matt Gibson – Inbound President of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.
In case you missed it, here’s a round up of some key trends that will help with your social media and blogging planning. The digital world is constantly changing and half the battle is keeping up with the latest trends, functions, and possibilities. Keep these in mind during your planning sessions:
The Rise of Instagram
In 2015, the average amount of time spent on social media in the UAE was 3 hours 35 minutes. Instagram is one of the fastest growing at 20% increase in the region between 2013 and 2015. In addition, Instagram has better brand engagement than any other social media platform.
By 2019, 80% of all Internet traffic will be to video. But to be more specific: it’s in-the-moment updates, which will dominate. For example, take Periscope - users collectively watch 40 years of live video each and every day.
Instagram and Snapchat also support on-the-go, in-the-moment updates, and could collectively herald in a new era of immediacy in social media. So the trend here is getting people to participate - not just to view and consume. Other examples include Twitter’s conversational ads and scratch reels and Facebook’s new Facebook Live Broadcasts.
Blogging As A Business
The traditional perception of a blogger who is simply looking for a creative outlet is long gone. According to hub spot, B2B marketers who blog generate 67% more leads, 55% more website visits, and up to 13% more return on investment.
In fact, the term blogger itself is also coming to end – today it’s all about influencers and how they can support your brand through their skills in content development using their extensive social networks.
Long Form Content
We hear how people don’t read any more – they simply skim - and how short, snappy tweets and Facebook posts have taken over. In some cases, this definitely applies. However, blog posts and articles need to deliver real value – they need to cut through the noise and a 200-word blog post is simply not able to compete with a 3000-word, data backed, researched piece. A study by Orbit Media Studios surveyed more than 1000 leading bloggers and found that the average length of a post in 2015 was 900 words – an increase of 100 words or more than 10% the year before.
If you would like to know more about blogging and social media for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, email me at Karen@travel-ink.com and I would be delighted to help!