How Travel Brands Are Using Native Advertising to Make the Most of the Winter Blues

on The Future of Advertising

As winter drags us into its third cruel month, we hit our limit for short days, grey skies and temperatures that rarely crack 40 degrees. While summer is the traditional vacation season, many consumers spend their winter months daydreaming about future tropical getaways.

This makes the early part of the year the perfect time for travel and hospitality advertisers to hit consumers with messages and special offers to sell them on taking the leap on that dream vacation. For these brands, native advertising is an impactful medium to reach and engage with this audience. The easiest way to get started is to focus on distributing three kinds of content: video, influencer content, and owned content.


This is the natural place to start, because travel advertisers can easily repurpose their TV spots as part of this strategy. Brands that are already redistributing a TV spot online through YouTube or Facebook have all they need to start capitalizing on the cost and performance benefits of native video. Brands need only make small tweaks for mobile delivery, such as making sure videos are under 30 seconds, and ideally under 15. They can also drive efficient views with the headline and description of their video to emphasize specific messaging.

Headlines are crucial to getting your message across, as 70 percent of millennials acknowledge reading the headline while watching a video. This is important, as this millennial audience plans to spend more on travel in 2018.

Influencer content

This content category, sometimes also referred to as “sponsored content,” includes blogs, articles, videos, and Instagram posts. Essentially, it’s anything originating from a third-party that showcases your brand in a positive light and is worthy of being amplified to an audience that may otherwise never see it. This can include work done with celebrities or social media influencers.

The best way to distribute influencer content is through native display and content cards. Display ad can drive the audience directly to an article page to engage with the content and deliver the most qualified site visitors, increasing brand awareness. Meanwhile, content cards will serve social content to your target audience with premium publisher feeds. These content cards load six times faster than a mobile site, creating lighting fast access to content. Overall, we've found on the Sharethrough platform that 92% of native campaigns using these distribution channels are successful and achieve brand lift.

Owned Content

Owned content refers to articles and posts that live on your branded website or blog. Travel advertisers most likely have some great content living on their sites that can be surfaced to an audience that may not be aware it exists. This blog posts on top destinations, tips for travelers and inspirational photo galleries all make for great native ads.

Once again, native display provides a natural, engaging way to distribute this content. These ad units will drive a target audience directly to any landing page to engage with the content. Better still, native display delivers qualified site visitors, increasing travelers’ awareness and consideration of a brand. Overall, native ads earn 308 times more consumer attention than traditional banners.

To help travel and hospitality advertisers get up and running with native, Sharethrough offers a Travel Enthusiast package. This packaged deal features placements within the editorial feeds of premiums sites and apps travelers visit frequently. Sharethrough will place your native ads alongside other editorial content while customizing the targeting to each brand’s audience needs, helping them reach leisure travelers, in-market travelers, frequent fliers and more. There’s perhaps no better way to get started in native and reach out to travelers stuck feeling the winter blues.