Leaders of Luxury 2019: 'Pay for branded content on social media sites'

Travel companies were advised to consider branded content on social media as part of their advertising strategy.

Branded content is defined as creator or publisher content, which is paid for or influenced by a business for "an exchange of value".

Allison Busacca, head of travel product marketing at Facebook and Instagram, said the new form of advertising held big rewards, provided brands know how it works and whom to partner with.

“Influencers are a new way to reach consumers,” she said.

“We know that they are being seen as a road to relevance. So when you think about the audiences that you haven’t yet tapped into or the demographics that you have not yet reached, influencers might be a way forward.”

Travel is the most-talked-about topic on Facebook and the number-one interest on Instagram, Busacca revealed.

She also quoted in-house research that found that 80% of Instagrammers come to the platform to connect with a business, and 53% will make a purchase after watching a branded video on one of the platforms.

She advised travel brands to target partnerships with "micro-influencers" – those with smaller followings but more-targeted audiences – who genuinely fit the brand’s identity and already enjoy the product.

“A more targeted audience actually has a higher level of influence than those with a large following,” she said.

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