Marketing Insights

Media Mania: How to Plan the Ultimate Staycation for Your Audience

Staycations are all the rage right now, and brands are scrambling to capitalize on search traffic across digital and traditional media platforms. But it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts, especially in an ever-evolving digital landscape. 

So we put together some tips and tricks for you.

AI Doesn’t Always Get It Right

With Google’s Search Generative Engine (SGE) update, TikTok and Meta testing out AI-assisted search and everybody-and-their-mother developing AI APIs for their app, it’s hard to know where to turn for reliable content. 

For example, Expedia is testing Romie, an AI travel agent built to get smarter the more consumers use it. Romie’s key features will help it build itineraries and pull information from emails on the fly, providing recommendations to travelers looking to get the most out of their trip.

But due to AI’s rapidly-evolving features, meaningful content sometimes gets pushed to the side. As brands look to bolster their media presence, it’s important that they make  authenticity a priority. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but know your audience and the location you’re looking to target. Staycationers will see right through shoddy, inauthentic attempts at catching AI-lightning-in-a-bottle. 

1st Party Data is King

A strong staycation media strategy is one that leverages first-party data* anywhere it can. This might be email addresses or user data collected on your website, letting you generate lookalike audiences across your marketing platforms. A downloadable travel guide or itinerary goes a long way, and brands can further their web traffic through paid social campaigns. 

Some of these users might be returning visitors looking for new experiences or people living in town who strive to become a local legend. 

*Always, always, always have the proper disclaimers in place when collecting first party data. 

Aaaand, So is Video

A picture is worth a thousand words… but a 30-second video is worth a million. Well, not really, but it comes pretty darn close 

Video is still king, and short-form video is among the best ways to help travelers imagine themselves walking through new locations and living out the ultimate staycation. But, and we cannot emphasize this enough, don’t put all your marketing money in one tactic. A mixture of targeted digital display, paid social and CTV is going to generate the most awareness for your campaign content. 

No matter where their compass leads them, guided tours, attraction highlights, art walks, street interviews and sizzle reels are all incredibly attractive forms of content for staycationers. If you’re not creating content with these buckets in mind, you’re missing out on boatloads of impressions. Which leads us to our next point…

Don’t Forget About Influencers

According to Expedia, influencers are a new class of travel agents, and the travel group is looking to enable content creators through Travel Shops, its new digital storefront. The first-of-its-kind platform plans to bridge the gap between consumers and influencers, giving them streamlined recommendations and curated itineraries on-the-go. 

Brands looking to harness larger audiences should work with influencers to roadmap content on evolving platforms like Travel Shops. These micro (and macro) communities are teeming with engaged consumers who are hungry for content. With the right strategies, your brand can show them everything they’re missing out on. 

Travel Marketing Made Simple

Whether you’re playing catch up or looking to round out your media strategy, you need a travel marketing partner who knows the ropes. From vacations to staycations, we know what your audience wants to see, and we know how to put it in front of them. 

Ready to take the next step? Let’s build an itinerary. 


    Michael Neumann