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April 3, 2024

Travel Advertising on Pinterest – How to Turn Inspiration into Reservations!

Like travel, Pinterest is all about discovery, and could be a smart addition to you travel advertising strategy. Making your travel brand visible on Pinterest, can effectively turn wanderlust into actionable travel plans. Countless travellers use it as the starting point to plan their next vacation, pinning everything from beach resorts and mountain getaways to airport outfits. With specialised features designed for travel advertisers, the potential for reaching and engaging your target audience is vast and growing. Let's delve into how building a strategic presence on Pinterest could be a savvy move for travel brands.

Mary Lumley - Pinterest Expert

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Untapped Potential for Travel Advertising

Even with a wealth of travel content, Pinterest remains a largely untapped channel for travel brands. At its 2023 Investor Day, Pinterest revealed some compelling statistics:

  • A 100% year-over-year increase in 'Dream Destination" searches
  • A 73% growth in travel sector revenue, beating the global average

These figures highlight that there's a sea of potential travellers out there, just waiting to be inspired. So, how can travel brands step in and convert aspiration into action?

From Inspiration to Reservation

Pinterest is a search engine, but unlike search giants like Google, where users already have a destination in mind, Pinterest is where the journey truly begins. It's where daydreams transform into bucket lists.

Most Pinterest users approach the platform with an open mind, eager for travel inspiration but often without a fixed destination. For your travel brand, this is the perfect moment! By curating a selection of compelling images and informative content, your brand can directly influence these early-stage travel decisions.

In essence, Pinterest serves both as a starting point and a guide for travellers. By effectively tapping into its potential, you can shape their wanderlust into actionable travel plans, putting your travel brand right there with them from the get-go. 

On the money side, Pinterest plays it straight - they earn from ads, and that's it. So, when someone books thanks to Pinterest, there are zero commission fees for brands. More reason to turn those Pinterest daydreamers into holiday bookers, right?

Travel Advertising - Customer journey on Pinterest

How travellers go from Inspiration to Destination on Pinterest

People Discover an Idea

01

People come across a travel idea, either because they're searching for it, they’ve previously shown an interest in a related topic or because they're in an advertiser's targeted audience.

Save the Idea for later

02

If their interest is sparked and they plan to come back to it later, they save the image (including link to your website) on a Pinterest board for future reference.


come back & Book

03

When they've finished exploring travel options and they're ready to buy, they may come back to their saved content on Pinterest or book directly with an online or brick-and-mortar travel agent.

Initial touchpoint that brings you visibility and new customers

Whichever way leads them back to booking with you, chances are that they first learnt about your brand on Pinterest. Pinterest as a whole is mostly a top of funnel platform that captures users during their research phase. Pinners explore ideas for their next travel project and Pinterest does the heavy lifting to introduce your brand to new users who are either planning or finalising their next adventure.

From Browse to Book: A Travel Advertising Case Study

Let's illustrate the Discover, Decide, Do trajectory of travel planners with a recent client success story. For one of our travel advertising clients, throughout 2023 we published organic content and travel ads to inspire potential travellers. The graph below illustrates how this strategy paid off as we entered Q1, one of the busiest seasons for this travel operator.

Travel Advertising on Pinterest - Case Study

Many of the travellers who were dreaming up their dream trips and saving ideas in 2023, actually booked them in 2024. In the first three months of 2024, our client's Pinterest booking numbers almost tripled compared to the whole of 2023!

The results demonstrate the strategic importance of acknowledging that many 'bookers' are planners, AND that 'last-minute' travellers are not to be ignored either. The higher number of bookings compared to e-mail sign-ups show that short-term reservations from travellers in a ready-to-buy mindset is a behaviour that must also be taken into consideration in the overall travel advertising strategy on Pinterest.

High Travel Intent

Travel is a hugely popular category on Pinterest, illustrated by the tens of millions of users curating their travel aspirations and future holiday plans on their boards every month. But did you know that Pinterest users also have a much higher travel intent in comparison to users on other platforms? Just take a look at the insights below:

Key Insights on Pinterest Users' Travel Behaviour:

  • Travel Enthusiasm: Pinterest users are 25% more likely to be travel enthusiasts. 
  • Advanced Planning: They're 20% more likely to start vacation planning several months ahead.
  • High-Value Purchasers: They're twice as likely to have invested over $5000 on upscale travel experiences in the past year.
  • Immediate Travel Intentions: 20% more likely to have plans to travel in the next 3-6 months

With almost 70 million Pinners showing an interest in travel content every month, these are compelling reasons to build your brand's presence on Pinterest!

Travel Catalogues: from Inspiration to Booked Holidays

Why travel brands need Pinterest - Travel Catalog ad examples for exotic holiday

Examples of Travel Catalog ads

Although Travel is a hugely popular category, Pinterest’s strategic focus has mainly been on introducing new e-commerce functionalities and partnerships. Bespoke Pinterest advertising tools for the travel market have been a long time coming, but that’s changing.

Travellers can Look AND Book Hotel Rooms with Pinterest

In June 2023, Pinterest launched "Travel Catalogues". It's a travel advertising option currently only available for hotels and rental companies. Travel brands load up their full catalogue, and voila, Pinterest rolls out slick ads with all the juicy details like brand, price, and descriptions. For Pinterest users, booking a dream vacation is now as easy as clicking on an ad, taking them straight to your booking site from Pinterest. 

Oh, and the cherry on top? Hotels can show ads based on where Pinners are peeking. Like, someone eyeing a Hilton in Paris might get a nudge towards other Hilton hotspots nearby.

Click to play

TUI, the online travel agent, took them out for a spin. Their ads became more actionable, increasing their optimised click-through rate (oCTR) by 8x! On average, the CTR for Travel Catalogues is 3 times higher than that of other conversion campaigns for travel advertisers on Pinterest. Read how TUI brought ready-to-book traffic to their website with Pinterest Travel Catalogues,

To introduce Thompson Hotels to the avid travellers on PinterestHyatt Hotels ran a multi-objective travel ad strategy to drive awareness while taking people down the funnel from discovery to a new destination. Find out more about how Pinterest helped Hyatt reach new kinds of travellers.

Travel Search on Pinterest

Travel Search & Discovery Starts with WHO

Whereas travel search engines like Expedia usually start with "Where?" and "When?" On Pinterest, search and discovery start with 'who' the traveler is and 'what' they're passionate about. When marketing on Pinterest, it's much more about inspiring the dreamers and holiday planners making the bucket lists and less about immediate conversions into boarding passes and room bookings!

Boost SEO with Pinterest

Ever considered Pinterest to grow SEO rankings elsewhere? When people from Pinterest visit your site and stick around, Google takes that as a sign that your content has value. This kind of quality visit from Pinterest folks can truly help to lift your SEO efforts on other search engines. Here's are some Pinterest tactics that can help you with this:

  • Create Stunning Visuals: Design pins that demand attention and drive clicks and views. 
  • Keyword Mastery: Write pin and board descriptions with targeted keywords to increase your content's visibility on Pinterest searches.
  • Strategic Board Planning: Tailor your Pinterest boards to match your website's keywords, reinforcing your relevance to Google.
  • Fresh Content: Regularly update your boards with fresh pins to maintain engagement.

When you pay attention to all of the above tactics, it will generate positive signals to Google, because Pinners engaging with your content (i.e. clicking through to your website via Pinterest) are a green light for Google's SEO. It also helps to broaden your reach with increased brand exposure and organic backlinks. Essentially, Pinterest can boost your Google SEO by driving quality traffic and amplifying your online presence.

Pinterest Travel Trends

The Pinterest Trends Tool is your friend when it comes to planning travel advertising campaigns on Pinterest. Pinterest Trends is a keyword tool that helps you see what's trending, and when. It's like peering into a crystal ball for travel trends to see when travel enthusiasts start plotting their seasonal getaways.

As soon as the summer holidays come to an end, on Pinterest, people start looking for inspiration to hit the slopes or plan cosy cabin getaways. We all know this, of course, from personal experience! And, it's also clearly visible on Pinterest. Just glance at the graph below to see the rise in ski-related searches from the US last year. Notice that come August, winter travel dreams pick up momentum on Pinterest! Not only does the trends tool give you insights on trending searches, but it also unravels related queries and unique niches that can set your brand apart. Plus, you can tailor these insights by region.

PRO TIP - Summer is an excellent time to build top-of-funnel audiences on Pinterest with your winter promotions. Why? Ad costs are still in your favour! And as the festive season approaches, costs will rise. But the best part? You can retarget these inspired Pinners when they’re all set to finalise their winter vacation plans. Learn more about How to Use Pinterest Trends Tool to Boost Paid Ads.

Pinterest Travel Trends for Travel Advertising

Travel Advertising on Pinterest - Summary

Pinterest is not just a place for dreamy vacation boards. It's where travel dreams grow wings and take flight! Its discovery-centric nature serves as a starting point for many travellers. With no commission fees, it stands out as a smart choice for travel brands aiming to attract and convert those in the planning phase, making it a valuable addition to any digital marketing mix.

Ready for the journey?

Keen to explore Pinterest opportunities for your travel brand?

We work with online retailers and brands in a wide range of industries in the lifestyle and travel space. We help product-focused B2C and D2C e-commerce businesses get their store in front of new customers.

Whatever stage you're at with Pinterest, we work with you to define the objectives and overall strategic approach that will increase traffic and sales for you. Consistently & Durably.

Want to learn more about marketing your business on Pinterest?
Book a Discovery Call!

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You'll see the value of working with them from day one

"Mary and team have, by and large, been one of the best agencies I have worked with. Since working with them, we have seen tremendous growth in revenue from this channel and continue to hit milestones and reduce cost per acquisition."

DAVID HERNANDEZ  //  Chief Marketing Officer

*Sources: Global Web Index, US, Q1-Q4 2022, Pinterest users vs. Non Pinterest users index; Morning Consult, Luxury Shopping Study, US, December 2022

Pinterest announces Travel Catalogs


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Find out how travel advertising on Pinterest can turn wanderlust into bookings. Discover effective strategies for engaging potential travelers. Ready for the journey? | Mary Lumley – Pinterest Marketing for e-Commerce & Travel

Mary Lumley - Pinterest Marketing for eCommerce & Travel
Travel Advertising on Pinterest – How to Turn Inspiration into Reservations!

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