Last month, we released our latest trends report, Content Marketing Strategies for Airlines on the new generation of mobile first consumers, and how travel brands need to understand their needs.
Below is a short extract. Get the full report to understand this new trend.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has tapped into the traveler mindset by developing its We Are Travelers program. This program allows the airline to define itself clearly as a travel-as-lifestyle brand and encourages customers to link their own identity as adventurous travelers with the airline’s brand ethos.
The airline has also used this clear brand definition to align its content on the new Scandinavian Traveler magazine (which replaces its Scanorama in-flight magazine) with key trends. On Scandinavian Traveler the airline also features brand partners which have products and services that cater to SAS passengers’ tastes.
As Stefan Hedelius, Vice President, Brand and Marketing, SAS explains: “You want to do this to create an interest with the in-flight magazine to encourage travel. We produce a lifestyle and travel magazine, with interesting content. Most stories are connected to travel but not all. We include tech, fashion, design and also travel.”
The airline’s decision to target its content in this manner and to so clearly define it is borne of a deep understanding of its customer demographic.
The traveler identity is ideally matched to SAS customers, many of them Scandinavians for whom travel is an integral part of life. Taking advantage of that openness and enthusiasm for travel, SAS continuously shares content with customers, promotes destinations and venues, offers deals and generally inspires on its own airline site, its digital Scandinavian Traveller site, its social media channels, and regular emails to EuroBonus loyalty customers. All of this in addition to the We Are Travelers channel.
“In SAS case, this fits very well with their overall strategy,” Gustav Vidlund, New Business Director at Stockholm’s OTW Communication, which works closely with SAS, tells us. “They want to be relevant to their customers wherever they search for prices, for services and inspiration.” But this strategy is content-hungry and demands constant feeding. “What we produce is lots of content that they can use in many ways. It’s not just for the website or in-flight magazine, it’s content for destinations, for email marketing. With the email that you get just before the flight, with relevant content on the destination that you’re going to, that is up to date and more interesting than just the ordinary: these are the hotels that available or how you get a taxi.”
SAS has carefully planned the process of content channel expansion, ensuring at all times that it is consistent keeping the brand identity closely linked with the passenger identity. The airline has also been clever about distributing the content through various channels, wherever they fit best. “We’ve put down a content strategy, and we mostly make the content depending on what channel it was intended for. Now we create a centralized library of content and bring it out on various channels. With each we have different angles and depth of the content, appropriate to the channel.”
This consistent application of the message thought the airline’s media properties encourages ticket sales, Vidlund explains. “Anyone that didn’t know that they wanted to travel with SAS, they will find that content online. Once we’ve brought them into the Scandinavian traveller website, we can tell them more stories and funnel them down to actually buying a trip that they didn’t know they wanted to buy in the first place. Using online content gives you an opportunity you didn’t have before with just the in-flight magazine.”