Oh Snap(chat)! Travel start-ups here’s what you’re missing

Travel startups

From a photo sharing app for drunken naked selfies, Snapchat voyaged to being a spontaneous marketing platform. Urgency of disappearing photos, narratives of snap story and high holding of women users makes the app a must for all travel oriented brands.

In a report by tnooz.com, National Geographic spokespersons expressed, “We think it’s a great platform to reach new audiences.  It puts us in front of a great group of young people and gives us a chance to speak to our strengths in photography, video and social.”


Nat Geo’s social media content speaks of wanderlust on various levels across social media platforms. On Snapchat, the media giant conducts Snapchat Quizzes, wherein they ask questions by posting 5 snaps, which have to be answered in the form of snaps. The contest is an addition to posting content in the form of snaps and articles about travel and adventure.

A must for travel start-ups

While bigger brands have (almost) managed to crack the Snapchat code, younger and more dynamic travel start-ups have been steering away from the platform. It is mostly due to lack of in-depth data as Snapchat banks only users’ name, age and location. Additionally, disappearing content works as a discouraging factor for start-ups that are trying to create a larger brand recall amidst cut throat competition.

Nonetheless, changing content consumption axioms in sync with changing dynamics of Indian travellers makes Snapchat the perfect platform for cost effective marketing.

Urgent marketing

Number of spontaneous trips has increased with the trend of backpacking and solo trips catching up in India. This makes Snapchat apt for travel marketing as the disappearing photos create a sense of urgency.

In 2014, Topdeck Travels launched a Snapchat travel show in association with YouTuber, Jimmy Hill. During the series, Hill posted short video clips from his travel to Budapest, Krakow, Prague, and Berlin.

As opposed to giving a content push, Topdeck’s aim was interacting with its TG in the age group of 18 to 39. The brand tactfully created travel feels inspiring users to take more trips.

Increasing women travellers

Number of women travellers on solo trips or only girls trips have spiked in the last few months. 70 per cent of Snapchat users are women, making it an ideal platform to reach out to this specific audience.

Marriot International initiated a branded Snapchat programming campaign with popular content creators. The Snapchat only campaign had influencers create customised itineraries and city destinations according to their followers.

These influencers then documented their travel via Snapchat stories on theirs as well as across Marriot’s official handle. The international brand aimed at attracting the younger demographic of travellers.

Appointment marketing

The sheer number of hotel booking and itinerary planning sites cropped up in the last few months is baffling. With similar names, creating distinguished brand loyalties becomes very difficult. This is where Snapchat proves to be a game changer.

Remember the age old technique of appointment marketing? For instance, when Ekta Kapoor’s Kksum became a household name, a particular fairness cream brand made sure that its ad film was aired during the serial’s second commercial break. Pushing same ad, at the same time for several days created a distinct association with Kksum viewers.

Snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat are a few platforms that share fundamentals with traditional cable television, making appointment marketing possible again.

For instance, Nat Geo shared its quiz posts at 8 AM every morning, for it to be the first thing that its followers see when they check in the app. An inspiring wanderlust experience, pushed everyday at the same time can help create a distinguished brand recall.

Snapchat has evolved as a disruptive marketing platform. With tailored marketing objectives in place, it holds immense potential for travel start-ups.