How MakeMyTrip leverages three key pillars of content marketing to woo its audience

Inspire, Travel Discovery and Demonstrate are the three key pillars of content marketing for the online travel company, designed with the goal to positively influence its target audience

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Ever since its poetic brand makeover last year, MakeMyTrip has been on a virtual journey of brand building armed with rich content. One of the country’s largest online travel company, MakeMyTrip repositioned itself from ‘Memories Unlimited’ to ‘Dil toh Roaming hai’, in the first quarter of 2015. The new tagline was a response to changing consumer culture in India: travel was no longer restricted to an annual event for most Indians.

Dil toh Roaming hai’ does reflect the new age consumers’ travel ambitions; it’s not only about summer vacations or honeymoon destinations anymore, it’s now about weekend getaways, solo journeys, and perennial wanderlust. The brand had also rolled out a refreshed logo with the ‘My’ highlighted, positioning MakeMyTrip as your ally in your travel ambitions.

The online travel company has been strategically leveraging digital platforms to support its new positioning. A recent video series with actor Gul Panag, who is also a social media influencer, underlines the brand’s commitment to video storytelling and exclusive influencer associations.

The series titled, ‘Globetrotting with Gul Panag’ sees the vivacious celebrity and travel bug take viewers in and around popular must-sees and must-dos when in Hong Kong, and also help plan their own Hong Kong itineraries, in the process. The embedded video is a 9 and half-minute short one for ‘First Timers in Hong Kong.’

“Video is central to our content marketing strategy. We believe that video/ YouTube is a very powerful channel that, if utilised well, can create deep positive impact among consumers,” Suchit Bansal, Vice President – Offline Marketing, MakeMyTrip shared.

The series received positive feedback and was well appreciated. Another videos series, ‘Customer First Stories’ captures the happy stories of customers, where they address specific hurdles that MakeMyTrip sorted out enabling a hassle-free journey. These videos, a minute or more in duration, have been grouped together in a playlist on its YouTube channel.

“We will continue to leverage YouTube to share relevant and interesting travel and destination related content with our target audience, Bansal emphasized.

In fact, the series is aligned with the brand’s three key pillars for content marketing: Inspire, Travel Discovery and Demonstrate. The brand uses a combination of traditional and digital marketing channels to positively influence its target audience, and digital marketing has been central to its marketing strategy.

“At MakeMyTrip, we look at platforms and properties that are unifying in nature and have a mass appeal.”

A key element of the brand’s content marketing strategy is the blog. The MakeMyTrip blog hosts an array of interesting content, not just appealing to the sea lovers or the hill bound travellers. You can find information as varying as ‘Authentic foreign experiences here in India’, ‘Undiscovered beaches of the Eastern Ghats, and ‘Kid-friendly hotels’ in popular tourist spots.

In addition to this, there’s an online Travel Guide, where you key in your destination, and plan your holiday. Travel Guide offers more than 120 guides at present.

“Content driven by our in-house blog is a key element of our overall marketing strategy. We have over the years created a repository of high quality content with the aim to not only further enrich the travel buying and booking experience of the reader(s) but also inspire and fuel their travel ambitions.”

“Most of this is achieved through properties like Travel Guide, Listicles etc., and engaging with category A influencers to curate exclusive content.”

While brand generated content follows its three-pronged approach, MakeMyTrip is looking forward to bank on user generated content on its blog, too. Integrating user generated content will help the brand in two ways: a) build trust and favourability among consumers, b) strengthen engagement and relationship with loyal customers.

With the blog and YouTube acting as the central content hubs, the brand’s Twitter and Facebook properties are used as distribution channels, while also adhering to the three-pillared content strategy. The blog currently contributes to 2-3% of the traffic on its platform(s). The aim, going ahead, is to take this to 8-10% over the next few quarters, he shared.

Last year, the focus of communication was on establishing the brand idea of ‘Dil toh Roaming hai’, this year the specific objectives are around driving the shift from offline to online in hotel booking category. “Building our hotel business, increasing category and brand penetration for online hotels, within the overarching brand umbrella, of course and empowering the customer to choose from a plethora of booking options available,’ is what MakeMyTrip is focusing on now.

MakeMyTrip regularly launches campaigns around the marketing objectives of the day. It continues to roll out hilarious TVC’s starring Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh, for its various features, after the two came on board earlier this year. Be it the very popular hotel ad for promotions of MakeMyTrip discounts, or the recent “Pay at Checkout” feature , the ads nail it with tight humour while driving the message home.

The online travel company created headlines last month when it acquired its main rival, ibibo for $720 million. Even as it became the market leader by a margin post the transaction, MakeMyTrip will see competition from players like Yatra, Cleartrip, OYO, Stayzilla besides international players like Bookings.com and Expedia for the hotel market, states the ET. For the brand, growth will continue to be a priority over profitability, and it will continue to look for opportunities to rationalise customer acquisition costs, the management said.

And content would also play a key role in the brand’s journey henceforth. Integrating user generated content on its blog, getting more influencers on board with exclusive curated content, and armed with more video stories,  MakeMyTrip seems all set to positively influence its TG.