Publisher Spotlight: Weather2Travel.com
This week we caught up with Colin Carter, one of the founders of Weather2Travel.com to find out more about how the company started, how they differ from other travel publishers, what made them join Tradedoubler, where they see the industry going and a few of their next plans.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Colin Carter, one of the founders of Weather2Travel.com. I’ve been working online since 2000 and in travel since 2005. I look after brand relationships and oversee the technical development of Weather2Travel.com. You’ll usually find me at travel and affiliate networking events – apparently!
Can you introduce Weather2Travel.com?
Weather2Travel.com is a travel publisher focused on helping holidaymakers decide where and when to go on holiday based on the weather and saving them money with the best deals and discounts available.
How did Weather2Travel.com start?
We originally started in the film industry, with a website for film and TV producers that helped them choose where to shoot on location – so if you were looking for snow-covered fir trees in October, we could tell you where to find them. We also had very detailed climate information including seasonal and daily weather patterns.
In 2005, we took a sidestep into travel with the idea of becoming a climate content supplier, however very quickly we discovered that we could publish ourselves and monetise with affiliate marketing. Although we still supply climate content to clients such as Audley Travel, Cox & Kings and Expedia, publishing is firmly the dominant part.
How is Weather2Travel.com different than other travel publishers?
Firstly, we are 100% focused on travel products. We get asked frequently about shopping products such as clothing, luggage and travel essentials, however, we’ve stayed focused on the core travel products of holidays, flights, hotels and travel extras. Because of this, we have a good understanding of travel trends and booking patterns. Travel is a complicated vertical with each product and sub-product purchased in a different way so it’s important to understand how it works.
We are firmly focused on holiday research – educating and inspiring the consumer before they book their travel. Our core content is focused on weather and climate with guides for every country of the world. We also have a comprehensive travel blog where expert writers offer useful insights and tips to our readers.
Finally, we build our own travel tools to enable consumers to search for travel products in a unique way combining weather, travel brands and destination information – the ideal place to start researching your next trip!
Do advertisers need anything specific to work with Weather2Travel.com?
Most importantly advertisers need to be engaged in what we are trying to do. We’ve always built strong relationships with advertisers, agencies and affiliate networks, and believe it should be a two-way conversation. When advertisers can provide additional background knowledge about their products, including press releases and FAM trips, this helps us.
We need good stable tracking and reporting along with pretty standard requirements like deep link capabilities to search and product page level within the advertiser website. It’s surprising how many travel brands still don’t have this available. We are pretty tech savvy, so product data feeds and API access is useful, but not essential.
Why did you join the Tradedoubler network and what features do you enjoy?
Would you believe we’ve been on the Tradedoubler network since our beginning, back in 2005. They’ve also had a great collection of travel clients and we’ve always been clear that we are prepared to work with all networks that have top travel brands.
The interface is well established and straightforward to use making it easy to run regular reports and get programme information and tracking codes when required. One of the most useful tools is the EPI report, which enables us to draw deeper insights into how the user has interacted with our website.
Where do you see the industry going?
There has been much talk about bloggers and influencers over the last few years. There is a progression towards rewarding content in a fairer way; unfortunately, affiliate marketing is still in the slow lane. Hopefully, more affiliate networks, tech providers, agencies and advertisers will realise that there is a massive opportunity if a new or hybrid model can be adopted – benefiting everyone.
What do you most enjoy about affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing has always been a hotbed of innovation for both publishers and tech partners. Publishers are usually more flexible and dynamic than established travel brands making it much easier to turn around content and react to real world events.
Relationships have been central to the development of the affiliate space. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an idea born out of an informal conversation between publishers, advertisers, networks and agencies come to life.
Do you have any upcoming promotions, new launches, or exciting news you would like to share?
We are currently working on new search tools for different holiday products including beach holidays, city breaks, escorted tours and honeymoons plus updated tools for the summer and winter sun markets.
There are also some new weather guides coming on board in October, and we’ve got some exciting projects in the pipeline for Q4 – but I can’t tell you too much about that as it’s currently ‘top secret’. Watch this space!
Is there anything else you’d like our advertisers to know?
I’ve always believed that the best partnerships are built on communication and a two-way conversation about what works for both the advertiser and publisher. There is an opportunity for both parties to benefit from the insights gained by the other. It is also important to challenge the networks and tech providers to improve the tracking and remuneration to reflect the complicated path to purchase in travel – whatever that model should be.
Fatme is a Partnership Development Manager at Tradeboubler UK since September 2018. Being part of the Publisher Team she looks after key publishers and performance. With over 3 years of experience in marketing, Fatme has been exposed to the entire marketing mix and is now applying her knowledge, expertise and strategic approach into developing and optimising Tradedoubler’s top publisher’s portfolio.
Interested in working with Weather2Travel.com? To find out more please contact our Partnership Development team.
Do you have your own publisher story? We want to hear about it! Please contact our Marketing team.