Spend management apps are fiercely battling for customers. Many of these apps have even bought ads that appear when you search for their competitors’ websites. And these apps are also trying to disrupt the big banks that issue corporate credit cards at the same time. These banks also have huge ad budgets themselves. As a result, keywords related to corporate budgeting have become very competitive.
The spend management app TripActions is using content marketing effectively in this challenging environment. This strategy is possible because TripActions is also a corporate travel agency. By combining spend management and travel planning, this fintech startup has created a unique niche for itself. This hybrid niche has also created opportunities for TripActions to use content marketing to gain customers. The company can post articles about travel-related topics instead of just discussing budget management.
What TripActions Does
TripActions actually provides three services. It issues corporate payment cards to the companies that use its services. It also provides a spend management app that helps financial managers track the purchases that traveling employees make on these cards. And it is a travel agency as well. TripActions helps corporations plan trips for their employees by helping them find hotels to stay at and cars to rent. It has automated travel planning services as well as its own team of travel agents that provide customer support.
It’s normal for spend management apps to provide related services such as bill payment or payroll management. It’s also common for these apps to provide tools that help financial managers track their employees’ travel expenses. Some apps can even check whether a purchase is allowed in real time. It’s less common for spend management apps to provide travel agency services directly, although a few of these apps have partnerships with third-party travel agencies.
How This Positioning Creates Content Marketing Opportunities
In short, TripActions can create a SEO strategy that focuses on travel-related keywords instead of just focusing on budget-related keywords. Some of the startup’s most popular articles discuss prepayment for hotel rooms and the travel identification app Sherpa. You can pay for your hotel room before you arrive at the hotel to lock in the price of the room. And if you’re traveling abroad, it’s also important to know what identification documents you’ll have to provide when you arrive. This is especially important because of the pandemic because many countries are asking travelers to provide Covid-19 vaccination documents.
Other topics that drive traffic to the startup’s website include online booking tools and global distribution systems. A reader might not know what an acronym like GDS or OBT means in regard to international travel. So TripActions can tell its customers what these acronyms mean and provide some information about how online travel booking services work. Again, these are travel-related keywords that aren’t directly related to budget management.
A business traveler might also want to know what their booking status means or whether they’ve been confirmed as a passenger on a specific flight. They also might want to know about flight holds, which allow a traveler to reserve a seat on a plane temporarily without actually purchasing a ticket. These are all topics that are bringing potential customers to the TripActions website.
Competing Spend Management and Travel Apps
Since TripActions provides both spend management and travel agency services, its closest competitors are apps that also offer both services. A stand-alone travel agency can book hotel rooms and rental cars for its customers, but it might not check that these travel expenses are allowed under a company’s travel policies. A corporate spend management app can prevent users from spending money on unauthorized purchases, but it might not automatically find and reserve hotel rooms that provide the best experience for its users.
The spend management app Divvy has a partnership with TravelPerk that supports its Divvy Travel service.
The spend management app SAP Concur provides travel management services as well.
Chrome River has integrations with travel apps, including car-sharing services such as Uber and the global distribution system Amadeus.
Previous Examples of This Strategy
Neobanks, such as Revolut, used a similar strategy to promote their online banking apps. These fintech startups often positioned themselves as online banks for international travelers with travel-related perks like access to airline lounges and free currency conversions. Some neobanks even created premium tiers that charged monthly fees in exchange for travel perks. These financial institutions created ads based on the luxurious experience of international travel as well, which is more exciting than explaining how a checking account works.
Many fintechs have now switched their focus from individual customers to business customers. Investors have become less willing to subsidize unprofitable fintechs even if many individuals are opening up new bank accounts at these startups. As a result, fintechs need to find business users that have more money to spend. Many of these B2B fintechs are very similar to the B2C fintechs in terms of how their businesses operate. They’re still developing financial management apps that are built on top of prepaid debit cards, but now they’re making these budgeting apps for business users. So the obvious next step would be to provide travel perks for business users as well.
TripActions has developed an effective content marketing strategy by explaining travel-related concepts to potential customers. It’s important for business travelers to know how online reservation systems work so they can manage their hotel and airline reservations. Many of these travelers will be controllers, CFOs, and financial managers who don’t need to look up information about basic financial concepts. But these travelers might still want to search Google to find out the current rules for providing proof of vaccination to an airline.
It’s likely that this niche is about to become much more competitive. Competing fintech startups, as well as established banks and credit unions, may pursue the business travel market more aggressively in the near future. If they do that, they’ll spend more money on travel-related content marketing as well. TripActions currently has a strong market position because it’s providing travel services directly, though, so its website carries additional authority in comparison to financial services providers that aren’t also travel agencies.