A Travel Marketer’s New Year’s Resolution: Start Planning for the Summer Travel Season Now!
With Christmas still fresh in our memories, it might seem too soon to be thinking about summer, but if you’re a travel marketer, your plans for the 2016 Spring/Summer travel seasons should already be well underway. Here are 5 quick tips to consider when you are planning your digital strategy to reach travellers with your marketing messages:
In October we wrote about the importance of considering timing when you are trying to reach Canadian travellers in the planning of their trip. There are certain times of the year, depending on the demographic of traveller you are trying to reach, when online travel searches are higher than at other times, and this is an opportunity to increase your number of conversions. For your campaigns to have the maximum impact, know when your target audience are starting their searches, where they are searching, and what they are looking for.
I also wrote about how data can significantly increase the effectiveness of online travel campaigns. There are different types of searchers, and in order to market to them with maximum impact, marketers must know these traveller profiles intimately, and know what it is that is going to make them tick.
In November, Google published an article that reminds travel marketers to think about mobile moments, in particular, micro-moments, that change the consumer’s journey. Travellers are reaching for their mobile devices at every stage during the planning and booking process, and even during the trip itself to search, watch videos, and visit website. Google reports that “year on year, people are increasingly using their phones to plan travel, but when they do it’s happening in smaller moments across more sessions on their phones.” The brands that win are the brands that are there to meet the searchers’ requests during these micro-moments, at every stage, from when the searcher is first thinking about their trip, to making the booking, to actually arriving at their destination, and on to considering their next get-away.
Most, if not all, businesses in the travel industry will have a presence on social media. With peer reviews playing such an important role in travellers’ decisions, social media likes and reviews will be an important source of information for people researching possible destinations, as well as local restaurants and things to do once at the destination. Marketers must treat social media platforms such as Facebook as an integral part of an overall marketing strategy. Paid advertising, while not absolutely necessary on Facebook, should be considered, as the targeting capabilities of Facebook mean that a very specific audience can be reached.
Videos are becoming increasingly popular for travellers, in particular at the research stage of their travel planning journey. While corporate videos will undoubtedly play some role in decision making for travellers, it’s the user-generated videos that are of the most value, and this should be recognized by marketers. Monitoring videos posted by users on Instagram and Facebook in particular, and then sharing and repurposing can be priceless word-of-mouth advertising – priceless, yet inexpensive!
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