Travel and tourism are one of the most difficult industries to execute a digital strategy for. When planning a vacation, the first place most people start is online. For the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry, this means having a fully integrated internet marketing strategy is an absolute necessity that cannot be ignored. The challenge for most small to mid-size companies within this space is, how are you going to compete with the giants that dominate this space?
Fortunately, there are a number of angles and marketing strategies travel and tourism businesses can take advantage of to increase the amount of business they get from online channels. Unlike traditional marketing, which is a one-way conversation between businesses and prospects, internet marketing allows you to interact and engage your audience on multiple levels and opportunities.
Whether you’d like to drive organic traffic from search engines to your site through SEO, advertise on the most popular websites in the world with PPC, create a beautifully designed mobile-website, or take advantage of all the opportunities the digital space has to offer, creating an internet marketing strategy for travel businesses is a no-brainer.
Digital Marketing in the Tourism Industry
Travelers today are increasingly impulsive; they want information fast.
- More than 50% of travelers today would book a last minute trip if they come across the right deal.
- “Today” and “Tonight” searches on mobile have increased around 150% in the past 2 years.
- Because of the 24 hour nature of it, API (Application Programming Interface) & Machine Learning are more necessary than ever to assist travelers as they search.
- Tourism marketing has started recognizing the appeal on social media a place must hold to capture audience attention.
- Stay on top of industry trends and most popular travel destinations, as those change frequently.
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Your Digital Marketing Strategy for Tourism MUST keep Mobile first in mind
Those looking to capitalize on the growing travel industry must make mobile a priority when formulating a digital marketing strategy for either a travel agency or hospitality business. Mobile booking continues to rise with 80% of consumers preferring to conduct their own research when vacation planning.
- In the past three years, U.S. travelers that “always” use their smartphone when traveling grew to over 70%.
- Your website should, therefore, be able to answer all potential customers questions easily & quickly.
- For this to be possible, you must create a mobile-friendly and optimized site alongside your traditional website.
Different Travelers Means Different Customer Experience Journeys
The purchase journey is long and has multiple touch points and entryways and you must take all of them into account in relation to your business. Pay close attention to how your target audience is utilizing mobile and optimize your digital marketing strategy for tourism accordingly. Think about what traveler’s top priorities are when booking a vacation; those may vary based on demographics, life stage, finances etc. For example,
- Are you targeting leisure travelers that start their research on mobile, but continue on desktop or tablet?
- Are you targeting the business traveler that needs to look up last-minute deals on their phone & may just show up in person?
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Along with a ready site, if applicable, a call-center able to measure metrics is another essential component for consideration when analyzing your customers and overall business goals.
- In 2016, the number of travelers that called a business to get more information after researching on mobile grew from 45% to 58%
- Don’t underestimate the value of the customer journey in this step as well since a good customer experience can lead to a high-conversion transaction.
U.S. Travelers are spending more money than ever before
Consumers are willing to spend more these days for a “luxury” vacation, but the meaning of “luxury” in this context has shifted from pampering to indulging in life experiences. In other words, instead of high-end hotels or first class flights, travelers want “product quality.”
- The case of #wanderlust.
- In 2017, millennials traveled about 35% more than any other generational group with that number is projected to grow.
- The Instagrammability factor.
- Understand the importance of Social Media in Travel Marketing
- 89% of millennials plan their travel activities based on what they see on social media.
Content Marketing is Key for your Travel Business’ Online Success
Content Marketing is in high demand for Digital Marketing Tourism. High quality content, with authenticity and authority taking precedence, will engage with potential customers first and foremost as a way for the brand to establish themselves as an authority in their industry.
Create a Blog to Publish Regular Content
- Publishing blog content regularly engages your visitors.
- Blog posts are also a good way to get backlinks as people share your content.
- Capitalize on your organic traffic
Research What Your Audience is Searching
- Find out what your customers are asking about and tailor content around those questions.
- This builds trust and community in your target audience.
- Providing information positions you as an expert on your content.
Share Your Content On Social Media
- Utilize social media channels to push your content
- Get real-time feedback with a campaign or travel guide.
- Engage with your audience and interact with them on a more personal level to build relationships.
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