As we read in the first part of this article, the global tourism market generates over $1.3 trillion in revenue per year.
This type of value means that the sector is very competitive and needs to use digital marketing strategies to rise above the competition.
In the second part of this article, we’ll explore the remaining 6 tips for digital marketing success!
6) Use Technology For Marketing ‘Experience’
Travel is all about the experience, and it starts before a booking is even made. Help travelers get a feel for your destination, hotel, attraction, or activity using online tools. Interactive visual content is particularly useful – think immersive videos and 360˚ photos, all in high definition. Locations that have really got this down include Iceland, New Zealand, and Miami.
AR and VR have moved from interesting experimental technologies to viable media that have quickly becoming a trend in the travel and tourism space. What better way to ‘be there without being there’ than to throw on a VR headset and explore a destination digitally?
This 360˚ video from Visit Dubai is a great example of how immersive experiences can be delivered straight to the comfort of your living room.
Travel company Thomas Cook also applied the technology at a concept store in the UK, using VR headsets to digitally transport visitors to popular destinations like New York, Cyprus, and Sharm-el-Sheikh. And it wasn’t just a gimmick; in-store bookings for New York increased by 190% thanks to VR taster sessions.
7) Leverage Engagement Data
One of the most enticing aspects of digital marketing is that it allows for the collection and analysis of campaign-related data.
Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel provide rich data that help you to understand how, where, and with whom your content has received interaction.
This data can then be analyzed to help your company better understand your audience and create more personalized content for them, which in turn drives engagement, conversions, and sales.
Gone are the days of mailing out brochures, placing an ad in the paper, and hoping for the best; digital marketing is all about precision.
The data you collect can be used to accurately categorize leads, make bespoke recommendations, and – in conjunction with AI software – deliver timely, pertinent notifications by email and social media.
8) Make a Push During Peak Times
It will come as no surprise to find that the busiest time of year for booking a vacation is in January, as the reality of returning to work after the sparkle and celebration of the festive season kicks in. Therefore, it’s the ideal time to push a little harder in your marketing efforts.
Create content that taps into everyone’s desire to get away from it all; a photo or video of an idyllic far-flung beach is the perfect antidote to grey skies and grumpy colleagues. An email on the first day back at work can be the gentle nudge that leads need to at least start their search. It’s also a great idea to set up some time-limited offers, creating urgency – a powerful tool to transform visitors into customers.
Peak times may be different for your target audience. If you’re offering a product or service that’s more suited to in-destination customers, for example, your marketing efforts will be strongest when visitors numbers are high.
Again, we come back around to the target customer from our first point. Your understanding of their behaviors will allow you to hone in on the most effective times to focus your marketing campaigns.
9) Work with Influencers
Digital influencers are a dream for marketing professionals. They have organically-built, engaged audiences who are receptive to brand content, and the return on investment can be extremely lucrative.
In fact, 80% of marketers believe that working with an influencer is effective, and a majority find it more effective than other paid media and marketing channels.
This is why influencer collaborations have become a hot trend in the travel/tourism space. Audiences hold a sincere level of trust in the influencers they choose to follow, which creates a favorable environment in which to introduce marketing material.
Visual content is a big winner here. Instagram photos, vlogs, and image-dense blog posts help the audience visualize themselves in your destination. Plus, the aspirational element of an influencer-audience relationship can create an explosion of interest in your brand.
Notable success stories in this space include Airbnb’s Coachella collaborations, EURAIL Pass’ series with The Blonde Abroad, and Curacao’s campaign with influencers from New York City – highlighting the short flight time from the city to the gorgeous Caribbean island.
10) SEO Is Key For Cutting Campaign Costs
Search engine optimization (SEO) is imperative for the travel and tourism industry.
80% of hotel bookings are made online, for example, with travel companies finding 60% booked through mobile. This means there are hundreds and thousands of searches to leverage your marketing campaign to create natural traffic.
The problem with SEO? It can often take time to build, so your brand presence will need to be established before this really benefits you.
But all travel businesses looking to create digital marketing campaigns should do several things to get the best possible SEO result help:
●Complete Google my business listings
●Submit to relevant forums, industry boards, and travel blogs
●Guest post, feature, or write press releases and submit them to relevant publications with a link to your website.
●Ensure your company’s website is optimized with specific and highly relevant keywords for the business.
●Create a specific landing page for the campaign and optimize it.
Getting to the first page of search engines isn’t that hard, particularly if you’re the authority on a location. Just remember that your online presence is everything and the more you can pop up in specific and wider terms, the more organic (unpaid) traffic you’ll get.
11) Don’t Ignore Your Email List
In the travel sector, an average of 20% of marketing emails are opened with a 2% click through rate.
These aren’t bad odds, particularly if you’re working with larger lists. Of course, ongoing nurturing can increase this, but even periodically sharing your marketing campaigns and offering incentives can go a long way to getting more conversions and leads.
That being said, being boring or ‘salesy’ is the easiest and quickest way to receive an unsubscribe. With this in mind here are a few campaign tips to make it easier:
It’s not always about sharing a good deal, readers want to see value there and then.
Depending on the campaign you could offer a freebie, tips and advice, or a coupon code to ‘give’ something before you get.
Keep It to the Point
A lot of readers will be checking their emails on their break, their commute, or even before bed, so keep it short and sweet. Long emails will get closed long before they click through.
Add plenty of call-to-actions throughout. In the beginning, middle and end as a minimum so that it’s clear from the start what you’re asking.
Digital marketing in the travel and tourism sector is all about showing off the experience in the best way possible.
After all you’re selling dream activities and locations so marketing campaigns need to have this essence to be successful.
Do this by marketing to the right people, leveraging your analytical data as well as the visual components of the campaign to really make it shine.
Remember, not everything has to be paid advertising, a lot of leads and conversions can be generated by your online presence, natural SEO, and your online interactions.