According to the American Marketing Association, the average consumer is exposed to 10,000 brand messages every day. That being said, when comes to travel marketing, you’re in for some tough competition. There’s a plethora of destinations, travel companies and tourism boards all looking to be #1. The key to reaching your targets successfully is being able to cut through the clutter - and standing out from your competition. As travel experts, we can help you cut through with a roundup of our data insights plus research we’re found to increase your travel marketing in 2018.
1). Desktop is the most common device for inspiration, researching and booking while travelers switch over to their smart phones during the trip*. Maximize your ads for desktop. You also want be sure your website reflects current pricing, information and statistics as well as clear, vibrant and compelling imagery. Just because desktop is a more common device used for pre-trip, you should also make sure your website is mobile optimized. You can quickly test if your website is mobile friendly here. For desktop as well as mobile, you should do thorough testing on each platform (safari, chrome, internet explorer, etc.)
2). The top determining factor when choosing a destination is budget*. Highlighting top deals, cheap flights or hotels should always be part of your marketing strategy. In your emails mentioning price in the email subject line is key for a higher open rate. Using subject lines that are last chance and deal oriented such as ‘Last chance to book 2018 at 2017 prices’ are even more of a win-win.
3). Price and deals are important, but also are activities and experiences*. Make your trip/ destination seem special and authentic. After all, that’s all it’s really about. Write a blog post for your destination featuring top things to do or reasons to visit in 2018 then cross post on social channels. You can see an example from a client we did here. You’ll also want to dedicate specific blog posts to different activities and highlight them clearly on your website. Additionally, implementing paid social to target specific audiences is a smart move- such as adventure with copy and content dedicated towards them. Stressing these unique activities pulls into another top consideration people look at when deciding on a destination – one that is a ‘bucket list vacation.’
3). But reviews and informative content are nearly as important*. Invest in happy customers. Make sure people who are putting reviews up on sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp are happy and rewarded. Create an advertising incentive around posting to review sites. Something as simple as ‘We love happy customers! Get 10% off your mountain biking tour if write us a Yelp review.’ Or ‘Like us on Facebook and check in to receive 5% off your visit’. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Make sure to invest in posting to various social media channels daily or every other day and emphasize important information or deals. If you have a larger budget, consider placing some of it towards social media influencers. These are travel brands that have audiences that already trust them. We haven’t mentioned it so far, but PR is another cheap advertising activity to get you recognition. Using sites such as HARO to submit, you can gain free PR from reputable sites such as Forbes or The Times.
4). Canadian travelers are spending more time on vacation then U.S. travelers*. According to Expedia’s research report*, Canadian’s are taking 8.7 day vacations, while American’s are only taking 6.7 day vacations. To those marketing in the U.S., this is a key piece of research you should be utilizing when creating and marketing your itineraries. So, what does that mean? If you’re marketing to U.S. travelers, you’ll want to market your 6 and 7 day itineraries the most – whether it be in email, social media or your website. For your website and emails, you’ll want to make sure these itineraries are more prominent than the others to increase clicks.
5). OTAS are the most popular resource travelers used for planning their last trip. 50% of U.S. travelers use an OTA when booking a trip, compared to 33% using search engines. How can you maximize your marketing efforts for this? Paid advertising on OTAs. Whether it’s Trip Advisor, Expedia or Kayak, you know this is where your audience is active. Even if your customer is in the process of booking a trip, using banner ads or email blasts can influence their next decision, since U.S. travelers take an average of 3 trips a year.*
At Traktek, we have years of experience in Travel Marketing and Digital Media - and recently won the 2017 MITX Award for Best Travel, Entertainment and Leisure Marketing and the New England Direct Marketing Association Best Website of the year. Contact us today so we can discuss how we can help you increase your leads/bookings through search engine marketing, your responsive website, social media, and email marketing.