Technology has completely transformed the way modern consumers plan for travel. Adventurous globetrotters have the option to take control of their travel plans through online research and automated booking. They’re able to communicate with AI concierges via text and share notes with fellow travelers via online review platforms.
While progress has improved the experience of travel planning for pilgrims, it’s forced hotels, restaurants, and others in the hospitality and tourism industries to rapidly reorganize the way they’ve operated for decades. However disruptive these changes may be, they create undeniable opportunities for forward-thinking companies to boost travel bookings and improve customer satisfaction.
Without guiding insights, any strategy you use to integrate digital marketing is a guess at best. The following tactics are supported by data, making them effective starting points for your digital strategy.
Put mobile at the top of your to-do list
According to Google, nearly 8 in 10 travelers completed a booking after doing research on their smartphone. That makes a mobile search strategy critical for any business catering to travelers, and it’s not just your website that should be responsive. Your paid ads should also be mobile-first.
Bonus Tip: Utilizing a click-to-call feature on your home page and ads allows visitors to connect easily from wherever they found you.
Focus on experiences
In the 12 weeks leading up to a trip, experience-related searches are three times higher than hotel searches and eight times higher than airline searches. Even once travelers arrive at their destination, they’re continuing their hunt for the ideal experience. Google shows 48% of experience bookings happen once travelers arrive at their destination – from their mobile devices. AirBnB’s new feature AirBnB Adventures offers a model of how to entice guests by promoting experiences.
Bonus Tips: Give your potential guests a preview of what they will experience on site. Consider integrating a “local activities” section into your website content, and make sure your Google and Bing pages are updated regularly with photos and videos of your destination. Also, make sure any images or videos you use on your website are properly optimized for Google search. When posting your videos on YouTube, include a description talking about your destination that links back to your website.
Cash in on holiday travel searches with video marketing
In 2018, views of travel-related videos increased 41% during August and September compared to the same time period in 2017. With the summer travel season over, consumers are starting to contemplate their holiday travel plans. Travel-related businesses will benefit from integrating video marketing into their strategy to take advantage of this virtual wish fulfillment.
Bonus Tip: Here’s another interesting data point to consider as you develop your videos. The number of consumers viewing videos to relax increased by 70% between 2017 and 2018. Combine this stat with the desire for experience to craft a video that offers the ultimate relaxation experiences in your locale.
Eliminate booking friction
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that consumers will move on to another site if they experience difficulties booking on yours, and Google backs up this intuition. Whether prospects are visiting your site on their desktop or their mobile, make it easy for them to book by using assistive technology to streamline reservation processes.
Expand your touchpoints
A 2019 study by Google shows that travelers engage in a wide range of digital touchpoints as they construct the perfect getaway. While search is the number one source of information, consumers are also searching social media and review platforms, to name two other popular resources. That makes an omnichannel marketing strategy more effective in reaching a wider variety of prospects.
Bonus Tip: Determining which channel is the most effective can be a challenge, making ROI difficult to prove. Drill down into analytics to collect more sophisticated, granular data capable of pinpointing marketing attribution with greater precision.
Don’t guess. Grow.
Without data to support your marketing decisions, you’re operating on assumptions and guesswork. Neither are conducive to a successful business. At Morgan & Co, we believe that knowing is the first step to growing. We’ve invested in cutting-edge analytics to study your marketplace, your competition, and your goals. The end result is a more intelligent, tailored strategy that incorporates the latest data and hard-nosed buying to produce more travel bookings for businesses in the tourism industry.
Contact us today to learn how we can put omnichannel marketing, accurate attribution, and other innovative marketing technologies to work for your business.