Understanding the dynamics of social media is critical to the success of today’s marketer. In our Digital Travelscape series, we will examine the changing tides in digital marketing to highlight emerging trends that impact how travelers make buying decisions. Follow Civilian throughout this journey and discover new insights and approaches to your travel & tourism marketing.
Travel & tourism has continued to grow year-over-year with no signs of slowing down. Reports indicate that the large majority of travelers plan to increase their travel spend or keep their budget the same, with only a small percentage planning to decrease their spend.1 Competing in an industry with such rapid growth is difficult. Marketing and advertising agencies can relieve your brand of the additional pressure brought on by staying current with the constantly evolving methods of marketing—especially the critical role played by social media. Let us briefly touch on the key takeaways of our blog series over the past six weeks:
User-generated content. The paramount ingredient in a recipe for successful content marketing. Where to begin? UGC is the language spoken between businesses and consumers, allowing them to connect on a much deeper level than traditional forms of advertising. Social media has become a part of the travel cycle: Create, share, inspire, repeat. UGC shapes your brand and builds community in a digital world where peer-recommendations are the most-trusted source of information among consumers.2 Get your audience talking about your brand, monitor the feedback, perform damage control (when necessary) and maintain a positive reputation.
Experience and education. Today’s traveler has a strong desire for new experiences. “Going somewhere I’ve never been before” is the most influential factor during travel planning, affecting nearly three-quarters of all consumers.3 “Cost” occupies the second and third spots for most influential factors, with “being able to learn something new” rounding out the top four.3 While pricing will always remain constant, focus on differentiating your brand by catering to travelers’ aspirations. Position yourself as one-of-a-kind, produce content marketing that engages your audience, and higher fares will pale in comparison to the value travelers perceive in your brand.
Focus on providing consumers the information they need. In the digital world, nothing may be more torturous than slow load times, only to discover the link you’ve clicked through doesn’t answer questions related to your search. THE HORROR! If you aren’t giving your customers useful and relevant information, they won’t be your customers for long. Furnish solutions specific to the problems faced by consumers to retain your clientele and attract new business. Soon enough you will have an army of advocates interacting with your brand.
Mobile mindset, with an investment in visual channels. Fast facts:
- Approximately 60% of online destination searches occur on a mobile device.4
- The most popular type of travel videos watched on YouTube are travel video blogs (86% from YouTube creators, 14% from brands)5, with nearly two-thirds occurring on mobile.6
- Instagram has among the highest engagement ratios per post when compared to other social networks.7
What does this tell us?
Optimize your brand for mobile. Online consumer behavior consists of short and frequent interactions. With many of these occurring on mobile devices, having a navigable mobile website and robust social media pages should be a high priority.
Take advantage of this gap in vlog distribution. Create content of your own, or skip the hassle by partnering with a social influencer. Having a content-rich, robust social media presence (especially on YouTube and Instagram) is vital to fostering your travel brand’s community.
Effective marketing strategies for travel brands are crafted on a case-by-case basis and do not fit the “cookie cutter” mold. In addition to running your business, the plethora of functions in an ongoing marketing effort can seem overwhelming. Civilian understands what sparks and fuels consumer movements in the travel & tourism sector. Get in touch and let us help build your brand.
Social media is cool, and we bet you are too. Let’s be friends, contact us.
1 TripAdvisor: TripBarometer:
http://www.ipsos.fr/sites/default/files/doc_associe/tripbarometer_ipsos_tripadvisor_dec2015.pdf: pg. 2, para. 3 & pg 7. : [Dec 5, 2016]
2 Nielsen: Global Trust In Advertising:
https://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/apac/docs/reports/2015/nielsen-global-trust-in-advertising-report-september-2015.pdfpage 4: [Dec 5, 2016]
3 TripAdvisor: TripBarometer:
http://www.ipsos.fr/sites/default/files/doc_associe/tripbarometer_ipsos_tripadvisor_dec2015.pdf: page 14: [Dec 5, 2016]
4 think with Google: How Micro-Moments Are Reshaping the Travel Customer Journey:
https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/micro-moments-reshaping-travel-customer-journey-b.pdf: pg. 11, para. 1: [Dec 5, 2016]
5 think with Google: How Micro-Moments Are Reshaping the Travel Customer Journey:
https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/micro-moments-reshaping-travel-customer-journey-b.pdf: pg. 13, para. 1: [Dec 5, 2016]
6 think with Google: How Micro-Moments Are Reshaping the Travel Customer Journey:
https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/micro-moments-reshaping-travel-customer-journey-b.pdf: pg. 12, para. 2: [Dec 5, 2016]
7 Burney, Kara: The State of Social Media for Business 2016:
http://trackmaven.com/blog/2016/08/social-media-for-business/: para. 9: [Dec 5, 2016]