Image via @travelandleisure
The travel industry is far-reaching and involves all aspects of tourist experiences, including airfare, resorts, experiences, and local businesses. Although it is difficult to define the economic impact of travel, it is estimated to contribute 5.8 billion dollars to the global GDP.
Travel is not just a lucrative business function but also a core component of countries’ economic playbooks. Needless to say, marketing for the travel industry is particularly important, as it leads to localized economic growth.
Simply put, marketing in the travel and tourism industry is about motivating people to travel. Several sectors are involved in tourism, and each has its own way of marketing. Resorts, for example, have different marketing strategies than car rentals, and airlines have different marketing strategies than cruises. Each segment shares the common thread of empowering customers to have fulfilling experiences.
As travel is a traditional market, it is not limited to just online channels to reach potential customers — it is a mainstay in television commercials, radio advertisements, out-of-home banners, pop-up events, and local agencies.
Online, brands use a mixture of social media, email campaigns, and paid advertising to reach potential customers. No matter what channel you choose to market on, what’s important is to understand your target audience and what motivates them to travel.
1. Define your target audience and goals.
Travel means something different for everyone, particularly across age demographics, and a one-size-fits-all approach is not practical. To create a successful travel marketing campaign, it's essential to start by defining your target audience and objectives. It would help if you considered demographics, interests, and behaviors — particularly which social channels they are most inclined to use. This allows you to tailor your messaging and content to reach them effectively.
2. Develop your content strategy.
The next step is to develop your content strategy. It should align with your goals and target audience and ultimately differentiate your brand from others, as many tourism staples are highly competitive — think hotels and resorts, where each has subtle differences in amenities. Visually appealing and engaging content can help you strike a chord with your audience, especially by using video, which will help them picture themselves in the moment.
3. Implement and measure your strategy.
The last step is to put your strategy into action. Measurement is important, and KPIs such as click-through rates, conversion, and engagement can help you determine how your advertisements work. Moving forward, you can make data-driven adjustments to optimize your strategies and improve your results.
Social media marketing in the travel industry has a lot of nuances, so here are some tips to help you get your strategy organized, particularly in the modern world of marketing where social media has uncapped reach, and quality content will allow your brand to be seen by significantly more people.
Social media’s convergence with the entertainment industry has completely shifted travel marketing, opening more opportunities than ever. Short-form video does a much better job of showcasing experiences than static images. Prospective travelers love to see point-of-view footage and candid experiences, which are more authentic than a picture of a person posing. The brands that will succeed in this sector moving forward will be the ones that understand the role entertainment plays in advertising, and use it to their advantage in forming deeper connections with their audience.
Dash Hudson has every tool marketers need for advertising on social, including Community Management, Campaign Reporting (including cross-channel metrics and comparisons), influencer relationships, content optimization, and of course, Scheduling. You can start a free trial immediately and see how you can take your travel marketing to the next level.
The travel industry is highly competitive, so marketing is particularly important because it is how brands can differentiate themselves and boldly proclaim their advantage. Ultimately, customers won’t book trips unless they know about your brand, so building awareness and market share are important.