The year-end is just round the corner. Now that all the holiday decorations are in place, the travel industry has already started planning this and that for the upcoming year. All that immaculate planning is well and good, but sadly useless if it fails to garner interest. In all reality, this planning phase is a year-round thing, but it picks up with an all-consuming urgency during the last few months of the year. What every business, especially the ones in the travel industry, needs is an unwavering focus on what is new. Knowing what’s next will give you a distinct edge over your competitors.
There is no denying that as far as travel marketing is concerned, the real difference lies in how the internet is being used. The usage has to be analyzed both from consumers’ and from a business’ points of view. The online world is changing daily and so are the businesses. Everything matters – starting from a slight shift in screen traffic to online bookings. So, what’s new in 2015? How is it going to be different from 2014?
Following are some of the major factors that are going to heavily influence e-tourism marketing in the upcoming year:
- Consumers have gone multi-screen.
- Integration across digital devices is a requisite.
- Content marketing is important as usual; so is figuring out exactly what content helps to sell your product/service.
- Marketing should be data and analytic driven.
- Hyper-personalization in leveraging client data can help in better marketing.
- It is time to shake up the social media marketing strategy with micro-videos.
- Omni-channel marketing is no longer an option; it is a necessity.
What the #eTS14 Had to Say:
When it comes to online travel marketing, e Tourism Summit (#eTS14) is considered as a ‘fire hose of information’. Rather than putting out fires, this summit focuses on raising burning questions that redefine the prevailing trends in the online travel sector. The recently concluded summit pinpointed some very important, yet often overlooked essentials. The key points included:
- Being human is the trick. Being too corporate in marketing efforts won’t be beneficial in the end.
- There is nothing called free FB anymore, at least for marketers.
- Music videos are the next hot trend for efficient digital marketing optimization.
Let’s take a look at all the online trends that will most likely reshape the tourism industry in 2015:
Multi-Screening is Here to Stay
Most businesses focus on providing their users with a satisfying surfing/shopping/booking experience, as far as PC/desktops are concerned. However, the world has long gone mobile. In their February 2014 market review, comScore noted that most users today prefer to use ‘multiscreening’ technique to access information from the internet. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are being used by everyone, but that does not mean that the users have totally stopped using their desktops. The best way to engage them on one’s website is to go responsive. A responsive website that provides superior performance on all devices alike is likely to enjoy higher traffic rate and improved ROI.
Don’t Overlook the Millennials
There is absolutely no ‘doubt’ about it. Millennials are the new ‘it’ generation of consumers and hence, ignoring them is not advisable. User generated content and social media trends are two of the most vital things determining their actions. These millennials spend a painfully limited amount of time on traditional media and dedicate majority of their time on social media. They are more interested in the comments and opinions of their peers than in the sales pitch of marketers. Grabbing their attention is no easy task. Yet it is a needed step if your travel marketing techniques are to be made successful.
Are You Using Social Media
Speaking of millennials and their love for everything related to social media; the popular online platforms have undergone some distinct changes in recent times.
- For Facebook, having a committed fan base has become utterly important. As free lunching on FB has become a thing of the past, only a content strategy focused on sharing by a dedicated fan base can help to combat ‘Reachpocalyse’.
- Twitter has changed significantly and making use of Cards to drive traffic to one’s website is highly recommended.
- Pinterest has started having a profound influence on one’s dreaming stage and hence, planning too.
- For meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) marketing, there is no place better than LinkedIn. Out of all travel video views on YouTube, a major portion is based on destinations and attractions.
- For travel, Google, itself, is absolutely indispensable when it comes to getting inspiration, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing.
Video Content Is Now the King
Online video has now started to overshadow television as the most prominent channel for marketing. This is especially true for those marketers whose target market consist of the younger bunch. According to a Think with Google study, more and more travelers are investing their time in watching travel videos online. In fact, views of travel-oriented content have gone up 118% year over year. It is about time that businesses now start to engage their target audience through these videos.
Today’s travelers are looking for a more personalized and comprehensive experience, which is preferably mobile. With the expenses of marketing and data processing continuously rising, most businesses are struggling to keep their customers happy. The above discussion about the most definitive of e-tourism trends will hopefully help businesses to tap into the opportunities that lie in smart marketing.
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