The digital marketing manual for the travel industry – Pure Travel

The digital marketing manual for the travel industry - Pure Travel

With social media inspiration and influencers sharing their best glamorous shots from a variety of exotic destinations, it makes sense that more and more people have caught the travel bug. Nowadays, 55% of leisure travellers spend a lot of time researching their travel inspirations and plans online, even though they don’t travel more than a couple of times a year. So, the secret is to be visible for businesses in the travel sector. You can’t be found online without a strong digital marketing approach. But what does digital marketing look like for the travel industry? Why digital marketing matters in travel Gone are the days when travellers relied solely on brochures and word-of-mouth recommendations. Today, the vast majority turn to online resources to research destinations, accommodations, and activities. And if you believe that every travel plan starts with a Google search, you are thoroughly mistaken. Social media has a growing influence on travellers, with 66% of travellers aged between 18 and 34 choosing holiday destinations based on their Instagrammability. So, when it comes to harnessing the power of digital channels, the travel industry needs to consider social media as much as SEO activities. That being said, email marketing is also crucial when engaging an existing audience and building a positive travel experience. Challenges of travel marketing Travelling may be a lot of fun when you’re lying by the beach, but for travel businesses, there are a lot of challenges to navigate before customers can get to the beach. Firstly, travellers are price-conscious, so they are constantly on the lookout for the best deals to maximise value while keeping costs down. So, as a travel brand, you must emphasise affordability and value as much as your services. Habits are evolving: From eco-conscious travels to bleisure (a mix of business and leisure), the travel industry needs to reflect these changes as part of its offers and marketing communications. In other words, new customer groups are emerging! Travellers are researching, comparing, and shopping on multiple platforms, often all at the same time. So, engaging travellers at every touchpoint of their journey requires specialised tools, such as Single Customer View (SCV) and eRFM, to deliver relevant content. Travellers are becoming increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint. As a result, they prefer brands that can demonstrate a genuine commitment to eco-friendly practices. So, it’s not just a case of tweaking your marketing campaign to reach out to eco-friendly travellers. They do expect brands to walk the green walk and showcase their sustainability credentials. Crafting a winning strategy To succeed in the competitive travel landscape, businesses must develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Here are some key elements to consider: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): It’s a no-brainer. You need a website that is easy to find hence you need to boost your search engine result page rankings. Email marketing: Email remains a powerful tool for nurturing customer relationships and driving repeat business. From personalised newsletters to unique offers and follow-up emails post-purchase, travel businesses need to build automatic emailing workflows for each of their customer groups. Social media marketing: Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer unparalleled opportunities for showcasing stunning visuals, sharing travel tips, and connecting with potential customers. Besides, targeted advertising on social media can help reach out to a new audience group and drive brand awareness and conversions. User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage travellers to share their experiences through reviews, photos, and videos. UGC adds authenticity to your brand and serves as valuable social proof, influencing others’ purchasing decisions. This can become an addition to social media content. Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing sits at the core of digital marketing in the travel industry. It’s all about leveraging the reach and authenticity of social media influencers to inspire and engage potential travellers. Data analysis and optimisation: Leverage analytics tools to track the performance of your marketing campaigns continually. Partnering with a Digital Marketing Agency While implementing an SEO strategy can yield significant returns, there is far too much noise on the market for a small business to stand out. For travel businesses, it’s all about finding professional guidance and partnering with a digital expert to tackle the growing social media competition. There’s a reason why travel companies who are marketing to the UK prefer a leading digital marketing agency in London over another partner. You want a digital marketing ally who can demonstrate results and performance for strategies of a similar scale. In conclusion, the digital marketing playbook for the travel industry is continually evolving. Email marketing and SEO remain strong aspects of it, but nowadays, social media marketing is central to customer reach and acquisition. So, whether you’re a boutique hotel, a luxury tour operator, or a tourist organisation, now is the time to invest in your digital presence and build the “Instragammable brand” your audience wants to see.

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