People are on their phones, consuming content by the hour. But they’re also productively booking flights, hotel suites, & creating itineraries all on their mobile devices! In fact, 53% of all travel is now booked online. Are you convinced it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy yet?
This month, we are focusing on the travel & hospitality industry; how has this industry been impacted by social marketing, and what ways can these brands drive traffic to their destinations with the use of social content? After all, it is ranked as one of the top niches for Instagram and is predicted to generate over $818B dollars in 2020. (Source: sellfy.com)
It’s no surprise social media marketing has made huge impacts in a multitude of industries. With authentic online sharing of experiences, products & services, the hospitality & travel industries strategy gives way to rapid viral exposure for businesses to gain traction & massively expand their audiences for a fraction of the cost for traditional commercial productions. We recently spoke with Alexa Kopper, Guest Relations Manager Trainee for The Peninsula Hotel in New York City, a luxury hotel chain across the globe. She gave us helpful insight on the state of the industry regarding how travelers expect their experience after seeing it on social media, she says, “Hospitality brands can use social media to build and display what they have… every brand has its own (social) experience that guests are expecting to see in-person. I think social media is going to grow even more in the hospitality industry beyond where it’s at today.”
Read on for 5 ways to utilize content & stay relevant so your brand can travel the content world.
1. Mobile marketing
Be sure your marketing is fit for mobile devices because like we said before, people are on their phones! Make sure your brand is relevant in their minds by meeting them where they are. Also consider streamlining your channels to make bookings and accessibility as easy as possible. Is it easy to find via google search or paid ads? Do you have multiple forms to fill out in order to process a booking? Are your actionable links easy to find? The more steps it takes to get through a booking process, the less likely users will see it through.
In recent years, mobile travel & hospitality bookings have shown a 1700% increase accounting for 18% of online revenues AND 94% year-over-year growth in e-commerce traffic. (source)
2. Influencer marketing & user-generated content (UGC).
We’ve spoken on the importance of these strategies before, but they are especially important for the travel & hospitality industry for audiences to see true, authentic experiences before booking. These days, authenticity is king for any & every business. UGC by definition is more relate-able than most marketing strategies as it is produced by real people having real-time reactions and experiences to your brand.
Though not quite as authentic as UGC in that these users are closer to celebrities than the average user, influencer marketing equally holds value in promoting your brand alongside an aspirable lifestyle. Utilizing influencers in your social content strategy exposes your brand to their often massive audiences, all of whom love to buy into the products and lifestyles these accounts are promoting. All with little work on your end, might we add.
52% of professional marketers say video has the best ROI. (source)
People prefer to see it, rather than read about it. Vloggers have taken the social media world by storm, bringing the audience along to the destination or experience on camera. Consider creating ways your audience can virtually experience your brand that will in turn solidify potential bookings. Use resources to produce this experience, like Insta-stories, Snapchat or even LinkedIn Live – depending on your audience, each platform is similar in that it gives a first-hand account of your hotel’s location destinations they may have never seen, but should desire to!
4. Booking retargeting.
Now this one is really important. In the hotel industry, reports show that 81% of bookings are abandoned before sealing the deal. Redirect your audience’s attention by creating paid search ads and on-screen prompts to bring them back to your booking or services funnel (important tip: be sure that it’s personalized. Include their name & even their desired booking location if you can). Give them a second chance by making it easy to finalize the booking process.
5. Millennials & loyalty programs
Millennials make up the majority of individuals invested in the travel & hospitality industry. This generation is much more likely to travel than the Gen-X and Boomer generations, allowing you to focus all your marketing strategy on what & how millennials consume content. Equally, once these individuals find a brand they love, they are much more likely to stay loyal to it. Consider including a loyalty program in your strategy to reward your audience & ensure repeat business.
If you’re in the travel & hospitality industry, chances are a lot of the facts introduced above have already affected your business. Start utilizing these simpler strategies to regain traction with bookings and engagement with your audience!
Interested in revamping your content strategy for hospitality & travel? Contact our experts now to learn about our tailored programs available to enhance your marketing in 2020!