For businesses operating in the travel industry, including hotels, airlines and OTAs, the quality of travel marketing can have a huge bearing on overall success. In particular, it is crucial that companies use the right travel marketing strategies and keep up to date with the latest trends. With this in mind, in this article, you will find some of the most important travel marketing tips to help you to improve your performance and results.
What is Travel Marketing?
Travel marketing is the collective term given to marketing strategies that are used within the travel industry. This includes strategies used by hotels and resorts, the airline industry, the restaurant industry, travel agents, and more. In most cases, this marketing is intended to promote the travel business, with a view to increasing bookings, purchases or other forms of custom. Many of these travel marketing strategies are now carried out online, via the company website, social media, email, third party websites and various other channels.
Why is Travel Marketing Important?
The travel industry itself is extremely competitive, with many different businesses competing for the same customer base. As a result, you need to stand out from rivals, attract attention and promote your unique qualities and attributes. There are a number of effective travel marketing strategies that can assist businesses with this objective. Furthermore, travel marketing can also help to engage customers, generate customer loyalty and offer incentives for customers to use your travel industry services, rather than the services of your competitors.
11 Travel Marketing Tips to Boost Your Results
While travel marketing plays a vital role in modern day business success, it is equally important to keep up to date with the very latest travel marketing strategies and to create a varied marketing mix. Below, you will find 11 travel marketing tips to assist you with this and help you generate improved results.
1. Personalisation Marketing
One of the best travel marketing tips is to prioritise personalisation, as customers want to be viewed as individuals, rather than part of a collective. The idea behind personalisation marketing is to deliver more tailored marketing content, allowing you to communicate to customers on more of a one-to-one basis. Personalisation marketing relies heavily on data collection. Common examples include personalised marketing emails, tailored recommendations, personalised SMS messages and various types of social media marketing.
Video: Personalisation Marketing Explained by Dell
In the article “5 Ways Personalisation Marketing Can Benefit the Travel Industry” you can read more detailed information about personalisation marketing within travel.
2. Virtual Reality Marketing
Put simply, virtual reality marketing is any type of marketing that is delivered using virtual reality technology. Virtual reality content consists of a 3D environment, which can be explored using a specialist headset. The VR content could be a 360 image, a virtual reality video, or even an interactive VR game. This is an increasingly popular form of travel marketing, used by various sectors of the industry. For instance, hotels use VR tours to showcase their hotel rooms, while travel agents offer VR videos of tourist attractions.
Video: Up in the Air: a Balloon Safari Experience (360 VR Video)
In the article “5 Benefits of Virtual Reality Marketing for The Travel Industry” you find more information about VR marketing and 5 advantages of using virtual reality to increase sales.
3. Voice Search
Voice search is another emerging technology, which marketers are utilising to great effect, capitalising on the popularity of smart home hubs from the likes of Google and Amazon, as well as smartphone apps. A growing number of customers are turning to these devices to make hotel, flight and transport bookings, using online travel agencies. In addition to offering this kind of service, marketers can also optimise web content to capitalise on voice searches. Furthermore, hotels are increasingly using smart hubs within their hotel rooms, improving the customer experience.
Video: Example Voice Search
In the article “How Can Voice Search Benefit the Travel Industry?” you will learn more about voice control and the ways it can be of help in the travel industry.
4. Customer Experience Marketing
One of the best travel marketing tips to keep in mind is that most customers are not really paying for products or services, they are paying for experiences. This principle guides the concept of customer experience marketing, which is the practice of improving the customer experience and exceeding customer expectations. Many hotel chains have embraced this, offering smart room controls for air conditioning and heating, and smart hubs for ordering room service. Airlines also often compete on this basis, with in-flight entertainment being one example.
Video: Example Customer Experience
In the article “8 Ways to Improve Customer Experience in the Travel Industry” you will find out about eight of the most effective ways for those in the travel industry to improve the experience for customers.
5. Artificial Intelligence Marketing
Artificial intelligence can enhance travel marketing strategies in a number of interesting ways. For instance, the machine learning aspect can look into the real web searches that are carried out, allowing you to create much more relevant adverts and web content, which delivers on what real users are actually looking for. Furthermore, customer service is one of the biggest areas where businesses compete, and the use of AI-powered chat bots can significantly improve response times and offer 24/7 service, even when staff are not available.
Video: How Kayak Is Using AI for Travel Planning
In the article “How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Travel Industry” you will learn the uses and benefits of artificial intelligence, and explain how it is changing the way travel companies operate.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the practice of marketing to customers through influential individuals who have an existing following on social media sites like Instagram and YouTube. It is similar to endorsement marketing, in that their audience trusts them, and so are more likely to trust the marketing content they share. Images and videos are ideal for this, as it allows the influencer’s audience to see their travel experience. Businesses may reach out to influencer’s that have influence over a specific demographic, in order to target them.
Video: Example Travel Influencer
7. Content Marketing
Content marketing refers to the creation of online content, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts and e-books, with the purpose of promoting your brand. Within the travel industry, it typically consists of the sharing of knowledge about facilities, properties, tourist attractions and travel experiences. One of the major benefits of content marketing over other travel marketing strategies is its cost-effectiveness. Indeed, it can be completely free, although sponsored content costs money in exchange for increased visibility.
Video: Webinar – 5 Steps to Revamp Your Content Strategy for Your Travel Business
8. User Generated Content
As the name suggests, user generated content refers to content that is created by web users. This would include user generated videos, images uploaded to social media platforms and comments on blog posts. Within the travel industry, travel blogs, travel vlogs and images uploaded to Facebook or Instagram are among the most obvious examples. A restaurant can encourage customers to upload images to their website, while hotels or attractions can provide a digital photo booth at their location, which automatically adds the company hashtag to every photo.
Video: How Travel Brands Like Airbnb & Crown Resorts Are Using User Generated Content
9. Augmented Reality Marketing
Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality, but rather than 3D environments, it is concerned with information overlays. This is typically achieved through the use of a smartphone and an app, which then overlay graphics, text or other content over the real-world environment when it is viewed through the phone. Travel companies can use this to enhance real-world settings. For instance, a review app might display customer reviews for a restaurant when a phone is pointed at the building. Some hotels have also made innovative use of AR, providing wall maps within rooms and a companion app, which overlays additional information onto the map.
Video: Hôtel des Arts Saigon Augmented Reality Application Tutorial
In the article “How Augmented Reality is Revolutionising the Travel Industry” you get a closer look at the impact augmented reality is having on the travel industry.
10. Review Marketing
Customers are turning to review platforms like TripAdvisor and Google to assist them with their decisions and review marketing is about acknowledging this and managing your reputation online. Typically, this involves managing your profiles on these platforms, and ensuring you have a sufficient number of reviews to mitigate negative ones. The main travel marketing tips in this area are to encourage customers to leave reviews through email requests, and to take the time to update information and photos on each review platform.
Video: How to Manage Reviews
In the article “9 Tips to Manage Online Reviews” you will learn some tactics to sharpen your review management strategy.
Remarketing is another of the travel marketing techniques with the best cost-effectiveness, because it is the process of marketing to people who have already interacted with your brand online. As a result, you already know they have some degree of interest. For instance, it could be that they started to book a hotel room, or looked at flights. The actual content that you target individuals with can be tailored to show them the exact product they were viewing, for maximum relevancy. Remarketing can be carried out using Google AdWords, Facebook, and other platforms.
Video: Getting Started with Remarketing
Hotels, airlines, OTAs and car rental companies operate in a highly competitive industry, where attention and reputation can be the difference between success and failure. The travel marketing tips offered in this article will help you to create a more rounded marketing strategy, so that you can boost your results.