Reach More Travelers with These Digital Marketing Tips

By Alison Brua & Matt Hammer
  • Tourism
  • 03.05.19
  • 4 Min Read

As it turns out, the world wide web is used for more than looking up trending memes or streaming your favorite Office episode. In fact, more and more visitors are looking online to find travel inspiration, compare options and ultimately book their vacations. Recent research found that nearly 90% of travelers consult online travel resources for trip ideas and information. The ability to deliver engaging, relevant and informative digital content to potential visitors at key times in their travel planning will only continue to grow in importance.

Bluetooth Speaker | Digital Trends Blog

INCREASE TRAFFIC WITH VOICE SEARCH

“Siri, where can I stay in Sioux Falls?”
“Alexa, where’s the best place to eat in Minneapolis?”
“Ok Google, what is there to do in Custer?”
“Siri, where can I stay near Mount Rushmore?”

Voice search has had some buzz for a while now, but it’s only becoming more relevant – especially in the travel and tourism industry. Not only are voice-activated devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo becoming more popular, they’re also influencing the way people expect to find and receive information. Some of the ways to get your destination into the voice search results are:

  1. Make sure the content on your website is written and structured correctly. Your website keyword and content strategy should be representative of the way people really talk and ask questions. The user’s search is their question and your website content is the answer. In addition, your website should contain structured data markup that allows search engines to accurately crawl your content and understand its context.
  2. Claim and enhance your online local presence whether it’s your Google and Bing Business listings, Apple maps listing, Yelp listing, etc. (You should be doing this already for standard search.)

If your website or business information is not being served on these voice searches, you can miss out on key opportunities to get your content to potential visitors.

Typing | Digital Trends Blog

CAPTURE MORE SALES WITH ONLINE BOOKING

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the majority of travel bookings are done online, and it’s only continuing to grow. In fact, in a recent study about online booking, 67% of respondents reported booking their travel completely online. Looking at bookings by generation, it’s no surprise the online booking trend is being driven by younger travelers. Nearly three-quarters of Gen Z (73%) and Millennial (76%) travelers reported booking exclusively online.

In the lodging space, almost all destinations have some sort of online booking capabilities, whether it’s through an online travel agency or a booking engine. However, as the market continues to evolve, the demand to book restaurants, activities, attractions, events and tours online is only increasing. In a digital world, especially for the Millennial and Gen Z audiences, if certain interactions cannot be done digitally and easily, they may look elsewhere. Offering digital booking or reservation solutions for your destination could be a key factor to increasing sales and attendance.

Texting | Digital Trends Blog

MAKE THE SALE WITH SOCIAL STORIES

Social channels continue to release and enhance the story feature on their platforms, and usage of these story features is continually rising. Users are spending more time viewing stories and less time viewing their feeds, so if you’re only sharing your organic content and placing your ads to social feeds, you could be missing out on engaging with potential visitors.

Luckily, the format and nature of social stories is a perfect fit for the travel and tourism industry. Stories tend to portray a FOMO (fear of missing out) message to viewers like, “Hey look at what I’m doing; isn’t it cool!?” Travelers’ FOMO inspires them to search for unique and unexpected destinations and experiences that they can share with family, friends and social followers. Because they’re in the format of an immersive full screen ad, they are a perfect medium for showcasing the experiences your destination has to offer to engage those potential visitors. Whether it’s an influencer, ad or organic post, you can use this medium to communicate a highly experiential and unique message to your potential visitors.

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Taking Notes | Digital Trends Blog

MARKET MORE EFFICIENTLY WITH PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES & ITINERARIES

According to a study by American Express, “83% of Millennials said they would let travel brands track their digital patterns if this would provide them with a more personalized experience. In addition, 85% of respondents of all ages thought that customized itineraries were much more desirable than general, mass-market offerings.” The idea of a personalized experience and content is simple, really, but the time and investment it takes to execute successfully is the challenge.

When searching online for vacation ideas and inspiration, what interests a young couple will likely be much different than what would inspire an older couple looking to book a multi-generational family trip. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to execute this personalized messaging and a variety of mediums in which it can be done. For email marketing, you can create audience segments. For digital marketing, you can use data for more targeted placements. And for websites, you can use a variety of data and tools to display custom messaging to different audiences. 

The digital marketing landscape will not be going away any time soon, and it will only continue to evolve and impact the travel industry. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Contact us to see how we can enhance the digital presence of your destination.