The market for online tour and travel reservations has an exponential growth rate. The internet provides travel junkies with cheap deals, vacation packages, unique finds that they don't know about, theme parks, cruises, amazing stays, and whatnot. Such kinds of research metrics and differentiated offerings have created tourism unicorns like Airbnb and Oyo.
People may take only a few trips each year, but unlike earlier, the time they spend on researching these trips has increased. What do these travellers search for? Is your travel business tapping into the latest trends and a variety of travel keywords that users type in? It must.
Research by Bing shows tremendous data for six-monthly travel searches. Thirty-three million people were looking for airline tickets, and 29 million needed hotel bookings. Of these, 16 million specifically searched for packages.
Therefore, as a tourism company, you should be looking at methods to divert the above traffic towards your business. There are many methods for the same, but some basics need critical understanding.
Let’s dive into tested online techniques that make your travel agency stand out.
#1 Clearly define your target audience
You might be a ticketing site, a travel deals site, a unique vacation aggregator or a homestay aggregator. Your target audience will be individual subsets of the entire travel search volume. You need to identify the relevant subgroups and target them. It is what you call defining demographics.
You can use surveys done by search giants like Google and Bing. For instance, vacation rental businesses should target content for women as 68% of vacation ideas are visiting and clicked by this gender.
The age group is also a critical factor. The highest number of searches, for example, is performed by people in the 35-49 age group.
Relevant metrics will vary depending on your category of service. Therefore, define your target audience precisely and then create a content plan. Such content will be immersive, emotional, and lead to more clicks and conversions.
#2 Understand your traveller’s online research experience
A customer's journey online has evolved from instantly clicking on paid ads to doing volumes of research and making an informed decision. Your content must reflect the same and connect to the research journey of any prospective traveller.
People plan their travels in advance and therefore, interact with innumerable brands and vast amounts of information before making a final choice.
Google defines four essential experiences or moments for travel researchers. You can employ these when creating content strategies.
You start with people who are dreaming about traveling somewhere and looking to find ideas and inspiration. They might find a vlog about the top hill stations to visit in India quite interesting.
Once the inspiration sets, the filtered travellers start organizing or planning their trip. These are the ones looking for tickets, hotel bookings, packages, and analyzing their budgets to make final bookings.
Now the funnel proceeds to people who have a ready itinerary and want to start booking. Finally, once everything is done, people search for experiences and activities. Google terms this phase as experiencing.
You can quickly analyze what moment your business caters to and plan specific content. Tap into related keywords using tools like the keyword planner and create content in advance. Once you influence a point in this online journey, the process of conversion begins!
#3 Travel is a time-bound business
Various demographics around the world have specific periods when vacations, holidays, and trips are more frequent. Search volumes present by Google suggest the same. Vacation ideas start popping rapidly in searches around April. The search for beaches is maximum in the winter seasons.
Summer vacations lead to a spike in searches for them parks and family vacation packages.
Depending on what segment you serve, target your content so that it is available at the right time. It is quite elementary and must be the founding stone in any travel marketing plan.
#4 Empower your content through Facebook & Instagram Ads
Facebook Ads are the most powerful tool as far as travel marketing is concerned. Most content consumed on Facebook generates emotions, inspirations, and experiences. You can create various content types, including videos, articles, graphics, and images, and provide interactive content through your brand portal.
You can manage Instagram campaigns through Facebook Ads as well. It is the second most engaged network after Facebook where users spend 53 minutes on average daily. Media like travel experiences, to-do or wish list kind of stories drive a lot of traffic on such platforms.
Moreover, Facebook ads generate a high retention rate. Because of their interstitial nature, they become a part of the user’s content feed and lead to higher engagement. People start noticing your brand. Information sticks, and finally, at the time of decision making, they turn to their favorite information provider. The goal should be to become that information provider.
Using such ads, you can create a much-needed affinity for your brand. People start looking at you for travel ideas and information. In turn, your thoughts and inspirational videos get converted into bookings with amplified conversion rates.
#5 Spend on Remarketing
It essentially translates to grabbing customers that look through the window but somehow don’t come in. With remarketing, you can establish a responsive relationship with potential leads. You can nurture them to conversion in the future.
It involves communicating with your potential clients through methods like in-built chatbots, post-sales feedback, automated opt-ins, and various niche-specific tactics. When people become responsive to your content, the chances for repeat clients increase. Conversion rates are also seen to increase 2-3X after successful remarketing campaigns.
#6 Don’t dismiss Email Marketing: It has and will always convert!
Your email database today is an online asset. Research firms like Monetate claim that it converts more than any social search ads. Your subscribers are people who interact with your content regularly. Reaching their inbox with unique ideas and offers is a great way to establish a good sales funnel.
You invite them to your inner circle with mails providing handpicked offers and deals with coupons only the user can use.
Before starting an email campaign, you should evaluate it for rich content, non-promotional tone, unique offerings, and other such metrics. Then you split test them and make any small changes needed before the final launch. As the cost of email marketing is incredibly cheap, you can attract high conversion rates from the same.
Any travel purchase is a long online experience. Your content, therefore, should also be an immersive solution-providing experience. Using strategies of segregation and remarketing, you can infuse your brand in these journeys and tap into the traffic to generate conversions for your business.