October 24, 2017, by Gilad Berenstein, CEO of Utrip
There is no denying that the introduction of digital marketing has vastly changed the landscape of traveling. Travelers are now increasingly relying on the internet for their needs, so it is imperative that destination marketers keep up with the trend and evolve alongside.
Though it may be hard to keep track of what aspects of digital marketing are most important when it comes to travel, there are a few trends that definitely stick out. Here are 3 key trends destination marketers need to be aware of when creating their marketing strategy, based on a study conducted by Destinations International.
1) It's all about the content
Content is what drives marketing today across all sectors, and travel is not immune to this. Savvy digital marketers understand that content creation and dissemination is the single strongest component of a successful marketing strategy. The travel sector is defined by its inherent visual qualities, and capitalizing on that for content creation across different platforms is the strongest way to create and maintain a strong brand identity.
Customers now seek and expect highly curated and customized content from their destination organizers. This means creating campaigns that will help connect your brand to your needed demographics—and it is all built on great content.
2) Customers desire authenticity and personalization
In a world where information is ever accessible, customers have become far more discerning in the experiences they seek. A successful marketing strategy will include key traits such as an authentic experience and a high degree of personalization. Customers loathe paying for experiences where these two traits are missing, so it is essential to highlight this in any marketing strategy.
It is becoming far more obvious that customers want a different sort of experience when they travel—the chance to experience the life of a local, and truly feel like they have connected with a country rather than feeling like a wandering tourist. Simultaneously, travelers also demand more information, control, interaction and personalization when it comes to their travel experiences. This demands a strategy that clearly focuses on the true experience of the trip, rather than shallow and informational.
3) Data and analytics make you stronger
Though marketing may have become a tad more competitive these days, it does not mean it is a fruitless endeavor. Today's digital marketers have far more access to data than ever before, so why not utilize it? Build a campaign based on your demographics and their analytics. It is a tailored approach that is far more likely to gain attention than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Customers have lightning fast technology at their fingertips, which enables them to make decisions in real time and faster than ever. The only way to capture their attention now is to create a marketing campaign that speaks to them directly. Use your data to truly understand who your customers are and what their needs are from a travel experience. That will help build a campaign that speaks to them without losing its authenticity.
These are the three broad trends derived from the report, and although there is a deeper nuance to be found within each, these three approaches will go extremely far in creating a digital marketing strategy to capture true attention and engagement. A successful destination marketing strategy will have a laser focus on personalization and authenticity based on analytics and hard data. Though it may take a bit more patience to understand who your target audience is, the end result is definitely worth it.