The internet, especially Google is now shaping the way we search and book our holidays. The internet has radically changed the way we look at our holidays, the way we plan our getaways and basically everything to do with the entire booking process. I can make a bet that not many people remember the days when you had to make the journey to you local travel agent to book a hotel and airfare. Well, those days are long gone and everything in terms of travel is done online. Hotel and flight reservations right through to car hire, villa rentals, even research on which hotel to stay at is all done online.
Websites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Hotels.com and other smaller niche branded websites like Bali Villa Escapes are now the ‘go to’ websites for anything to do with planning and booking your holiday.
This huge online trend in travel is constantly evolving at a frightening pace and is forcing digital marketing and SEO agencies to look at ways to make these businesses more competitive online and get their share of the Australian travel dollar. The internet has made the travel industry accessible so that now all businesses can get their slice of the travel pie. You see it all the time with internet start ups setting up blogs, travel advice sites and their own small niche businesses to take on the big boys. As long as you get the right digital mix in terms of web design, SEO, social media and marketing you too can be a player.
Let’s face it, tourism is massive and in Australia it’s a $120 billion dollar industry and will continue to grow as the ease of booking and paying for travel becomes easier and more accessible to everyone. You can see the stats on the Australian Tourism Government website.
Airfares can now be booked within a few clicks of a button. This is huge and airlines are cashing in on this bonanza by offering more and cheaper flights and if you haven’t noticed it, planes are becoming fuller. Gone are the days where you can get a free seat next to you. Planes are fuller and more crowded than ever and this is all due to the internet.
People are travelling still for the same reasons but the way the journey starts has evolved considerably. The first thing someone does before they even think about booking a hotel, resort or villa is to go online do their homework and research as much as they can about the place. What are people saying about it, what are the reviews like and then and only then once they have exhausted all avenues of research do they hit the buy button.
With the advent of mobile, hand held technologies people are doing this type of research in increasing numbers. From comparing airfares and hotel deals, to seeing what people are saying about a travel destination, there is so much information available at your finger tips, where ever you are and where ever you go.
Marketers now more than ever have to be so aware of consumer buying behaviour and need to have their clients interests front and centre at all times of potential travellers. Let’s now look at some of the ways at which the travel industry has evolved and what savvy digital agencies are using to promote brands and businesses within the travel industry.
# 1 – You Tube is an amazing platform for promoting basically anything to do with travel. Videos posted to YouTube are a great way to tell the consumer about a hotel, restaurant or airline and it has a huge cut through rate. People use YouTube for all their travel research and the power of video on platforms like this are becoming the ‘go to’ marketing destination for many businesses. Think about it, if you have a beautiful hotel right by the ocean, the obvious marketing move would be to take a professional video of this and put it on YouTube. You can even add drone footage for a more dramatic effect.
# 2. Social Media is now king when it comes to travel
All you have to do is think about 2 social media giants like Facebook and Instagram and you basically have the entire travel industry covered. Instagram especially has taken off like a rocket over the past coup0le of years with a majority of the content all related to travel. Look at any picture and its most likely about someone taking a ‘selfie’ overseas in some exotic destination. This has given rise to 2 areas within these platforms that savvy agencies are delving into; managing social media campaigns for travel businesses and secondly the rise of influence marketing which is massive. Brands are now engaging with well known celebrities or individuals with a huge following to help push their product. Big monies are now being spent just for 1 Instagram recommendation. The logic behind this is if they are supposedly fans of your hotel, airline, villa whatever your selling in the travel game, then it must be good. Social media endorsements for travel brands are on the rise and certainly influence where people travel and where they now stay.
# 3. SEO is also still very important
People are using their Smart phones to do their research and make their travel decisions on the go. Hand held’s have led to the rise in instant and random travel bookings that would have never existed years ago when making such a booking was a lot of work and somewhat of a hassle. This means that your website must be found on Google when people are doing their search and for this to happen you do need SEO. Without it, you are basically dead in the water. If your travel business is not on Google and I mean right up there in the top positions, your not going to get all those juicy travel leads. Google is really toughening up their ranking criteria which makes it even harder for newbie’s to rank and be competitive in the travel space. This is why they need a top SEO agency to working for them.
This is really the tip of the iceberg and as the internet evolves so will new marketing strategies and platforms. Who knows where it will end up and what will be the next big thing in travel marketing but from our perspective if you stick to the main digital marketing techniques you will be in the best position to capture your share of the market.
If your in the travel game and want to learn more about getting more business from the internet please call us on 02 9360 8514. I can show you some really great case studies of how we have taken business start ups to hugely successful companies in less than 2 years.