With the online travel landscape only becoming more and more competitive, and an array of new marketing tactics appearing almost every week, how do you decide where to focus your efforts to get noticed by your guests in 2014?
Here are 3 of the biggest trends we expect to impact the travel industry in the coming 10 months.
1. Soar in mobile bookings
The growth of Smartphone and tablet use for making bookings cannot be denied, and with further growth expected in the coming couple of years, you need to consider an appropriate marketing strategy for these devices right now, or risk losing out on all that valuable traffic.
Not only are your guests using their handheld devices to book their holidays, they’re reaching for them to research, compare properties, watch videos and consult with their social communities for advice and recommendations. Taking all this mobile activity into consideration, you should focus on producing mobile-friendly content across all channels to create a smooth and obstacle-free booking path for all your guests planning their breaks on the go.
2. The rise of Google+ Travel Communities
Google+ is home to a rapidly expanding community of travel enthusiasts that love to swap ideas, share advice and pour over beautiful screen-filling images with likeminded people from around the world. Although it’s still early days, these burgeoning communities look certain to become a valuable place to reach, engage and share images and advice with a substantial target audience in 2014.
Not only do these groups give you the chance to showcase your authority and expertise on your city or local area, they also offer some real benefits in terms of SEO. Posts that get shared within a community are indexed by Google and displayed in the search results pages – and of course, the more actively you get involved, the better your chances of driving shares and climbing the rankings.
3. The Ongoing Power of Visual Content
Visual content has become a buzz phrase in marketing in recent months, and in the travel industry in particular, high quality, compelling images are essential to online success.
Research from Eye for Travel has shown that in 2013, as much as 81% of online travel consumers viewed videos before making a booking, while member bases at image-orientated platforms like Pinterest and Instagram continue to soar. Moving forward, the most successful travel brands will be those that manage to become ‘visual storytellers’ by sharing images that provoke an emotional reaction in their audience and have them itching to make a booking.
Which of these trends would you single out as the most important? Is there one in particular you plan to pay attention to? Let us know in the comments below.