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travel and tourism marketing

4 Strategies for Harnessing Travel and Tourism Marketing in 2021

As the effects of the pandemic appear to be slowing, more domestic destinations are reopening and travel restrictions are continuing to lift. People are excited to go see the family and friends they’ve missed and are feeling more comfortable with travelling to those long awaited reunions. For others, now is the time to  begin planning to make up for the missed and cancelled vacations of 2020. As a result, travel and tourism marketing is ramping up.

Travel is Back En Route

At StackAdapt, we are beginning to see a dramatic recovery in spending in the travel vertical. For example, the Hotel Booking Segment has grown 269.4% YoY (since 2020), and the Airport Segment has grown 40% since March 2021. The growth of these segments signals the increasing consumer desire to travel. This desire paired with growing confidence in the safety of travel means travel marketers now have a unique opportunity to reach an audience that is eager to purchase. 

Here are 4 travel and tourism marketing strategies that will help map out your next travel campaign. 

Build Consumer Confidence Through Messaging

Safety is still top of mind for consumers. For many of them, assurance about pandemic-related concerns is what will shift consumers from consideration to purchase. Messaging is your best tool for building this consumer confidence. 

For example, some hotels are now offering a flexible rebooking policy. By highlighting this policy in their digital campaigns, hotels can capture the interest of hesitant travellers. The knowledge that a hotel offers flexibility builds consumer trust, and may be the deciding factor for that consumer who is on the fence about whether to travel yet.

Creating messaging that responds to pandemic-related concerns will help build the confidence of your ideal customers. And, with both new and returning customers, brands can further solidify (or earn!) consumer trust by providing the safe and memorable “return to travel” experience that consumers are looking for.

Use Video to Entice Consumers to Book

Travel is an emotional experience for consumers. Therefore, leveraging a channel that speaks to that emotion is a great way to capture the interest of your target audience. Video is particularly effective for travel because it’s an engaging and immersive medium that uses visual cues to create emotion in viewers. 

Travel brands can use video to engage viewers with storytelling and showcase the experiences that they are offering. By engaging a viewer’s emotion, your video may entice them to book a weekend getaway at your hotel, or travel to your resort for the gorgeous beaches. When you run your video campaign on connected TV (CTV), you can capture and hold user attention particularly well because CTV provides a natural, full-screen experience. 

Ads shown on CTV are highly viewable, and are served in an environment in which the audience is already engaged. When watching a connected TV device, viewers understand and accept that ads are part of the viewing experience. Knowing this, they are more receptive to them. These benefits combined with CTV’s enhanced targeting options and inventory selection are just part of why we’re seeing CTV overtake linear ad spend. For travel marketers, CTV is the perfect channel for delivering video ads that will entice consumers to book travel. 

Appeal to the Right Audience Through Creative

Video is a fantastic channel for emotionally engaging consumers, but all formats of ad creative have a similar effect. Your campaign’s messaging, regardless of the medium, plays an important role in capturing the interest of your target audience. Build creatives that resonate with your target audience, so you can attract the audience that is most likely to engage with your campaign. 

When running a travel campaign, use your ads to grab the interest of your audience by showing content that is relevant to them. For example, target users in cold geographic regions with images that show warm and sunny destinations. Hook your target demographic in the first few seconds by using language  that speaks to them, intrigues them, or spurs an emotional response.

Leverage Contextual Advertising to Reach the Right Audience

Contextual targeting can enable you to reach audiences who are genuinely ready to travel again. This targeting tactic uses algorithms to place ads based on keywords, website content, and other metadata. This way, users are targeted based on the environment in which an ad appears, which places focus on the consumer’s current frame of mind to show an ad that is hyper relevant.

In this moment of resurgence, capturing an audience that is currently receptive to travel is the key to success. For example, by using contextual advertising to target content like, “best destinations in 2021,” you can reach travelers who are actually eager to travel, or receptive to the idea of travelling in the near future. 

To reach the people who are considering travel, make sure to first engage with those who are most interested—they will be more likely to book a trip. Once the travel resurgence has picked up more steam, you can then try to spark interest in those who may not have initially shown interest, by leveraging contextual targeting to re-engage them. 

Travel and Tourism Marketing to Reach Beach Goers

StackAdapt’s beach goers segment has increased by 101.9% since 2020. To target this growing segment, travel marketers can use a combination of the strategies we covered above. Here’s an example of how a resort can best reach their target audience: beach goers. 

  • Leverage a video campaign to engage viewers with storytelling and showcase the experiences that the resort offers. Imagery of the resort will engage a viewer’s emotion, and entice them to book a vacation so that they can experience what they’ve seen in the video. 
  • Incorporate into the campaign messaging that addresses currently common travel concerns. Build the trust of beach goers who may be hesitant because of the pandemic and changing travel restrictions by emphasizing a flexible rebooking policy, or by sharing information about the resort’s pandemic safety practices. 
  • Incorporate creative that targets users with video of a sunny, hot, beach, while targeting users in warmer climates with creatives of breezy ocean. By tailoring the creative based on geographic location, the campaign will appeal to the desires of consumers according to their customer profile. 
  • Use contextual targeting to capture an audience that is currently receptive to a beach vacation. To reach beach goers, target content like, “best beach vacations 2021.” That way, the campaign reaches consumers who are actually eager to go on vacation, or are receptive to the idea of a beach vacation in the near future. 

Travel and Tourism Marketing is Going Places

The travel revival has started, and it isn’t expected to slow down. With these three digital marketing tactics, brands can reach consumers who are ready to travel again, build consumer confidence, and immerse viewers in an engaging story. By taking advantage of pent up demand now, travel marketers can continue to scale alongside the growing resurgence of travel in the coming years. 

To view our infographic, 5 Tactics for Mapping Out Your Next Campaign, reach out to your StackAdapt Representative.

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