Written by: Galina Kulakova
We are in the information age. There is no doubt. With the growing importance of technology, marketing techniques are evolving at a fast pace. In each sector, the best practices have its own characteristics, and in order to understand it, you need to look at industries separately. Marketing in Tourism has become a vital subject for all enterprises in the travel business, and today we introduce you to the term of Tourism Marketing.
Traveling is one of the most loved activities, and traveling trends are changing very rapidly. It is clear that today, we travel in a very different way than years ago. Back then it was a luxury just for a few. Nowadays, there are leisure trips for practically every pocket. The behavior of travelers is also changed, and destination marketers should understand and follow these changes in consumption habits in order to adapt their marketing strategies to the latest trends.
Just as the travel industry and behavior of travelers have changed, so has the way we market tourism products and services. And this is where tourism marketing comes into play. In a nutshell, Tourism Marketing is a marketing strategy that uses specific marketing plan and techniques to promote touristic products and services such as destinations, hotels and transport services, etc.
When we talk of Tourism marketing, it makes sense to focus on digital marketing, as with tourism industry, more than any other sector, online communication becomes more important due to the specifics of the consumption process: customers are planning their trips being a great distance away from the service provider.
Tourism marketing does include plenty of techniques that are similar to traditional digital marketing, but it has its specifics. One of the biggest differences is the buyer's journey, or, in case of Tourism Marketing, the traveler's journey.
Travelers use the Internet as the main tool before, during and after travel. These are the stages that a traveler goes through during the purchase process. Dreaming, planning and booking belong to the "before" of the trip, experiencing to the "during" and sharing mostly belong to the "after" the trip. By understanding consumer behavior, you will then be able to create quality content for each stage of the traveler's journey and attract your future clients.
The latest figures point out that two out of three users purchase travel products and services exclusively online . There is a widespread belief that through the purchase on the Internet you get the best prices for plane and hotel. But that is not all. The user also looks for information about destination, gastronomy, sightseeing’s, must-see... Blogs and social media are often a great ally when it comes to preparing a trip.
We cannot forget that the number of Internet connections through mobile increases every day. The foresight indicates that this year 75 percent of the people who will connect to the Internet will do so through a Smartphone. It means that the user will consume and generate information during his trip, anywhere and at any time.
While a person enjoys his trip, he consumes content from websites with destination information such as museum schedule’s, visit prices, markets, geolocation, transports ... And, at the same time, he generates content. Users take photos, videos and podcasts and upload them to the network to share them on social networks. They comment and share their experiences with the world on the spot.
Once the trip is over, the tourist 2.0 commits the three most important actions for you as a hotelier. Why, you may ask? Because it is time to share the experience, the feelings, impressions, moods although some have already done it in the previous stage... It is also time to value and to recommend the destination, the services, and of course, the hotel in social networks, blogs, forums... Without a doubt, it is a key stage because the traveler becomes a promoter.
Relying mostly on digital marketing techniques, tourism marketing has specific strategies, mediums and channels that work best in travel sector. Here you will find a quick detour into the specific marketing practices.
Where do users look for inspiration when they are thinking of a holiday? Where do they ask for recommendations and look for reviews before making the choice of a hotel, a restaurant, or a tour? Where do they share their experiences? Social Media is the answer.
In our social era, having a social media strategy is a must for travel brands, and customers expect to find content that represents products and services. The more presence on Social Media your brand has the better, so take advantage of user generated content and develop your own strategy.
Email marketing continues being a valid tool for marketing practitioners in tourism sector. It can be used for different purposes, such as lead nurturing and loyalty programs. Email marketing helps brands to stay in a continuous contact with their prospects and clients and to help the relationship evolve.
CRM tools are in high demand when it comes to tourism marketing. Marketing specialists of the industry value a tool that allows not only to keep the data base of the clients neat and organized, but also create campaigns based on segmentation of the contacts and to stay tuned about the progress of each contact. Automatization that many CRM tools offer, allows increasing the efficiency of the marketing efforts while decreasing the time and resources spent.
Attract with your content. Generate compelling information, spread it online and get everyone to come to you, to find you easily. Inbound marketing is a non-intrusive way of marketing that adds value to the customer. These are marketing campaigns people actually fall in love with.
There are innumerable actions of Inbound marketing you can take to attract clients towards your brand. However, they all converge on the same thing: creating content and sharing it. Content must be interesting and your design has to be attractive. Then you won't need to chase your target audience, instead those consumers will want to know about you. This methodology has always in mind the potential customer. And do you know what is your main secret? Promote your product in a personalized way.
HubSpot is the most effective tool for your Inbound Marketing strategies, and HubSpot has contributed greatly to the tourism industry. It is an all-in-one software that has email, SEO, social media, landing pages, blogging or sites, publications and monitoring of social networks, CRM... It allows you to work all phases of Inbound Marketing and Smarketing in an integrated way, easy and comfortable. And, in addition, you will be able to know metrics and analysis of results in real time.
It is clear that the world goes around technology and that you must adapt your travel brand to it. If your customers evolve, you must too.