Travel and Leisure is now turning into a big industry where many tourism agencies, corporations and groups in the market try to dominate others aggressively. Of course, there are many paths to achieve advantages over competition like utilizing better services, pricing strategies, attractive deals and offers, etc. One of the most powerful cards in the deck for outmaneuvering competition is smart, creative Digital Marketing. It’s something that can provide your company lots of benefits if done correctly.
However, the planning stage, which is also the most important, is often left behind, or not adequately executed. In this blog, I will point out why you need a Digital Marketing strategy to compete in the tourism industry.
Companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have clear strategic goals for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. If you don’t have goals, you more than likely will not allocate enough resources to the proper components of your business. If you don’t evaluate through analytics, because you see no need because of this lack of goal achievement, you will not be able to adapt to evolving trends, because you won’t see them.
Especially when references and behaviors of travelers change frequently day by day, planning short-term and long-term goals helps to keep your business on track. For example, 2 or 3 years ago everyone would book their tours and accommodations through some big booking site like booking.com, agoda.com. But nowadays, homestays have become a popular new trend for the peaceful atmosphere and affordable prices they provide to backpackers. Airbnb, Hopper, Skyscanner and others take full advantages of fast-growing technology and trends to gain huge market shares from their competitors – older, less savvy booking platforms.
Good, Smart Companies Strategize Online
We all know the power of the online world. If you receive nice reviews from customers and your services are actually great, you’ll get tons of bookings. However, going the extra miles is always encouraged to retain customers, or make new ones. Potential customers in the modern age will not easily do something for you unless you offer a reward. These are aspects that need to be planned correctly to avoid negative results and any unnecessary time consumption. Digital Marketing strategies put a lot of power in your hands, with less overhead, and more control.
Keep this in mind: “A clearly defined online customer value proposition will help you differentiate your brand and online service encouraging existing and new customers to engage initially and stay loyal.”
Things Are Not Always What They Seem
It’s often said that digital solutions are the “most measurable medium ever”. But Google Analytics and similar tools will only tell you about volumes, not sentiment. You need to use other forms of customer feedback to identify your weak points and then address them.
According to insights from unique visitors to websites, companies can adjust to use the right tactics to attract not just more traffic, but more sales. For example, you’re the owner of a hotel and your facebook fan page doesn’t work well, despite a huge number of page likes. Then you take a glance at facebook report and figure out that your frequent users are from the other side of the globe! While you published content at around 8-10 PM in your country, the main audiences are not able to dig deeper into your contents since it’s morning in their country and they have to go to work!
Don’t Waste Time and Money Repeating Other’s Mistakes
Even if you do have sufficient resources, they may be being wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organisation purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.
Small and medium enterprises are currently struggling against this situation. Since they are strictly involved in the tourism industry market, and are new to the online world, it’s quite difficult for them to streamline their budgets. We have met a lot of customers who have said that they paid a large amount of money for Facebook advertising and you know what? The tasks they required were simple: increasing page likes and delivering advertising posts. In this case, the agencies educated themselves, and planned customer development strategies of to earn profits.
Trust me, unless you have really detailed online plans, you may waste money on useless things.
You’re Not Optimising
Every company with a website will have report tools, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make, or have the time to review and act on them. Like I mentioned above, in the tourism industry, analytic results are essential for your brand’s health. It is always necessary to fix the missing parts, arrange future moves, and to focus on the right audience. You know what the highest peak in traveling season is, what trips are preferred by most travellers, so use that information! Every tourist loves being treated like a “king and queen”, so with the right analytical strategies, you will make huge impressions that could lead to long-term repeat customers, and recommendations from happy guests.
Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvements of the key aspects of your company, like search marketing, email and social media marketing.