Happy new year to you!
Here are 5 Tourism Marketing Trends for 2019!
Trend 1: The rise of Instagram for tourism.
Instagram has grown at a much faster pace than Facebook has in the past. It’s a great visual platform for tourism businesses and by learning how to use Instagram ‘properly’, including the use of hashtags, you can reach and keep in touch with customers in an effective way.
Trend 2: The growth of Google Reviews (and Google bookings).
You will have noticed the increase in Google Reviews and Google Local Guides. The advantage of this is that everyone uses Google and it’s a good to have an alternative way to review to Tripadvisor. Google has offers online booking - you can book directly from the operator's Google Listing through one of the existing Online Travel Agencies (OTA's). Google clips the ticket.
Oh, and did you know that Tripadvisor is going ‘social’ too? Late last year, they launched their own social media platform. I won’t go into too much detail here, but to be honest, I’m not sure what to think of it and whether it will take off.
Trend 3: The increased importance of content marketing.
Content marketing has been growing in the last few years, but now businesses are becoming more strategic about it. Content marketing involves developing quality and unique content that will benefit your customers. Think about imagery, blogs, videos (virtual reality/360 degree videos) etc.
By developing a content strategy (rather than posting random ad-hoc content) for your website, social media, blog etc, you will have quality material that will encourage your customers to book you, share your content and follow you. User-generated content (USG) is when your customers’ photos for example are shared on social media. UGC is hugely powerful and should be a part of your content strategy.
Trend 4: Mobile marketing & the growth of voice search. With between 75% and 80% of visitors using their smartphone while on holiday, the growth of voice search has grown too. Paying more attention to the mobile user experience and speed is important – how does your mobile site perform and is it optimised for voice search.
We’ll also see the growth of payment methods such as Alipay, Wechat pay and Whatsapp pay.
Trend 5: Direct marketing. More and more hotel chains world-wide are using direct marketing to reach customers as their share of bookings (and thus paying more commission) to Online Travel Agencies (such as booking.com and expedia) has grown so much. Many hotels are focusing on direct marketing to their customers and I believe it’s hugely important that smaller accommodation and activity operators do this too. Don’t forget that you don’t control what’s happening on social media. What you do control are your own customer databases.
Do you need help with your business and marketing strategy? Do you want to learn and keep up to date? Then check out the new Tourism Business Success Programme and the new Agritourism Success Programme. Go to www.smartraining.co.nz for more info!
Marijke Dunselman. Click here to read more about us!