Marketing Trends for Travel Destinations
Years ago, being exotic was enough to brand your destination, company or organization. These days, “exotic” has become a relative term.
Thanks to the internet, people have generally become less curious about seeing the generic aspects of a place like Paris or Aruba. Instead, they want to know about the “hot spots,” the places that have something new and exciting to offer – a place to cater to their unique sensibilities and sense of adventure.
Luckily for your tourism-driven organization, almost any place can offer something unique if you dig deeply enough. The trick is finding these aspects, centering on them and successfully projecting them out into the world to drive interest. Smart use of internet marketing can achieve these goals.
Here are several effective ways of doing this:
Responsive Website Design
Responsive websites generally refer to ones that can be viewed on any platform. The idea is to program your site to “respond” to different user settings when viewed via different technology. This can include a variety of monitor sizes or resolutions, mobile platforms or different operating systems.
This principle has become vitally important now that more people are browsing the internet on mobile devices and tablets than ever before. Chances are, people may not even try to view your website from a home computer any longer.
Mobile accessibility is key. According to research, as of January of 2014, 58% of American adults own a smartphone. In households with an income of $75,000 or greater, 81% own smartphones. Research suggests 55% of cell phone users use their phones to get online. With those kinds of numbers, it is imperative that you are able to reach those who would be interested in hearing about what you have to offer.
Being prepared for this shift in page viewing habits means having an attractive layout, custom-tailored to a mobile environment. Mobile users should be able to access your website with ease. On top of this, they should be able to harness the power of their mobile devices to interact with your website in unique ways.
An example would be using QR codes in printed ad materials that bring users to your website, or having a quick easy link to share Instagram photos relevant to your destination company’s branding.
Search Engine Optimization
Most people use internet searches to find what they are looking for rather than digging through directories. Even if they know your website by heart, prompting SIRI or Google searching can be a quicker method than typing in every letter of your web address.
To help your website get noticed when people make a search, you have to offer user engagement and relevant content. Having a regular blog that invites interaction can be the best way of achieving this.
The use of most searched for keywords is imperative to boosting your ranking on searches; blogs are a fantastic way to add those terms to your page for rankings.
You will want to make sure that your information on Google Places or Google+ is accurate and something you want people to see. If you do not write your own brand details, someone else is going to do it for you- that may not be in your best interest.
Target Niches Rather Than Masses
Marketers are beginning to realize that niche sells. A small group of die-hard fans are more likely to seek out your services than some regular Joe is to stumble upon them serendipitously. Identify something your brand can offer a select group and target that aspect voraciously.
For instance, does your organization offer something for a group such as craft beer enthusiasts more so than others in the area or region? Using hashtags such as #charlottebreweries or having craft beer discussions on a regular basis on Twitter can create a buzz with a select group of people.
Offering this type of social media haven for a special interest can create brand recognition in unusual ways. This strategy will also solidify a mental association with your destination and that interest.
Social media can be used in all sorts of similar ways to drive traffic and allow your destination organization to be a part of an ongoing, relevant conversation.