Travel Marketing

Travel Marketing – 9 Essential Elements for Your Next Campaign

By: Frank DePino | November 25, 2022

Travel marketing can promote travel services to a new market, strengthen one’s brand, and increase both the rate of conversions and sales. What kinds of digital marketing strategies are best utilized in the travel industry?

Travel brands should not go without these marketing strategies:

  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Travel and destination storytelling
  • Email marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • VR experiences
  • Review marketing
  • UGC
  • AI

In today’s guide, we’ll start by defining travel marketing and then delve deeper into these effective digital marketing strategies. If you’re looking to hire a marketing agency for your tourism marketing aspirations, we’ll provide some info there as well!

What Is Travel Marketing? What Is the Role of Marketing in Travel and Tourism?

Let’s get underway with a definition.

Travel marketing entails a company or agency’s marketing strategies to achieve one or more goals related to marketing.

We touched on some of those goals in the paragraphs above, but let’s provide a recap here.

Travel marketing allows an agency to grow its leads, attract more website and social media attention, create or strengthen a brand, convert more customers, increase sales, and boost customer retention.

All brands within the travel industry rely on marketing, from travel agencies to resorts and hotels.

The role of marketing in travel and tourism

The Role of Marketing in Travel and Tourism

You might wonder, why the need for marketing in travel and tourism at all, right? People will always have the urge to go on vacation, after all, and thus, resorts and hotels kind of advertise themselves.

Ah, but if only it were that simple.

When someone decides to travel, be it for business or pleasure, what makes them choose one particular hotel or resort?

After all, UK travel resource Condor Ferries notes that, around the world, there exist more than 700,000 resorts and hotels per 2021 numbers.

The tourism industry is valued at over $570 billion, Condor Ferries says, and is only poised for more growth as the 2020s continue.

The competition is thus steeper than ever, which brings us back to the question.

What inspires someone to choose your hotel or resort over the hundreds of thousands of others out there?

The answer is travel marketing.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Travel Companies and Brands

What kinds of marketing strategies are the most effective for travel brands and travel agencies to utilize? Per the intro, let’s go over the various travel marketing strategies now.

1. Content Marketing

At the top of the list is content marketing, which is one of the most valuable tools in a marketer’s arsenal.

Content marketing runs the gamut from blog posts to whitepapers, eBooks, checklists, webinars, and infographics.

Selecting the most appropriate type of content depends on your industry or niche as well as your audience.

For travel companies and brands, you have so many unique and exciting means of using content marketing.

For example, you can start a travel podcast where you explore trends in travel and tourism, invite guests for interviews, and keep listeners abreast of industry news.

You could start your own blog series where you spotlight popular travel destinations near your resort or hotel. You can also produce destination guides or travel tip checklists.

The goal of content marketing is to produce something of value to your audience. With travel marketing, this is exceedingly easy to do because all the info you publish is something your audience wants.

They want to learn about where to go when on business travel or when on a vacation with their family. They want to know which resorts or hotels are available. They’re looking for hidden gems with fewer crowds.

If you can provide that, you set your agency apart. 

Videos in a marketing strategy for travel

2. Video Marketing

Although technically, video marketing does fall under the content marketing umbrella, we want to spotlight it separately because it’s so integral to a successful marketing campaign.

A 2022 report from video resource Wyzowl shows that video usage in digital marketing is only increasing.

In 2016, only 61 percent of marketers used video. By 2018, it was 81 percent, then 87 percent in 2019, and 88 percent in 2021.

Before video marketing usage hits 100 percent among marketers, give your travel brand the edge by engaging in digital marketing now.

Much of the same type of content that we discussed in the section prior is fair game for travel video marketing.

You can answer travelers’ most burning questions about travel destinations, share travel tips and tricks, and recommend travel routes.

Travel and destination storytelling

3. Travel and Destination Storytelling

Storytelling is a perfect vehicle for travel marketing.

You can paint with your words the perfect description of a travel destination that makes a person finally decide to book a stay.

You can detail the rich history or stunning, centuries-old architecture of your resort or write crisp copy about your amenities.

More so than just listing off descriptive features, you’re interweaving all these details into a story that’s a joy for a lead or customer to read.

You’re also fostering a deeper connection with your audience and building their trust in you and your services.

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4. Email Marketing

In the travel industry, you’re lucky to have a higher-than-average email open rate.

Marketing resource OptinMonster, in 2021, reports that the open rate for travel emails is a healthy 20.69 percent.

How do you inspire such a high email open rate with your own travel marketing? Here are some best practices:

  • Automate your email campaigns. You can’t possibly be available to send the requisite emails to all leads and customers at just the right time at every stage of the funnel. Automation can.
  • A/B test your email subject lines and email copy. If your emails are boring are too long-winded, first, they’ll end up in the trash. Then you’ll begin losing email subscribers.
  • Personalize your emails whenever you can. According to marketing resource Startup Bonsai, 80 percent of people are more willing to buy when they feel that a company has provided them with a tailored experience.
  • Send valuable, varied content such as newsletters, discounts, deals, and announcements.

5. Influencer Marketing

You have a sizable audience for your hotel or resort, but influencers have an even bigger audience still. If you can connect with an influencer as part of your travel marketing campaign, then your next campaign could be your biggest and most successful yet.

Influencer marketing for travel

6. Virtual Reality Experiences

Buying a travel experience isn’t like buying a pair of clothes.

You can try on a pair of clothes to decide you like them and then make your purchase. With a travel experience, you don’t know whether you’ll truly enjoy it until you get there.

Well, that used to be the case. Now, virtual reality is paving the way for customers to “preview” what life at their vacation destination will be like.

You could create immersive VR experiences highlighting your hotel or resort, the surrounding area, and the most popular travel spots around.

Sure, VR can’t simulate the warmth of the air, the smell of the sea breeze, or the way the crystal clear waves feel lapping around your ankles.

That said, it can provide enough of an immersive experience that a customer can decide whether to book.

Offering VR experiences is the leg up your travel business needs.

7. Review Marketing

Review marketing should also certainly fall under your travel marketing umbrella.

After all, reviews are as much a guiding light for a person’s decision-making as any VR experience or piece of content would be, perhaps even more so.

In this post, we go over review marketing from every angle, including the psychology of what inspires a person to leave a review, how to garner more reviews, and how to handle the inevitable bad reviews that will crop up.

Be sure to give it a read!

Travel marketing: the importance of user-generated content

8. User-Generated Content

Speaking of reviews, going hand-in-hand with that is user-generated content or UGC.

When people travel to your hotel or resort, naturally, they’ll take lots of photos and post lots of videos. They’ll also likely post rampantly on social media until their vacation is over.

Harnessing UGC for your travel marketing campaign is powerful stuff.

You can tout the benefits of your resort or travel agency until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, people trust reviews.

UGC is sort of like the ultimate review. Someone is taking the time out of their day to share their experience, which you’re then amplifying by sharing it across your website or social media.

That can be highly important in helping on-the-fence leads make a purchasing decision.

9. AI

We also recommend implementing AI into your tourism marketing.

AI collects user data and helps your travel agency gauge your audience preferences.

Marketing for Specific Travel Industry Niches

No matter your niche, travel marketing is still a viable way of reaching a broader audience, building a brand you’re proud of, and growing your agency.

Here are some specific travel industry niches that tourism marketing best serves.

Luxury Travel

The first is luxury travel, a curated form of travel marketing that focuses on the finest things in life, be that premier airlines, upscale hotels, and all-inclusive luxury resorts dripping in posh features.

It’s about more than a vacation, but an experience, and it’s one that a luxury travel agency carefully curates from beginning to end.

Business Travel

Business travel is on the rise again following the COVID-19 pandemic and could possibly experience an even greater resurgence than pre-pandemic numbers.

This area of marketing is all about efficiency, convenience, and comfort. You still want to create a memorable travel experience for business travelers while providing them with the amenities they need to get their work done.

Adventure travel requires a specific approach to travel marketing

Adventure Travel

Another travel area in which tourism marketing applies is adventure travel.

Adventure travel is all about visiting exotic and remote locations. This sector of potential customers gives those resorts that are in out-of-the-way locations the chance to shine.

Travel Marketing Examples and Videos

Are you feeling inspired to launch your own tourism marketing campaign? The examples we collected for you in this section will further drive you to get started.

Inspired by Iceland

It’s not solely the pandemic that’s hit travel agencies hard, but other factors outside of their control as well.

For example, a volcano in Iceland called Eyjafjallajökull erupted one year and spooked people from visiting Iceland.

To bring the tourists back, Iceland Express, Icelandair (an airline), and the City of Reykjavik bounded together, and, with the help of other local tourism companies, launched the Inspired by Iceland campaign.

The campaign included a video called The Hardest Karaoke Song in the World. Take a look.

The video has racked up 15 million views as of this writing and is part of what proved to people that Iceland isn’t scary at all, but warm, welcoming, and inviting.

Metro Trains Melbourne – Dumb Ways to Die

Most people remember the Dumb Ways to Die video, which was created and promoted by Metro Trains Melbourne in Australia.

The public campaign has since gained a life of its own, being sold as a franchise for $2.25 million to PlaySide Studios.

Although it’s a touch morbid (okay, maybe more than a touch), the Dumb Ways to Die campaign has amassed more than 245 million views since being uploaded in 2012 and certainly made people think about how they can be safer when they travel.

Hiring a Travel Marketing Agency

If you’re interested in hiring a travel marketing agency to propel your goals and dreams, consider Mediaboom.

We’re a digital marketing agency that specializes in the luxury travel sector.

We can assist you in your content marketing, advertising, email marketing, SEO, content marketing, SEM, and digital marketing goals, including website design and mobile apps.

Conclusion

Travel marketing can put your travel agency or hotel on the map, separating yourself head and shoulders from the competition.

Now that you know which digital marketing strategies to focus on and how to hire a travel marketing agency, your travel business is on the cusp of success!

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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