It was a packed room last week at the Digital Travel and Tourism Masterclass in Singapore, as marketers gathered to hear from IBM Marketing Cloud, Outbrain, Sojern, Andara and Brightcove on the latest marketing trends taking flight in the travel industry. One theme stood out: How can travel and tourism companies engage with travelers earlier on in their buying cycle and maintain contact continuously thereafter? Video was very much central to these conversations and we came away with the following conclusions.
Add Experiential Marketing to Your Customer’s Journey
Video is the most potent content marketing vehicle for the travel industry because travel is a personal, emotional experience. What better way to “go there” than through video? The travel industry often addresses the awareness stage, but video marketing provides maximum mileage if mapped out across the customer journey. Let’s consider some uses across these stages:
Airlines that get creative with their safety videos are making a statement. It’s a major win, as airlines are winning at the awareness, engagement and advocacy from customers. Take Virgin America’s safety video campaign which quickly became a viral video hit, generating 5.8 million views, 430,000 shares on Facebook and 17,000 tweets across just two weeks.
Talk about an engaging experience designed to make you pack your bags! Tourism Australia upped their destination marketing game with their recent 360 video marketing campaign. This engaged viewers quite literally through an immersive experience. Prospective travelers can experience what it’s like to explore gorgeous coastal and aquatic sites -- and all the emotions that come with it -- through 360 video.
These are just some examples of travel brands innovating with video marketing. Awareness is the first critical step, but video content across the rest of the stages of engagement, conversion, retention, and advocacy.
Send Thoughtful, High-Quality Email Campaigns
IBM Marketing Cloud championed the use of email marketing to drive awareness and engage and nurture customers as a long play game. A lot of travel brands still rely on email, but the tone is consistently “buy, buy, buy.” There is a fine line between email frequency and aggression that turns off your audiences, prompting unsubscribes. Brands need to adopt the policy of “less is more.” Think less frequency and more about creating engaging email content! Again, video may be the answer. Email becomes another vehicle for tourism videos to reach and engage with new audiences, giving your content longevity. Adding video to your emails is known to increase click-through rates by 55%. Embedding a video is a simple step that can yield amazing conversion rates and provide more detailed behavioral analytics, which you can continue to act on as your email marketing becomes more sophisticated.
Marketing to Millennials, Don’t Transact, Interact!
For travel brands, millennials are a key target customer segment, because travel is high on the priority list for millennials than any other age group. They want to spend their money on experiences, not things. Even more interesting? Millennials buy around brand relationships, wanting to bond with a brand, rather than just transact. To convert this group from consideration to purchase, emotive content that engages is key. To take the conversation further with this target audience, consider interactive video which creates more of a back-and-forth discussion and allows you to get to know more about your prospect.
Travel customers want to be informed, entertained and inspired. Marketers need to create content that builds an emotional connection to the brand in the minds of customers. To achieve this long-term, they need to create video which addresses different stages of the customer journey and promotes it through various channels like email, social, blog, and landing pages. To hear more about creating winning video marketing strategies, register for our Video Marketing Masterclass event in Singapore on 5 July 2016 or contact us to learn about how our customers from the travel industry are finding success with video.