Tourism and the New Focus on Digital Marketing

Amid recent international concerns and obstacles, the tourism industry has seen little activity in recent months. However, that doesn’t mean the industry is staying stagnant. If anything, individuals are dreaming of and yearning for touristic experiences and escapes now more than ever before. While there is still hesitation to travel, the tourism industry is still engaging with consumers and eliciting visceral emotions. The kind of emotions that prompt you to book a flight or jump in your car and go explore. Although travel restrictions are still present throughout many parts of the world right now, the tourism industry is able to capitalize on these emotions. It does this through continued efforts to build up consumer desires through digital marketing tactics.    

Given the current state of the world, digital marketing is an important part of companies across all industries and sectors. However, the tourism industry has been incorporating digital marketing steadily over recent years. As a result, industry leaders have devised a system and set of strategies to best use it to their advantage. Even amidst a pandemic which left many confined to their homes, the tourism industry is selling the wonderment of travel. Consistent online marketing efforts are making them look forward to when they can book their next trip. Biz Online Marketing gives a complete overview of digital marketing within the tourism industry and the distinct advantages it poses.                                                                                                                     

Digital marketing takes unfamiliar people to unfamiliar places

Much of digital marketing relies on visual cues and engagement. Thus, the tourism industry has benefited greatly from the heightened inclusion of the tactic in marketing strategies.

One of the main benefits of digital marketing is the incorporation of imagery and creating connections. Through digital marketing tactics like social media, content creation, and guest posting, the tourism industry can market itself to individuals all over the world. A key component of tourism marketing, especially within the digital space, is the use of imagery. Powerful, colorful, and awe-inspiring promotional videos and images have the potential to evoke those visceral feelings towards adventure and exploration. Upon which, the tourism industry thrives, grows, and reinvests in itself. 

Social media is a very common medium for the tourism industry to use in their digital marketing efforts. Here, imagery and videos are encouraged, as well as interaction and engagement with the posts. Companies can better learn what images individuals want to see, where they want to go, and what they want to learn. Moreover, social media helps enlighten individuals to places they have never seen or heard of before. Combining this benefit with hashtags, locations, and mentions increases exposure and engagement exponentially. Undoubtedly, social media is a key component of digital marketing for tourism. 

The increasing scope of digital marketing

Digital marketing within the tourism industry creates a momentary escape for the viewer, transporting them to the place, time, and dream of whatever they are viewing.

Another added benefit of digital marketing is the increasing scope and reach of the tools and tactics. As mentioned previously, there is a wide array of digital marketing tools and tactics that can be used. Each tactic has its own unique features, benefits, and engagement techniques. In this sense, digital marketing poses great advantages for the tourism industry because content can be reused and repurposed across different mediums. Thereby exponentially increasing the reach of the content and diversifying the type of content audiences engage with. This makes the industry, and the respective company, well-known and dynamic. 

Moreover, with diverse, dynamic content, the likelihood of sharing across platforms increases as well. Digital marketing poses this powerful advantage because content becomes malleable to the platform upon which it appears. As a result, content can travel and appear across different platforms and sites. Ultimately, the tourism industry is using multiple social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even travel blogs to engage and entice audiences. Subsequent tagging of other content, travel experts, and/or relevant places/products increases reach and exposure as well. 

Escaping reality momentarily

Digital marketing is so powerful because, oftentimes, it takes the viewer and/or audience to another world. Whether this be through imagery, videos, moving written pieces, or even podcasts/audio clips, digital marketing defies the laws of physicality. It invites the audience to momentarily experience and live in another place, time, or reality. This is especially true within the tourism industry. 

As mentioned previously, tourism marketing through digital means increases scope and connects unfamiliar audiences with unfamiliar places. This is not only good for exposure and enticing the consumer, but it also elicits an emotional response. Market researchers have proven that campaigns which evoke strong emotional reactions yield more successful results and higher KPI indexes. For tourism, the ability to create a momentary escape from reality online is increasingly important. Until tourism and travel can resume again as normal, this will be one of the only ways in which the industry connects with the consumer. 

Appealing to the buyer’s journey at all stages

One common obstacle for many companies is that their marketing efforts aren’t tailored to the various stages of their buyer’s journey. However, digital marketing within the tourism industry has successfully tackled this seemingly prevalent problem. The solution to this problem was born out of a previously identified hurdle, specifically within the tourism industry. Unlike many consumer markets, tourism is not a ‘buy on a whim’ industry for the most part. The buyer’s journey is much longer than that of a pair of sneakers for example. One common problem with traditional marketing was creating meaningful engagement, interest, and interaction with the individual that isn’t already standing with their checkbook in hand. To combat this problem, companies in the tourism industry started tailoring different aspects of their digital marketing campaigns to different consumers in various stages of the buyer’s journey. 

Social media posts with inspiring imagery typically appeal to the visual sensory of the audience. This then encourages them to start daydreaming about traveling somewhere. Blog posts can be tailored to those looking for tips and tricks when traveling to specific locations, during certain seasons, or embarking on a trip that is out of the ordinary. Podcasts, promotional videos, and interviews with industry experts are then targeting individuals that are seeking a taste of the experience/deeper insight into the trip and travel experience. Moreover, through these mediums, you can make product and service recommendations. Typically, these recommendations are taken to heart by the viewer and/or listener because the individual is speaking and/or acting candidly. Overall, digital marketing within the tourism industry has been used tactically at different stages of the buyer’s journey to effectively connect and communicate with the audience.

Increased exposure and credibility

High-quality websites like Forbes and Entrepreneur offer a variety of benefits for the author, the company, and the tourism industry as a whole.

Finally, digital marketing positions the tourism industry favorably in terms of credibility and exposure. Previously, we analyzed how the exponential reach and scope of the practice greatly increases exposure. Dynamic and diverse tactics go viral across platforms quickly. However, there is another means by which the tourism industry can achieve great levels of credibility and exposure. Favored more so by formal readers and audiences, guest posting and writing for formal websites is a surefire way to gain credibility. Specifically, writing for high-quality websites like Forbes and Entrepreneur offers sizable advantages. 

Not only do these sites reach high volumes of readers, but they are also highly credible across many industries. Here, your content will see high levels of engagement, readership, shares, and commentary. The higher your engagement rate, the better your search engine optimization (SEO) will be. Search engines recognize the prestige and clout these websites carry. Thus, a publication or blog post on them will subsequently improve your overall online personal brand and SEO of other content. 

Moreover, within these articles, you should be including backlinks to other original content, your website, and any pertinent awards or organizations to which you belong. Finally, these sites help position you as a thought leader within the industry. Amidst the tourism industry, the status of thought leader can greatly influence where people travel, which related products they purchase, and what activities they choose to pursue. Even a simple ‘how to’ on planning a ‘staycation’ in a global pandemic could position you as creative, innovative, and thoughtful.

Wrapping up

Digital marketing offers businesses in all types of industries and sectors ample opportunity to reach their target audience. Notably, we are seeing major strides forward in the tourism industry with the help of digital marketing efforts. Although tourism and widespread travel is rather stagnant as of now, digital marketing is maintaining wide market interest and engagement. Through omni channel interaction, content creation, and consumer engagement, the tourism industry is ensuring and building the size of its future market. 

The scope of digital marketing is seemingly limitless. Even in a seemingly dormant industry, it awakens and brings to life the passions, emotions, and desires of the consumers. When executed correctly, digital marketing bridges the gap between fantasy and what could become the consumer’s reality. The tourism industry has learned this first hand. For deeper insight into digital marketing and its best practices, follow Biz Online Marketing on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

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