There’s an increasing number of travel brands finding themselves at a crossroads with digital technology. Marketers understand the need to focus on customer experience, but consumer technology and behaviour is driving change.
A report published by eConsultancy in association with Adobe to explore digital trends in the travel and hospitality sector shows mobile sales are on the rise. Roughly one-third of travel-related purchases were conducted on mobile devices last year.
Furthermore, experts predict mobile sales will grow around 15% year on year as artificial intelligence (AI) makes it easier for consumers to execute transactions on smaller screens.
The demand and expectancy for personalised marketing, which directly ties in with customer experience, also presents challenges for travel brands. The general consensus across industry analysts is that the customer journey has to start with mobile and consistently deliver across multiple platforms.
Get the mobile journey right and you increase your chances are guiding customers to the buy button – and give them an incentive to share their experience with friends and return for more.
Travellers Need Digital Technologies
There is little doubt that marketers cannot afford to ignore digital technologies. However, not only should you consider how you will use modern technology in your marketing strategy, you should also be thinking of how travellers use digital technology on the move. Then provide facilities as a service.
For example, downloading video content to mobile devices is a common behaviour amongst travellers and commuters. When people are away from home, they become increasingly reliant on fast-wifi connections to find information.
Internet users are also taking advantage of 4G broadband to download films to watch during their journey. Offering wifi is not good enough in the modern world. Service providers in the travel and hospitality sector need to be offering – and advertising – superfast broadband speeds.
Online Video Content
The capabilities of digital technologies today enable travel brands to reach out to customers and create a seamless travel experience. Your journey with travellers starts in the research stages and only ends when they choose to opt-out.
Whilst ever customers are engaging with your content, brand and services, you have an obligation to provide a customer experience that is geared towards their needs and interests. Travel brands therefore have to find innovative ways to combine digital technologies with the travel experience from start to finish.
The use of video within the travel sector has huge potential. Airbnb recently introduced a new feature that allows travellers to share their stories. Similar to Snapchat Stories, mobile users are encouraged to create 10-second clips that document their travel experience and share it in Airbnb’s Travel Story.
Facebook also provides an edge for travel brands with dynamic ads that make it easier to build successful advertising campaigns. There is a lot of travel intent among Facebook users. Social media has been extremely influential in transforming the way holiday seekers conduct research for travel ideas and share their experiences within their network.
There is an increasing number of travel brands utilising online video content and social media that challenges the perceptions of travellers and create a sense of adventure and discovery. Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company has even made a triad of original TV programs to inspire travellers from all walks of life.
Struggling travel brands looking for fresh ways to reinvent themselves should be looking to distribute online travel content across multiple social platforms.
Including video in your content marketing strategy is proving to be the key medium for travel brands – but you must remember to consistently take customers on a journey from the very first point of connect to the very last.