With TMA having accumulated many years of knowledge developing websites and providing digital marketing services for the tourism industry, we know a thing or two when it comes to helping these companies generate extra bookings. In fact we are multi award winning for our work in this industry.
I have compiled a list of the top 10 marketing trends that all tour operators must take on board for 2015. I have even created an infographic which you are free to share and use.
Remember… Your competitors are investing… you should too.
Become mobile responsive… now!
Far too many tour operator sites still do not have a mobile responsive website. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!
• 25% of all smartphone owners will book using their smartphone in 2015.
• 50% of all tablet owners will book using their device in 2015.
• 8 out of 10 users would book again through these devices.
Start producing video content
Video is growing massively. It helps customer retention, Google rankings and the all important booking!
• 85% of users will book a tour after watching a good quality video.
• 50x more likely to appear on Google’s first page using YouTube Video on your site.
• YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
Social media engagement
Social media is no longer a ‘maybe’ in the tourism industry. The key is to make it personal.
• 75% of travellers update their Facebook page while on vacation. Engage with them.
• 55% of travel brands generated direct bookings from social media.
• By 2016, social media will be the primary way to generate travel bookings and revenue for half of the travel industry.
Reviews mean more bookings
Like it or not, today’s internet users require user generated content such as reviews, ratings, photos and videos to help them make their decision to buy.
• 88% of travellers consult reviews before making a booking and half say that reviews are the greatest influence on their booking choices.
• 97% of consumers think reviews are accurate.
Blogging for SEO growth
Good travel related blogs are a great way to build brand awareness, rankings in Google and generate bookings.
• 30 % of travellers will read travel related blogs before making a buying decision.
• 60% of businesses agree regular blogs improve sales growth.
• Blogs are the third most valued source of influence in buying decisions.
Invest in good photography
Image is everything. Using good photography will help sell your tours more easily, and quicker.
• 95% of users will be attracted to content that uses compelling images than content without.
• Can’t afford photography? Run a competition and have your customers send them in. Select the best to use on your website.
• It’s people that best convey the heart, soul and cultural essence of a country. Without people in your photography you’re missing the location’s humanity.
Website speed will kill your SEO and your sales
Google will rank your site lower if its slow to load. You must invest in a new website and faster hosting or your sales will also suffer... badly.
• -55% conversion rate if a page takes more than 5 seconds to load.
• 75% of consumers will visit a competitor site due to slow loading pages.
Effective email marketing is vitally important
Done correctly, email campaigns are still very much an effective way to engage with your customers and cut through the spam.
• 60% of respondents trust consumer-oriented email messages.
• 90% of users prefer to be kept up-to-date through email marketing.
Generate Local Knowledge
Build your content by offering local knowledge of each destination. This builds brand trust and traffic to your site.
• 48% of travellers use their smartphone to search for local activities like nearby restaurants.
• 39% of travellers visit destinations mainly for arts and culture.
• 25% of travellers main driver is culinary travel.
Ignore Google PPC at your peril
Ranking well organically is no longer enough in its own right. PPC is a quick way to drive traffic to your site.
• 68% of users click on Google Ads when they are looking to make a purchase.
• 86% of users will click on a Google Ad placed within the top 3 positions.
• Travel will account for nearly 10% of all PPC advertising.
Other handy stats…
• 2 billion - The estimated number of smartphones in use in 2015.
• 60% of users won’t recommend companies with poor or no mobile sites.
• 45% of online traffic related to travel comes from mobile devices.
• 80% of Pinterest users are female. Target your marketing towards this fact.
• 52% of travellers changed their travel plans due to influence on social media.
• 49% of travellers ‘check-in’ to Facebook or Foursquare whilst on vacation.
• 45% of travellers post activity and attraction reviews.
• 48% of travellers will post reviews on hotels.
• 65% of travellers look at the variety of activities as the main driver for a destination.
• 60% of leisure travellers use online sources to evaluate local activities once at a destination.
• 60% of users say friends photos on Facebook inspire their travel plans.
• 65% increase in user engagement when using good photos and video on your site.
• 7% reduction in conversion rate due to a 1 second delay in page response.
• 80% of online consumers will never return to a site that is slow to load.
• 4,300% average ROI with an effective email marketing strategy.
• 44% of travellers made at least one purchase based on a promotional email.
• 1/3rd of searches online are location based searches.
• 6x higher website conversion rate for content marketing adopters.
• 75% - The market share of the search engine market owned by Google.
• 78% of users never click past the first page of search results in Google.