2013 is fast approaching and hopefully many travel and tourism businesses are planning for the 2013 season including building their 2013 marketing plan. There are 6 distinct trends to look out for in 2013. Empower yourself now with this market research and insight and get ready for another busy year in social media and digital marketing.
6 online travel trends to watch for in 2013
These trends apply to global travel markets not just North American markets. The world is changing rapidly and so is how people are looking for and booking their vacations and travel.
Mobile, mobile, mobile – getting into the app market
AL the rage now is m-commerce not e-commerce as people are switching from computers to smartphones and tablets. Understanding how people use their mobile devices is your ticket to building mobile strategies. Understanding mobile devices by using them is also a great way to discover how you can gain in m-commerce.
It is all about the app, those little squares that people are accumulating on their devices, a quick connect to information that they need. Now if you are not able to invest in an app, make sure your travel business is associated with companies that offer apps. This is a great way to get into mobile marketing without having to make the first investment. Tripadvisor has an app, Expedia has an app, etc…Social media networks also have apps, oh I see the light bulb go on, so if you are present on Facebook and your guests use the Facebook app, you are actually already doing mobile marketing. If your guest is in the Facebook app and go to your facebook page, and they can reserve their room, or tour then they do not have to leave the Facebook app to coordinate their travel plans…are you getting it. You do not have to build your own app but you do need to make sure you are present and visible on the apps people use.
Nuture and influence travelers during all stages of their vacation and travel.
You have three opportunities to influence travelers during the vacation cycle, pre- vacation when they are booking and packing, during the vacation when they want to maximize their stay, and post-vacation when they will be sharing their travel and vacation stories. Build social media strategies that influence each of these three stages.
Travel Influencers will be more important and more prominent
You are not an influencer for your business, but your guests are. And they want to be an influencer. Find ways to promote influencers for your travel business and have your guests do the work for you. The old loyalty programs are now the new influencing programs, so build an influencing program that encourages guests to be the public speaker for your business. This will take sometime using social media search to find out who is your best influencer or what group is your best influencers. Keep them close and build them up. They could be your marketing ticket in 2013. Have you created an influencers strategy yet. Think about it and be creative.
Travel search is now more personal and social
Search engines are not dead, they are just different. They see the power of social media and personal recommendations and they are driving this next phase of search away from key words and toward people’s comment , reactions and reviews on, you guessed it, social media networks. The more people talk about you on social media the better you will rank on search engines.
Asian and India markets are hot travel markets!
These countries have cash and they want to spend it. The rising middle class in Asian markets and India will be the next hot ticket item. These markets are currently testing out local travel and in 2013 will start embarking on international travel. It is important to note that these markets are not as mobile friendly as the North American market but they are getting there. To get in early you may want to combine your social media marketing efforts with paper marketing strategies, articles, pubic relations, advertising. Smartphones are becoming more popular but government regulation of the Internet is very different in other parts of the world.
Strategy, strategy, strategy – have social media strategies
No longer can we fly by the seat of our pants. It is time to sit down, understand who your markets is, what markets you want and build strategies to gain access to these markets. It is also important to have different strategies for different economies and disasters. Globally, our economies and weather are turning on a dime as much as our marketing options are. Have a plan if the economy falls, have a plan if the economy increases, have a plan for a environmental or health disaster. It is easier to think of good strategies in advance before the hysteria sets in than to try and shift your marketing when it does set in.
Key to travel trends in 2013
Be open, be flexible, know that marketing is organic and have the tools to implement new or additional social media marketing strategies if the world decides to change, again. Be one step ahead, not one step behind. Know that things are not as we used to know it and that we have to think and act differently in 2013.