Effective Targeting - The Key To Intelligent Digital Travel Marketing.

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Of course effective targeting is key to any successful marketing, but it is absolutely essential in travel. For the travel purchasing experience to be seamless and sufficiently dynamic, it has to be totally tailored at every touch point a customer has with your business. You should be gathering insights on your existing customer base at every opportunity. Combine those with general data insights about relevant types of traveller and use them to drive your marketing. Effective targeting draws in interested customers and engages prospects. This raises your chances of selling to new customers and increasing the value of sales to existing customers.

Who is your target audience?

Use your existing data to define your core target groups. In travel – even with a specialist offering such as, for example, luxury family skiing, there are usually three core groups that buy your product. They will probably share key characteristics – like income bracket, general travel patterns etc, but what appeals to them specifically will vary. So taking the example of a luxury family skiing company; the three groups that would tend to show most interest in their holidays would be: mothers of young children looking for a holiday that actually feels like a holiday with young children, dads who love skiing and are trying to find a way of making it work with young children and grandparents for whom the ski holiday is a family tradition and who now have the means to treat the family.

These groups all need targeting in different ways in order to draw them in to purchase. Looking at a more generalist travel company - a business traveller needs different touch points from your marketing than a young holidaymaker. Analyse your data, create personas for your different target groups and tailor marketing accordingly.

Know the cultural background of your customers

If you are selling your travel product internationally, the more intricate rules of web psychology come into play even more as regards your digital offering.  Each culture buys differently on and offline and how you target needs to reflect your understanding of those cultural differences. Marketing a luxury holiday in Scandinavia where men and women are absolutely equal purchasers will be very different from marketing a holiday in Japan where men are still the key purchasers. This localisation to marketing will ensure you create effective campaigns that are sensitive to the audience’s needs. 

How do you speak to your target audience?

According to research recently conducted by IPSOS, more people than ever will be booking holiday gifts online than ever before – conducting their research across multiple channels first. With more than 49% booking their travels online (www.abta.com) and an average of 148.3 million bookings made on the Internet each year (www.statisticbrain.com), the digital content you deliver and how you disseminate it is crucial. Provide useful information for each sector/persona. Make sure you ‘close’ every potential exit route from buying travel from you.  Think what will make them drift elsewhere at crucial stages in the purchase process. Is your site easy to use and clear? Do you have different versions of the site properly tailored to different territories? Are your social feeds properly monitored? Twitter is an increasingly popular first port of call for customer service queries. Make sure you are totally responsive. Not only is your target audience online, they are also going mobile, making enquiries and bookings on the go. At least 40% of online traffic related to travel queries is from mobiles and tablets (HeBS Digital). Although, tablets are preferred for making the bookings (with evenings being the most popular time) and mobiles more for on the move research. Therefore, to increase engagement with the target audience, engage with them on their terms: online, through user friendly appealing websites and accessibility through mobile devices.

Conclusion

Targeting your audience sensitively and accurately is key to increasing sales. Ensuring you have the right means/software in place to gather detailed insights about visitors to your site, actual customers and about their experiences of dealing and travelling with you is key. Knowing who your audience are, how they behave and how to reach them increases customer engagement and drives increases in conversions and revenue.

Intelligent Digital Marketing for Travel companies: Focus on the customer

Sagittarius is holding the first of a series of events on the 26th March 2014 designed to help increase conversions and customer engagement through intelligent digital marketing. This event is aimed at anyone with the remit of improving results from digital marketing within Travel. The aim is for delegates to leave the event with a greater understanding of how to maximise the benefits of a cohesive digital marketing strategy for your business. The event will also address some of the top challenges travel marketers face in the current climate and look at ways to overcome them.

If you would like to attend this event, please register your details here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/intelligent-digital-marketing-for-travel-companies-focus-on-the-customer-tickets-10539424703

Sagittarius Marketing are experts in providing digital marketing solutions to global brands. If you would like to talk to us about your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to call us on: 01233 467 800 or email: hello@sagittarius-marketing.com

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Paul Stephen
Paul Stephen
Co-Founder & Joint CEO
With over 25 years in marketing, Paul is one of the UK's leading experts on digital marketing. He oversees the agency and often lectures and consults within the industry on digital and marketing related subjects and has a particular interest and skills in the travel and tourism sectors.

Paul operates nationally and internationally, helping brands to think outside the traditional horizontal and vertical channels and transform their business with creative multi-channel marketing and digital re-invention.
Paul Stephen

Paul Stephen

11 Mar 2014 - 5 minute read
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