By Katie Gargano
Supervisor, Digital Planning
It's no surprise that consumers are changing the ways they're traveling and vacationing during and eventually, after COVID-19 is long gone.
The pandemic has slowed down the travel landscape, but consumers who are tired of looking at the same four walls are beginning to consider vacations once again. However, safety is top-of-mind for travelers, and it needs to be top of mind for brands whether it's an airline, hotel, or attraction.
According to Vox, “More than 10% of the global workforce is employed by the tourism industry, and from farmers who supply hotels with produce to drivers who ferry tourists around between excursions and beyond, millions of people rely on business generated by travelers.”
10 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Travel Marketing Strategy, with Post-COVID-19 in Mind:
Keep Branding Strong
Consumers need to know and trust your brand when they are ready to travel again. In this ever-changing world filled with a lot of unknowns, consistent branding can bring consumers a sense of comfort.
Be Mindful of Your Messaging
Consumers want to hear from trusted brands, with balanced messaging that acknowledges the current climate—e.g., stories of corporate social responsibility, increased cleaning standards, and inspiration to travel in the future.
Marketing today extends beyond promoting a product or service, as consumers now rely on brands to be good corporate citizens. Travel brands are helping their local communities and building engagement with their consumer base by communicating empathy, understanding, and support, both moral and financial, for those who need it most.
Jump on the Carousels
Create awareness around different attractions through the use of carousel units on social and rich media units. They're engaging and can showcase various calls to action and points of interest.
Consider COVID’s Impact on Mobile Usage
For travelers and guests, mobile usage will increase throughout the travel journey, from passports and boarding passes to keyless hotel entry and digital check-out at hotels. How can you incorporate this new normal into your marketing strategy?
Re-Evaluate Your Post-Pandemic Competitive Landscape
Openings and economic recovery will be staggered. Analyze customer behavior, identify the right prospects and target markets, and look for signals to identify when travel is picking up.
Go for Geo-Targeting
Geo-targeting is a great way to reach locals and travelers who are looking to drive to next vacation instead of flying. And that’s why you should also…
Tap into Travel Guides
One of the main responsibilities of travel guides is to reach consumers when they are planning their next trip. Travel guides and to-do lists are helpful to be on, since consumers are looking at reviews based on their safety concerns.
Dig into Dynamic Segmentation
Streamline marketing technology and processes to serve the right messages to the right customers at the right time. Utilizing dynamic segmentation with the right offers and promotions will help brands bounce back faster.
Look at Online Travel Companies
Consumers are going to be looking for deals, and there’s no doubt they’ll be leveraging online travel companies like Kayak and Expedia. By being present on these sites, you can find consumers before they book—to either visit your location by competitive conquesting or drive them to visit an attraction based on where they are searching.
The Bottom Line for Travel After Coronavirus
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the traveler mindset, but there are countless reasons why people travel. Getting back to ‘normal’ (in at least some capacity) is certainly in the future. Get prepared now, so your travel brand is ready to take off when that happens.
For more insights about how travel brands need to act now to connect with soon-to-be-travelers, register for our 20-minute webinar.