Digital Impacts on The Travel Market in 2019

Estimated Reading Time 12 minutes

We are living in an exciting time where digital marketing can occur both electronically and online – meaning there are endless ways for marketers to reach their audiences.

Digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, video, Google, Microsoft Advertising, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to name but a few.

Everyday we find ourselves surrounded by digital technology and we can’t ignore this. Even with so much uncertainty in the world right now, with Brexit hovering over us like a dark looming cloud, retail shops closing by the minute and Thomas Cook ceased trading entirely – daily activities still continue and use of digital continues to grow.

Digital marketing impacts several industries, but one in particular I want to focus on today is the travel market. If we rewind the clock to a time when every holiday goer would visit their local travel agents to book a holiday or even before this, when people would book their holidays through teletext holidays (that seems like a lifetime ago, right?). Nowadays, with the evolution of online activity and countless platforms to book your holiday online – where does this leave traditional holiday booking and how does digital have an impact on the travel market?

So…

  • What does travel look like in 2019?
  • How do people book?
  • How does digital influence travel?

All these questions encompass one thing – people love to travel and as a digital marketer who works with travel and leisure clients, with a background working in the travel industry – I want to know the digital impacts on the travel market in 2019.

Let’s start with a little introduction…

  • According to a Google Travel study, did you know that 74% of travelers plan their trip on the internet, while only 13% still use travel agencies to prepare them
  • New research shows how travelers are using mobile devices in 2019:

As a digital marketer, you can’t ignore the statistics and facts above – if you currently have any travel and leisure clients or perhaps you might have in the future then digital is the starting point.

1. Impact of Video Advertising:

There has been a rapid rise in consumers watching online videos to narrow down their travel decisions in 2019; in fact 60% of travelers do this. I read an article from Social Media Today that predicts 80% of all internet traffic will come from video by 2020 – this is incredible, video is a huge digital platform.

Currently, 78% of people watch online videos every week and 55% of these watch videos everyday. From a marketers point of view, 97% have said that video helped increase user understanding of products and services that they offer.

As consumers decide where they want to go away, in what destination and what activities they can do in said destination, they will convert to using video. I’ve searched on YouTube ‘top ten activities in …’ or ‘what to do in …’ etc and I know I’m not alone in this. As video is continuously growing and holiday makers refer to watching, we as marketers need to ensure we are connecting with consumers and ensure we stay fresh in their minds at each step of their decision making journey.

2. Now we understand the impact of video advertising, here are 4 benefits of advertising on YouTube:

As with all forms of advertising, YouTube as a digital platform can do the same;

  • Reach the right people through location targeting, age, gender and interests
  • Analyse & track performance through YouTube’s built-in analytics
  • Variety of video ad formats to choose from

But what are the benefits of advertising on YouTube?

  1. You only pay for engaged viewers; clients will only pay when someone chooses to watch at least 30 seconds of the video or clicks on their true-view video ad
  2. Measurement Tool; using the measurement tool goes beyond just measuring impressions and looks to find out if consumers intend to buy your products after watching your ad
  3. Be part of the consumer decision making journey. If holiday makers are turning to video, then you want to ensure your client’s brand is appearing in front of them
  4. Let’s not forget about competition. As holiday makers make their last minute, impulse decisions to book a holiday, ignoring Brexit and choosing to go away anyway, make sure you stand out from the crowd. Be certain when a consumer is ready to make a decision, it’s your travel client they book with

3. Impact of Mobile Device:

Answer these questions:

  • Do you research destinations on your phone?
  • Do you book flights on your phone?
  • Perhaps you call agents/tour companies directly from your phone?
  • Do you download travel apps?

When it comes to searching and booking flights, hotels, tours or car hire, desktop and mobile are key searching devices however, according to The TravelPort Digital End Research desktop is still the preferred tool for leisure travelers, especially when it comes down to booking a flight. Either way if you’ve answered yes to even one of the questions above, then it’s apparent how important mobile devices are for the travel market and for your digital marketing strategy.

Take a look at the below statistics:

There are more than a 100 ways to target travelers through digital for your travel client – if we take paid search for example using:

  • Call only ads to target people specifically on their mobile phones
  • Call extensions to add a direct number to your ad
  • Use app campaigns to easily promote your apps across Google’s largest properties including Search, Google Play, YouTube and the Google Display Network
  • Bid adjustments on mobile

These are just a few examples.

There is no denying that travelers are searching on their mobile phones, we recommend you have a planned strategy in place which targets the right users at the right time, with the right message. If you would like to learn more about planning a strategy for your client then please reach out to Digital Clarity.

4. The Rise of Apps in Travel

Now we know the impact of advertising on a mobile device, it’s important to acknowledge the rise of travel apps and how important they are. Take a look at the below statistics:

(Link to image above)

I did a search in the App Store for ‘travel’ and received the following ad for Hostelworld prompting me to download their app to see hostels and hotels. This is just one company who advertise their app – Air BnB, AllTrails, TripAdvisor and Viator are a select few who have apps.

If you want to drive app discovery then I would recommend advertising on Apple Search Ads as advertising on this platform gives you an opportunity to be seen at the top of the App Store search. Apple Search Ads said that 70% of app store visitors use search to find apps and currently there is a 50% average conversion rate for Apple Search Ads.

  1. Set your goals
  2. Create an advertising strategy
  3. See the results for your client

You need to remember that traveler’s holiday experiences begin long before they get on the plane – their journey begins the moment they start researching their holiday and this will take place across multiple digital channels and platforms. We as marketers need to ensure when a customer is starting their search it’s your client they end up booking with. All of the above highlights how pivotal digital is in both a customer journey and company journey.

If you would like to learn more about digital influence within the travel sector then reach out to Digital Clarity.

Sadie Chillingworth
Sadie is a digital marketing enthusiast, with a keen passion to help and manage her clients grow across PPC, SEO, Social Media and Analytics. Her background comprises a 2:1 Degree from Portsmouth, customer service roles and three years travelling combined with working in the travel industry. With the ambition to grow within this environment, Sadie’s attention to detail and application of the latest techniques, has made her ‘one to watch’ by her peers in the fast moving digital marketing industry.
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