We’re all travel agents now. When organising business trips and holidays, we compare costs and means of travel, book our own flights, source our own hotels and do everything in between. We’re familiar with a range of comparison tools and know exactly how to find social media reviews and recommendations.
In the millennial world, hundreds of millions of online travel bookers have bypassed the traditional travel agents, taking agency upon themselves. This represents not only a seismic industry shift, but a huge opportunity for search marketers. Within this environment, travel PPC can yield handsome dividends if an account is strongly branded, visible and adaptable to market conditions.
Below are the key points for ensuring your account meets all of these criteria.
Locate your USP, and demonstrate it in copy
Find the distinguishing feature that sets you apart from competitor brands and market this with commitment. This product differentiation allows you to stand apart from competition and demonstrate unique value. Link this to the travel aspirations of your core market.
Extend, extend, extend
Advert extensions enable you to describe more fully the unique travel experience you’re offering; you can also describe additional features and provide reviews, highlighting great customer feedback. They also give your advertisement greater prominence, distinguishing it from competitors.
For everything there is a season, and the travel sector is more affected by seasonal influence than many other commercial sectors. Busiest booking periods are traditionally summer and winter and advertising budgets should reflect this, with reference made to historical business data.
Awareness of, and responsiveness to, current events (global sporting events, conferences, epidemics, terrorist atrocities) is also vital. Travel is often emotionally determined, and being aware of shifts in this impulse and adjusting budgets accordingly places you at a strategic advantage.
When to schedule
Invest advertising budgets wisely to coincide with peak searching and booking periods. Do this with reference to the account history of your business, and by extrapolating from your industry experience and from available market research. This should also help with return on investment projections, and ensure you’re making best use of available funds.
Be one step ahead
Carrier route schedules will change seasonally. Maintain strong advance awareness of these changes to ensure you’re pre-advertising new routes and not wasting advertising budgets on expired, or soon to expire, routes. Create a detailed status document to make this easier.
Competitive marketing in the millennial travelsphere demands all of the above: strong branding, strategic planning and sensitivity to fluctuation.