29 Jan Resorts and the Importance of Digital Media
The Internet boom now allows for information on any topic to be accessed in a matter of seconds. Resorts must have an online presence to keep up with competition as well as reach their target audience.
68% began researching online before they decided where or how to travel
What Does an Online Presence Entail?
Reviews have proven to be a major factor in travelers’ decisions when planning vacations and business trips. Third party reviews, on sites like Trip Advisor, allow travelers to get opinions about any destination from people who have been there. The more positive reviews your resort has, the higher chances you have to gain potential guests.
44% agree that online reviews are a factor in their decision making
Be sure to keep an eye on what people are saying about you on review sites. Unlike other social media sites, where you control the messages you post to your wall, on review sites the talk is user-driven. If someone has a bad experience with your resort, that person will probably spread the word with a negative review. It can be hard and costly to remove negative comments on these types of sites. Be sure you’re providing the ultimate travel experience–and be sure to check into what people are saying about you online.
Learn more about how to maintain your brand reputation. Download our white paper, Your Easy Guide to Managing Your Brand Reputation.
87% of people who read positive reviews are more apt to visit a destination
Conversely, negative comments can negatively affect travelers’ booking decisions.
In our survey, 85% of respondents said that bad reviews would reflect on their purchase decision.
Constantly monitor and comment on all the review sites, as well as other places your brand is mentioned online. You need to maintain a positive image of your brand. Setting up Google Alerts will help you find and respond to any mentions of your business, as well as track your competitors and the industry as a whole.
Grabbing the attention of your target audience on social media is challenging due to the amount of competition already putting out a steady stream of content. To stand out and get a piece of the pie, resorts must not simply exist on social media–they have to create effective social media marketing strategies, and follow those strategies consistently.
42% use social channels for travel planning
Having a social media presence provides potential guests with useful information about a resort or destination. Beyond getting information, travelers also use social media to share their travel experience with others. When resorts post helpful, creative content on social media, these travelers may share those posts, extending your resort’s reach.
76 percent said they share travel experiences via social networks.
This is very important fact to consider for resorts because when users share their travel experience and mention your resort, that’s more visibility for you.
Photo: My favorite Disney hotel http://t.co/7EhHdUMhFz
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) May 1, 2013
91% of travelers post photos of their vacations
Resorts want get people to book with them. Although social media is harder to measure compared to pay-per-click advertising, the impact it has on the buying cycle is undeniable. As you see travel brands have been able to generate revenue directly from social media:
50% of travel brands surveyed agreed that they have generated direct bookings from social media
Tips: Create engaging content beyond what you offer. Interact with your followers and handle complaints with grace. Provide incentives to build a loyal following.
PPC and SEO
Search plays a major role in directing people to the right travel information. Resorts have to optimize their sites to be visible for search engines and consumers.
The top online travel activity is search engines at 60%
The right SEO set-up helps with paid advertising. As people are researching relevant keywords to for travel all year round, ads also appear to entice them to click. Resorts have to create a PPC campaign that increases visibility. More visibility translates to more clicks and eventually to revenue generation.
Another factor to consider is having a localized aspect within paid advertising to get the right audience that is actually looking to stay in the area you are located in.
74% use their phone to get information based on their current location.
Tips: Create local search. Bid on useful keywords. Include a call to action in your banner ads.
Blogs are powerful tools that allow resorts to create unique content for users and search ranking. Unlike the rest of your website that’s focused on your brand, a blog is an easy way to provide other news beyond the tourism industry that might be interesting to your visitors. It is also a way to create a positive image of your brand.
31% said that blogs were “highly influential” when making a purchase decision
Tips: Try guest blogging on Resort sites/magazines/newspapers. Create useful and informative content. Optimize your blog with relevant keywords.
By paying attention to how travelers go through the decision making process on their way to booking a vacation or business trip, resort marketing managers can capitalize on the digital media movement.