Blog Post

2019 Travel & Tourism Trends: A Digital Marketer’s Programmatic Passport – Part 3

May 6, 2019 - Sierra Ducey

Summer is a little over a month away and digital consumers are just a search, scroll, and click away from taking advantage of the flexibility that the season grants, as many take a break from their day-to-day and book the perfect getaway. As one of the largest industries, projected to reach $2.4 trillion in the next ten years, digital marketers need to ensure they are up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies, especially as consumers continue to utilize online booking capabilities. Nearly half of travelers begin trip planning with a search engine, 30% on social media and 23% watch videos, so utilizing the power of digital advertising and ensuring your brand is front-and-center in the planning process is key. It’s essential for marketers/media planners to understand the different types of travelers, how they are deciding where to go, when they’re booking and how to reach them in order to execute a winning programmatic campaign. So, Digilant has complied an infographic, based on industry research and insights, outlining the answers to all these questions.
Download the infographic here.

Part 3: The Impact of Social Media on Travel

Social media has completely changed the face of traveling. Visiting another place no longer means relaxation in the form of cutting ties with technology. Traveling is now synonymous with social media usage and it’s a hard fact to come to terms with. The pictures taken during vacations are beautiful, (the 97% of millennials who have posted content from their trips would agree,) but the pressure behind the process is immense. Society now thinks it’s unusual to travel and not post a photo or share a story about it on social media. Because of these new expectations, around 90% of travel agents now consider social media to be an integral part of the marketing plan. More people are traveling and embracing the digital space while doing so. To catch attention and increase profitability, advertisers will need to dominate the digital space before, during, and after the big summer travel season of 2019.

What Social Media Accounts are Being Used?
Facebook and Instagram are, by far, the most used social media accounts by today’s travelers. Whether scrolling through posts before, during, or after vacations, consumers are actively sharing and scrolling through travel-based posts from their mobile devices. Instagram is especially popular for 16 to 24 year olds, but Facebook is the number one go-to for older generations. Each of these apps are visually-driven, which explains why many choose colorful, exotic destinations to visit when taking time off. Summer travelers don’t want photos just for the memories – they want photos that’ll be sure to stick out across their digital feeds and timelines. Because of this intense “Instagrammability” pressure, 28% of travelers consider booking an attractive property a top task in the planning process. 20% will even style accommodations to look more expensive while others run amuck in search of content they can tag as #goals. The face of travel has completely changed. Whether for good or bad, this industry (which impacts most – if not all – industries) has become dependent upon social media usage.
What Does This Mean for Marketing?
With this in mind, advertisers and agencies need to hold on tight to digital identities. The physical world depends so heavily on the digital space now. Simply put: If your brand isn’t present online, it’s not present at all. To grab the attention of today’s travelers, you need to meet with them and communicate effectively with them via tech before reaching out in person. 62% of millennials will be more loyal to a company with an engaging, interactive presence on social media. Because millennials make up a big chunk of 2019 travelers, begin to craft ideas about how you can grasp their attention. Garnering likes is great, sure, but aim to get comments, reviews, and shares. These actions require users to think and put forth an extra ounce of energy. To obtain these metrics, craft giveaways, surveys, incentives, and programmatic posts that bring their personalities into the picture. Many companies are taking it a step further by offering shoppable posts that allow users to book and buy right on the spot. Streamlining via social media makes it simple to complete transactions without distractions or complications. Travel planning no longer means billions of tabs, millions of questions, and hundreds of hours. It’s just like buying a shirt you see your favorite influencer wearing in an Instagram post — way too simple.

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