There may be by no means a boring second with regards to advertising and marketing usually. It’s much more so within the digital advertising and marketing sphere the place ways, platforms and options evolve at such a velocity it may be troublesome to maintain tempo. Within the journey and hospitality realm, it’s been a important problem for years, however maybe much more so throughout the previous 18 months of insanity all of us skilled.

So the place ought to we focus our priorities for the upcoming years? Listed below are seven traits that I imagine will form our advertising and marketing as we transfer ahead.

1. Traveler Expectations Have Modified

One of many greatest penalties stemming from this pandemic is the way it modified our wants and needs with regards to journey. The truth is, many research discovered that low costs had been now not the primary consideration when it got here to decision-making in buying journey. In a current article, I shared what vacationers anticipate in 2021 and we see a transparent shift from conventional views, with versatile reserving circumstances and sanitary measures now coming in at #1 and #2 when it comes to significance for vacationers.

Prime traveler concerns when reserving for lodges. Supply: Expedia Group Traveler Index

How is your resort, restaurant or attraction conveying this in your web site? In your social media posts? Are you addressing this issues with a devoted tab in your web site menu or with data in your common e-newsletter? Integrating these elements in your ongoing communications might be key.

Nature of journey is altering, too

2022 will mark the return of the worldwide traveler, finall. However your group must also take note of evolving behaviors within the journey panorama that had been clearly formed from this current pandeminc. For instance the working vacationers, or digital nomads. If these vacationers had been marginal a few years in the past, we are able to anticipate increasingly more leisure vacationers mixing some enterprise into the equation.

Identical to enterprise vacationers may also add just a few days onto their journey since applied sciences make it simpler than ever to have conferences by the poolside or in a wifi-enabled room. Is your model prepared for this new actuality and the way are you speaking it throughout your digital touchpoints?

2. The Evolution of Loyalty Packages

Loyalty applications have been round for ever, and had been capable of transfer the needle (considerably) of retention largely with clients within the airline trade, the place they had been born initially. Lodge loyalty applications are a dime a dozen, and too many of those applications have did not have distinctive options or get clients to extend their spend. For larger chain lodges and resorts that may scale presents, loyalty applications nonetheless present worth however that is much less the case for impartial lodges and smaller gamers.

Expedia unifies its loyalty programs

Now, we’re additionally seeing subscription-based approaches reminiscent of TripAdvisor with its Plus program. And extra not too long ago, Expedia revamped and unified the loyalty applications inside its portfolio of manufacturers (Expedia, Motels.com, Orbitz, Vrbo, and so forth.) with the intention to higher place itself in opposition to competitors reminiscent of Reserving.com’s Genius Loyalty program. The brand new program will span flights, lodges, trip leases, automotive leases, cruises, and actions.

We are able to anticipate extra motion on this entrance, as lodges, eating places and different hospitality suppliers will wish to preserve their enchantment throughout the broad loyalty and reward applications universe. That is additionally a key tactic to protect the direct reserving channel alive and kicking (see subsequent level).

3. Direct Bookings Will Prevail, However Much less

For years now, lodges have been striving to get clients to guide instantly on their very own web site, the place prices are low, slightly than by model.com or third events like Expedia or Reserving, the place fee ranges are steep. With kind of success.

Learn additionally: Motels Selling Direct Bookings: It’s About Time!

This pandemic has introduced in a uncommon alternative, making home journey a should and solely choice. When reserving domestically, vacationers really feel much less of a necessity to look on OTA platforms and are extra assured about dealing instantly with journey suppliers. Thus, direct bookings percentages when by the roof in 2020… however a bit much less so in 2021, in keeping with preliminary knowledge from numerous experiences.

In 2022, we are able to anticipate a shift again to reservations going to model.com and, to a lesser extent, again to OTA catering extra to a world clientele usually. Direct bookings will stay robust, however gained’t keep at ranges seen in 2020.

4. TikTok Now A Mainstream Platform

It was nearly two years in the past after I posted an article stating Why TikTok issues for journey manufacturers. Now, greater than ever, journey and hospitality want to concentrate. Listed below are just a few the explanation why:

  • TikTok now has greater than 1 billion lively customers (MAU)
  • It has been among the many most downloaded cellular apps worldwide for over 6 consecutive quarters
  • The common person spends over 52 minutes per day on the platform
  • TikTok will get the very best ranges of engagement per publish of any social media
  • The quickest rising phase of customers are 25-39 year-old

That final bit of knowledge is probably probably the most essential one. Every time I discuss to manufacturers about the opportunity of TikTok, the traditional rebuttal I get is that “it’s for younger youngsters solely“. That may have been true in its earlier phases, however much less so right now. Content material is extra diverse than it as soon as was, with tutorials, cooking recipes, film critics, journey suggestions, and a lot extra.

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Don’t get me fallacious, TikTok IS a platform that caters very effectively to a youthful viewers, due to it’s very nature and options: music, dancing, traits, pranks, and so forth. However because it grew up to now two years, so did its userbase. It will subsequently be a important mistake to dismiss it as risk on your advertising and marketing combine within the coming 12 months.

Going mainstream

One final level about TikTok. Late September, it held its first ever TikTok World Occasion throughout which many new options had been shared for each content material creators AND manufacturers wishing to take a position on the platform. Promoting is turning into extra fluid and accessible, whereas longer movies are actually potential. All in all, we’re coping with a platform reaching a maturity stage that has Fb (and Instagram) shaking and reacting… so will probably be attention-grabbing to see how this battles unfolds!

5. Instagram As The Go-To Social Media

If there may be something the previous couple of weeks have proven us, one factor is evident: Fb is now not the important thing social platform for storytelling. It stays a needed evil, with its Occasions, Teams, Messenger, Market and different helpful options. However as youthful audiences proceed to flock away from Fb, there may be one silver lining that is still: Instagram.

Instagram vs Fb, 2020 vs 2019. Supply: SocialBakers

Working example, final 12 months SocialBakers evaluated how prime Fortune 50 corporations had been coping with their presence on Fb and Instagram. As we are able to see within the chart above, evaluating Q1 2019 with Q1 2020, audiences on Fb shrank whereas these on Instagram elevated. Apparently, this improve occured though manufacturers had been posting much less, as we are able to see within the center column. However to me, probably the most attention-grabbing discovering comes from the third column, the place we see complete interactions, or engagement. Fb already had dismal engagement ranges, and it continues on shrinking whereas Instagram continues to see sturdy interplay.

Tales work effectively on Instagram, much less so on Fb. Reels are working comparatively effectively on Instagram, though they don’t match TikTok posts, which they clealy emulate. Reels are simply arriving on Fb, however I think they may do similar to tales, which implies not a lot. AR lens are helpful and plentiful on Instagram, much less so on Fb.

Are you able to see a sample, right here?

Manufacturers should keep on with Fb. For now.

Having mentioned that, I’m not saying journey manufacturers ought to ditch Fb simply but. Fb has change into a de facto outpost for customer support, recruiting, content material sharing and total communication together with your neighborhood. A dynamic web page means higher advert marketing campaign efficiency throughout the Fb panorama, which incorporates Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp. And there are lots of manufacturers on the market that also do a stellar job at creating high quality content material, which ends up in nice attain and engagement ranges.

However because the current seven hours shutdown confirmed, it’s harmful to place all of your eggs in the identical (Fb) basket. Thus, having a diversified method on-line is vital.

6. Newsletters and E mail Advertising Make A Come Again

For the previous 20 years now, I’ve been listening to that e mail is lifeless, or that newsletters don’t work “in addition to they used to”. Actually? In a world the place social media algorithms block off as much as 95% of the content material you publish in your pages, one-to-one communication like emails, SMS and newsletters are extra pertinent than ever.

2021 World E mail Benchmarks per Trade. Supply: Marketing campaign Monitor

Should you learn the factors #3 and #4 above, additionally, you will see a trigger and impact correlation right here. That’s, with journey manufacturers pushing extra direct reservations and growing efforts for retention and loyalty, having an e mail technique in place is key to fostering that relationship. This additionally means having automated processes previous to, throughout and after a keep, together with invites to go away a evaluation after the expertise on key platforms, i.e. Google, TripAdvisor, Fb, and so forth.

Learn additionally: The significance of e mail in resort advertising and marketing (Infographic)

7. Web site search engine optimization Extra Necessary Than Ever

In line with a Google survey from December 2020, searches for “out there close to me” grew globally by greater than 100% since 2019. In 2021, these searches are up one other 60% in keeping with SearchEngineLand. What’s much more attention-grabbing is once we dig additional to see which had been the highest classes for these searches over a given time frame.

The highest classes for these searches had been: 

  • Meals (84%)
  • Leisure (56%)
  • Banking (50%)
  • Attire (41%)
  • Private Care (38%)
Web site search engine optimization and native search are necessary for lodges, eating places, shops and most hospitality suppliers

These are all classes deeply rooted within the journey expertise, as we search locations to eat, issues to do and stuff to purchase at any time when we’re in a brand new vacation spot for leisure or enterprise. So how is your web site rating at any time when vacationers search with key phrases that ought to result in your model?

Your web site shouldn’t solely be cellular optimized, in actual fact in lots of instances it needs to be correctly be designed with mobile-first in thoughts.

Learn additionally: Understanding the distinction between mobile-first, adaptive and responsive design

Extra importantly, it would be best to be sure you declare and handle your Google My Enterprise profile. This may make sure you full all related particulars close to your opening hours, facilities and providers, photographs and movies. That is additionally the place you possibly can handle and reply to critiques, since this has change into an necessary aspect on your on-line popularity.

BONUS: HR Advertising To Assist Labor Shortages

Final however not least, I believed I might point out the truth that all these advertising and marketing methods and ways are high-quality and swell in regular instances. Or slightly, in instances when operations are rising easily as they need to popping out of a worldwide pandemic. Fact is, nonetheless, there’s a main difficulty that has been looming over the trade for the previous 3-4 years and that’s now exacerbated to unseen ranges: the scarcity of labor.

Earlier this summer time, I shared 5 methods to mitigate scarcity of labor in Hospitality and one of many ways was truly to have a correct HR Advertising technique in place. Effectively, I think we might be seeing tons extra of this integration in 2022, the place human ressources will work carefully with advertising and marketing and communications to convey the employer model imaginative and prescient, mission and values on social networks and different digital outposts.

Hilton Motels’ newest marketing campaign on Instagram invitations visitors to go away a testimonial about an important expertise shared with a Hilton crew member not too long ago.

Labor scarcity might be an issue for the subsequent decade, and advertising and marketing alone won’t remedy it. However a robust and inventive digital presence can actually contribute to a stronger employer model which, in flip, will assist with recruiting and sustaining workforce stability.