If you’re not evolving and trying new initiatives when it comes to marketing your travel business, you may be losing out on reaching your market.
It’s a good idea to see how other companies are attracting travelers and partners to their business, so we have collected some examples to provide you with inspiration. First though, let’s get a better idea of what travel marketing initiatives are.
What Is A Marketing Initiative?
A marketing initiative is a fairly broad term. Its simplest definition is that it is anything that constitutes a marketing effort – essentially, any specific element of your marketing plan.
For large companies with a big budget, say for example tourism boards, travel marketing initiatives can be an advertising or promotional theme. We recently covered Inspired by Iceland’s Iceland Academy in an article on travel marketing campaigns. However, they have run other campaigns such as #AskGudmundur, Honorary Islander, and The A-Ö of Iceland as well. All of these can be considered marketing initiatives, as they each take a character or theme to explain and promote travel and tourism in the country in an engaging and memorable manner.
Another form of initiative is actively marketing on a specific channel. As an example, you may want to actively focus on striking up conversations on social media. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are effective for generating interest in a travel product, as they are visual by nature. Your initiative could be to share new content daily, set up weekly polls to spark discussions, or participate in a group conversation where you might be able to generate leads.
Obviously, focusing on marketing on a single channel means that you need a well thought out plan to do so. You also need a backup or alternatives to implement in case you are not seeing the results you expect. Generally speaking, it is better to promote across several channels to not limit your audience and reach.
Any large shift in your marketing strategy is a brand-new initiative as well. An example of this would be starting to include VR in your marketing collateral to promote your travel products. It might also mean that you slowly start to phase out older initiatives that are no longer serving you as well as they used to in favor of the new one.
However, so too is a small shift. Using an example, after receiving feedback from clients you realize that your so-called selling point isn’t actually the most popular thing about your tour; another highlight is. Therefore, it makes sense to adjust the focus of your promotional material slightly, to align it more closely with the newly discovered aspect of your offering that is drawing in great reviews.
Let’s look into some real examples that touch on what we have discussed.
Travel Marketing Initiatives Examples
Airbnb’s Personalized Email Marketing Initiatives
Airbnb uses takes a highly personalized approach to their travel marketing initiatives on email. They are really big on using the channel to connect with both hosts and travelers, keeping everyone engaged by offering personalized suggestions for hosting, accommodation, and experiences.
As soon as travelers book accommodation on the platform, they start receiving suggestions of things to do and experiences to book in the location. It is a natural cross-sell to strap on. Because they know where you are staying, your budget, and the duration, Airbnb can tailor a specific selection to suit you personally.
When it comes to host acquisition, Airbnb reaches out to previous guests with a personalized email that outlines the potential benefits of hosting in their area. This can include stats on the accommodation demand and perceived potential income they’ll receive should they chose to sign up.
Overall, Airbnb has a reputation for being customer-centric and non-invasive when it comes to email marketing. The latest figures have the company worth about $38 billion, so they are clearly doing something right.
Australia’s Holiday Here This Year Campaign
The recent bushfires in Australia have impacted many businesses and industries, including tourism. In a bid to let the world know that the country is open for business and needs continued support from travelers, Tourism Australia has launched the Holiday Here This Year campaign.
The decision was made for recovery efforts to look local first, and show the world that Australia is ready to welcome travelers in. So, the drive behind this initiative is to shift the focus to the domestic market, encouraging Australians to travel locally and see their own backyard this year.
Tourism Australia has made a downloadable toolkit, which includes logos and information about the campaign, so that travel industry partners can label their websites and marketing materials with it and generate awareness.
With a hashtag set up on Instagram, and a Facebook group to pledge support, the idea is to assist the communities affected by the fires by visiting them. Australia has so much to offer the traveler, whether it’s for a weekend away or traveling further afield to discover a new place.
In turn, this will create greater awareness and help spread the word to the global community to say that incredible opportunities still exist, and encourage them to put travel to the country back on the map.
The campaign launched in January 2020. A month later at the time of writing, the hashtag on Instagram has nearly 18k posts, while the event on Facebook has around 16,5k followers. It is evident from the results that by leveraging travel industry partners and the power of social media, Tourism Australia is generating awareness for its campaign.
Intrepid Travel’s Propensity For Using User-Generated Content As Marketing Material
Intrepid Travel’s ethos encapsulates sustainable group travel. The company is all for treading lightly, being mindful, and giving a voice to hosts and visitors alike. They replicate this spirit in their approach to Facebook media and content generation, sharing stories and images belonging to real travelers who go on their tours.
User-generated content like this is very valuable marketing material. Much like reviews, travelers seek opinions (in this case taken from stories and photos) from their peers to validate their booking decision.
As far as travel marketing initiatives go, this approach has proven successful for the travel company. By sharing user-generated content mixed in along with their own, they have gained a really large following on Facebook (over 600k), many of whom are now their brand advocates.
Implementing new initiatives or making changes to your marketing plan plays into the success of your travel business. It’s therefore important to ensure that you carefully measure the effectiveness of your efforts.