Whoa, whoa, whoa! Yeah, yeah, we know Facebook’s “Travel Marketing Playbook” has been out for ages now.
You can make fun of us for being old.
While it’s been out since November we still believe it’s got some incredible insights that can potentially help any business in operation, even if you’re not a travel agency.
Here’s the lowdown on the playbook, compliments of Facebook. Impress!ve™’s social media specialist Isabel Kiskanc has summed it up nicely in this informative video!
Know Your Audience
The bulk of travellers in 2019 are emerging from Asia Pacific. These are tech savvy nomads who use their mobile phones throughout their travel journey.
They buy their plane tickets online, book their hotels online, get electronic room keys online. They review tours on Facebook, leave tour reviews on Facebook, use Google translate to get around, you get the hint. Everything is done via phone, EVERYTHING.
They’re also young (mid 20’s to late 30’s) and largely hail from nations such as India, Indonesia and China, meaning that the emerging market is young and far surpassing North American travellers in terms of numbers and use of tech.
With this gold, your strategy can now be curated to engage with this lucrative market.
The playbook goes on to describe the perfect strategy to nurture this audience throughout the funnel.
Facebook stresses the need to be present with the customer not only in igniting consideration for a trip, but throughout the journey till they arrive home and perhaps, plan their next adventure. It’d be wise not only to inspire a desire to travel at the top of the funnel, but also to provide content that will help them on their way, like a blog with top things to do in particular countries.
Even developing an app to help travellers organise their trip could be a powerful tool in keeping purchasers engaged throughout their journey, consequently building reliance on your services. This bespoke approach is the new standard in Facebook marketing; a generic ad just won’t cut it anymore. Create a strategy that personally nurtures the traveller down the funnel and they’ll become repeat customers due to the custom nature of your services.
Metrics Matter (Well, the right ones do…)
When I’m asked to do the maths on campaigns, I try to sweet talk my way out of it like…
But measuring metrics is crucial; However you’ll also need to ensure you’re measuring the right metrics to see how your campaigns are working.
Knowing how to measure the metrics will mean the difference between producing the perfectly optimised campaign vs. wasting money (with a dud). New companies keen to introduce themselves to potential travellers should aim to drive awareness. Alternatively, well-known companies may just want to confirm ticket sales for tours, so conversion campaigns would suit.
Be sure to have your goals set out from the get go, then observe the right metrics to track your success.
Use Best Practices!
Like with any other campaign, you’ll need to utilise best practice to optimise your work and really understand your wins/losses. Split testing is a must, while going the extra mile in creating personalised content for potential travellers goes without saying.
Really think your buyer persona through and create content that will truly matter to them. Also, be sure to discover where these travellers will be online and hit them where it counts!
With all these factors brought into play, you’ll have plenty of data to help inform your next campaign. One you’ll surely reap the benefits for thanks to all that additional work.
Woo Consumers with Storytelling
Lastly, Facebook stresses the importance of story-telling and how effectively doing so will set you apart from your competitors.
Sure, having a strategy that’s data driven is crucial, but the romanticism attached to travelling will mean that you’ll have to woo your customers on a journey towards THEIR travel journey.
Companies like The Culture Trip are doing this perfectly, recently releasing a new vlog series focused on international foods. They cover cuisines the world over and ignite a sense of hunger within viewers that’s sure to appeal to their bellies and wanderlust.
Not a tourism company? No worries!
With this in mind, it’s not just travel/tourism companies that are leveraging the travel boom to their benefit. With a little creative thinking, you could be well on your way to gaining some wins of your own.
Let’s take a look at Meesta Productions, an audio engineering company. While you wouldn’t associate audio engineering with travel, their firm partnered with travel companies to create audio content that recreated the sounds a traveller might hear in a hotel lobby. This audio was later used in their client’s marketing strategy and set Meesta up as a big player in the new wave of digital storytellers.
Another successful example of a company leveraging the travel boom is Grab Taxi. While Grab Taxi is a ride sharing service that only works domestically within particular nations, they’re engaging with travellers and excelling because of it. Particularly because they provide a solution to a major pain-point of travellers. Safe travel while overseas.
They’ve taken safe travel one step further by also incorporating different language options in their ride sharing apps for tourists. They also share discounts for local hotels and eateries and recommend popular sites to visit.
By introducing travel content to their services, they’ve made a name for themselves with the overseas market and now rival Uber.
All it takes is a little lateral thinking. You too could be tapping into the travel market and thriving for your efforts.
Over to you…
While Facebook’s travel playbook does place a huge emphasis on strategy, there will be many moving parts to consider should you begin your foray into the travel industry.
Don’t forget that Facebook and social media marketing are all components of “people-based marketing”. Your funnel will consequently need to be created with a particular type of person in mind. The heart of this funnel should be to used engaging storytelling that ignites a desire for people to travel as well as lulls them towards the sale.
Your work won’t be done there. Attempt to refine your storytelling skills to the point of perfection. You’ll want to create content that has people super engaged, loving what you create and keen to travel.