How To Embrace Inbound Marketing For Tourism & Hospitality

As the pace of marketing innovation continues to accelerate, the travel sector must follow and set their focus on the newest trend: inbound marketing.

Why not download the eBook?

Download now

Contents

What is Inbound Marketing?

As briefly mentioned above, inbound marketing focuses on drawing potential customers via helpful and relevant content that adds value to their buying journey. Similar to using travel micro-moments to engage with potential customers, inbound marketing involves serving up the right content at the most opportune time.

Content tends to come in the form of blogs, optimised landing pages and social media posts, and customers usually use channels like social media and search engines to find you.

This differs from outbound marketing – or what is often called ‘traditional marketing.’ In the example above, outbound marketing encompasses the travel brochure and billboard, but it also includes mass email marketing, cold calling, traditional print publications, etc.

Inbound marketing emphasises a ‘pull’ methodology, while outbound prefers a ‘push.’ With the former, you create content that addresses the problems and needs of your ideal customers, pulling them in with answers and information. The latter involves designing campaigns that are pushed out to the public in the hopes of drawing in a few key prospects. The overall goal is to attract people to your hotel by giving them the chance to approach you, to communicate with your brand and find relevant information about you on their own.

Why is Inbound Marketing is essential for the tourism industry?

Travel companies are adapting to the changing preferences of their customers. As the pace of marketing innovation continues to accelerate, the travel sector must follow and set their focus on the newest trend: inbound marketing.

How did you find your last holiday? If it’s from a travel brochure you were handed at a conference or the number you saw for a travel agent on a billboard, you are fast becoming the minority. More likely, it was from a quick search of ‘Top beach resorts in Tenerife’ or ‘Best holiday destinations 2017’ or after an intriguing video you saw on Facebook.

Travel companies are adapting to the changing preferences of their customers. As the pace of marketing innovation continues to accelerate, the travel sector must follow and set their focus on the newest trend: inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing is the method in which you can build a relationship between the company and the customers. It can attract customers through various alternatives like through content writing or marketing, SEO, through social media sites and drip emails. It can try to deliver a great experience to their customers by providing customer services via sponsored companies and through their social media platforms. It can attract customers by giving them relevant and meaningful information.

Why is Inbound Marketing taking off in the travel industry?

Inbound marketing appeals to a growing number of travel businesses for several reasons:

You’re not interrupting

Few things annoy web users more than interruptive, non-targeted ads or emails that are obviously trying to sell them a product. The average person is inundated with over 2,000 of these interruptions per day.

Inbound marketing takes a more natural approach. For example, instead of a paid pop-up about why a holiday in Greece is the perfect choice when a user is obviously just trying to buy socks, you write a blog post on ‘Top all-inclusive holidays in Greece’ and let users find you in organic search.

When you provide answers to customers’ enquiries or inspiration for their travels, you build trust. When you disrupt them in the middle of a browsing session or Facebook video, you annoy them. Which would you rather do?

It costs less

In terms of potential customers, it costs less for them to learn something new or shop online than it does for them to attend a seminar or conference in London or Las Vegas. With over 3.5 billion searches happening on Google every day, it is the main source of information and potential traffic for all companies. Meanwhile, inbound marketing to these searchers and browsers also costs your business less - 61% less per lead than outbound marketing, actually.

And the results are long-lasting. When you create evergreen content, its relevancy and reach continue to benefit your business months and years after you publish it. A content marketing plan, therefore, may have upfront costs but is a long-term investment. Meanwhile, outbound marketing requires a constant flow of spending for each new, short- term campaign (like buying a slot on a billboard for 30 days or paying for an advertisement in a monthly magazine).

Inbound marketing

How to incorporate inbound marketing into your travel content strategy

The key to effective inbound marketing is to understand where your prospects are in the decision journey before they actually embark on a real journey. It’s useful to look at the 5 stages of travel:

Dreaming

This is the awareness building stage: you can help them dream by offering information on your locale, events, attractions, etc. that help them get to know more about the overall destination.

Researching

They are getting serious: they want specific information, such as travel planning guides, tips, travel FAQs.

Booking

Your website is the star here: make sure it is easy and convenient to reserve rooms and provide information guests will need to ensure a great stay.

Experiencing

Continue to build the customer relationship. An app that they can download to guide them through their stay, for instance, is a value-add your competitors are unlikely to offer.

Sharing

Your guests become content generators by sharing reviews, comments, and pictures via social media.

ideas for inbound marketing

Inbound marketing can be broken down into four stages of your customers’ buying journey.

Attract

In order to attract new customers, you’ll need to create content. First, understand what potential customers want: is it inspiration, information or cheap holiday options? Once you’ve done keyword research to find out what people are searching for, begin building a content strategy to help you produce relevant blogs, social media posts and fresh content like videos, vlogs, travel guides and more. Put it all in one place (like a content hub) so users can easily find it and navigate through it.

Convert

Once you’ve been found, it’s time to convert visitors into leads. Ask them to sign up to your travel newsletter or book a meeting with a travel advisor. Offer discounts on trips and add calls-to-action to help visitors easily reach booking/contact pages.

Close

Watch where people drop off on your site or if they’ve abandoned a cart and get in touch with them. If they’ve sent an enquiry, follow up with them to make sure you meet their needs. Make booking your holidays easy by simplifying your booking widgets. If possible, allow people to book entirely online, as 75% of people in the UK alone choose this method.

Delight

Provide ample details to those who have booked, so they feel well looked after. Once they’ve returned, engage with them and make sure their holiday was superb. After all, it’s significantly cheaper to maintain current customers than earn new ones – even when you’re using an inbound marketing strategy.

Strategy Summary

In the first strategy, you have to attract the user by writing attractive content. In the second strategy, you have to convert the user into a lead. In this way, you will create a customer. In the final round, you are able to please the customer with high-quality content.

digital marketing

This is how inbound marketing helps the travel and tourism companies to get a better conversion rate

Travel marketing is very tough. Rate of investment is low, and the competition is very high. With the help of a travel customer journey, you can find about the traveller’s demands and their research methodology. This is a common thing that you must have to know is that travellers are conducting their research on phones.

social media marketing think outside the box

Inbound marketing for the travel industries

It can help travel and tour industries to attract more customers by following the key points:

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Travellers can spend most of their time on searching about touchpoint before they are going to confirm the booking. That means you have to increase your website’s visibility with the help of SEO.

Advertisement

Inbound marketing can help to promote your business through various social media sites. You have to use strategic plan in promoting your business.

Keep in mind these points while the advertisement:

Content writing
Firstly, content will help in your website’s SEO and to your social media advertisements. Write an attractive and knowledgeable blog for your audience.
Public relations Inbound marketing can help your business to build a relationship between the customer and the company. If you are successful in building a relationship with your customers, then your customer post reviews about their experience. Nowadays people first go to read the reviews and then they will follow further procedure.
How does it work:

In this you can collect information from customers like giving them the offers like subscribe and get a trial course. with this, you can collect the contact information of the user. Some examples of content creation are the following:

Set up a blog on your website is the best way to reach out to new potential customers. As mentioned before 81% of consumers trust information and advice from blog posts. You can write the article by yourself or hire a professional editor to write them for you. Offer high-quality content with an ideal length of 400– 600 words and useful advice for example about activities in your area, the history of your hotel or the people behind the scene.

Creating eBooks enables consumers to continue reading your blog posts later. You can turn your blog posts into eBooks or summarise them and create for example a short travel guide for your specific area. eBooks create the feeling of higher value and offer you a good way to engage with the consumers outside the internet.

Public Relations

After collecting the contact details, you can send them the offers or new opportunities via emails and in this way, you can easily promote your business.

When you can build a relationship with your customers then you can send them proposals regarding the new product or services or upcoming services.

Finally, you can please your customers via attractive content. And you can also get a trustworthy customer, or you can able you build a good image in the world of internet.

marketing strategy

Top 10 marketing ideas for your travel and tourism company

  1. Understand your customers
  2. Create your website
  3. Create attractive graphics
  4. Advertisement on social platforms
  5. Drip email campaign
  6. Make videos on your tours
  7. Share your knowledge via blogs
  8. Web applications
  9. Live to stream
  10. Chatbots
creative content writing

1. Understand your customers

How can you start your business if you don’t know about your customers?

Customer is at the top in every business because he is the one who can help in running your business. You have to do a proper search about them what motivates them or which kind of customers you want so that you can only target them. Examine the needs of the customer and then you have to move on for further procedures.

2. Create your website

Now time to create an effective website which can attract the customers. A website should be easy to understand and mobile- friendly. Your website should be clearly defined about your business. And it should be compulsory that there is a room which covers user experience column. Your website should be well designed.

3. Create attractive graphics

Yes, you have to create attractive graphics which can draw the customer’s attention. Colours and combinations should be perfect. Graphics should be well designed and easily explained the concept. With the perfect graphs, you can easily draw the attention of peoples.

4. Advertisement on social platforms

Website created and graphics are done. Now time to advertise it on social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram is very popular nowadays for advertisement. But the competition level is very high. So, your content and graphics should be very perfect so that they can easily draw the attention of people’s. You can post short videos related to your products and services on a social platform so that people can show their interest in your services.

5. Drip email campaign

Start drip email campaigns. Drip emails are pre-written emails or message. With the help of drip emails, you can take some time to solve the queries of your customers. But make sure you are not sending too many emails to the user because if they receive too many emails the chances of un-subscription increases.

6. Make videos on your tours

Make short videos about your recent tours which can help the other users to know about your business. Making videos can be really a very effective way of promoting any business. You have to make the video of your real tours and trips so that you can build the trust of users.

7. Share your knowledge via blogs

Write a blog related to tours and trips to spread awareness among the users. Blogs can be a really effective way to draw the attention of users. Make sure your content should be fresh. Add videos and pictures in your content to make it more attractive.

8. Web applications

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly because travellers mostly use the mobile application. It can develop the network through phones.

9. Live streaming

Live streaming more effective than videos. On live streaming, a lot of people get connected with you. You can use social media like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube for live streaming. You can show your work experiences to the users through live streaming, it can help to attract new customers in your business.

10. Chatbots

It is good that you can use chatbots for solving the issues of your customers. A chatbot can help you to link with the new users. With this tool people are satisfied with your services. Chatbots are an effective way to draw the attention of users.

Best social media platforms for tourism advertising

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the “business” social media platform, and a logical fit for meeting partners and hotel sales managers. Mastering this platform must begin with optimising your profile and reviewing it on a regular basis. From there, you can contribute and participate in a number of ways including:

Instagram – a favourite in the meetings and events industry because of the incredible images, Instagram is where a TON of your potential clients hang out. They’re looking for WOW pictures that they can weave into their meetings and events. You can use your own pictures or lean on your organization to provide you with images to dazzle and delight your prospects.

Pinterest – Pinterest is the fastest growing social search engine in the social media space right now. Pinterest is the “problem solver” bulletin board next to YouTube and Google. The graphics and easy-to-pin method of cataloguing pieces of information make this a popular search engine. Pins can be blog posts, pictures, files, etc. The key here is consistency in pinning to ensure your pins float to the top of the search term.

YouTube – video is king, and YouTube dethroned Google as the most used search engine of 2018. Creating content is not as daunting as you would think, and with consistent video posting, your content will start to rise up the charts.

Twitter – Twitter is a platform you can use as a supplement to any of the platforms mentioned above. You can cross-promote on Twitter and drive traffic to any of your chosen platforms and can be used as a marketing tool regardless of your primary tools.

social media, facebook

Still not convinced of the benefits?

First of all, you should keep in mind that traditional or Outbound marketing is also called Push marketing for a reason. We could say it pushes indiscriminately the message to consumers. While there is always a market study behind, the goal is to get the most visibility, as it’s possible. That’s why you cannot stop to identify those so important details when defining the profiles of your potential consumers.

On the other hand, Inbound marketing is also defined as Pull marketing. Unlike the previous one, it attracts or pulls a much more concrete and worked consumer. And the key to that is the use of relevant content. That is, in this case, content is what your hotel’s website can offer so you are able to:

1. Provide value

You may think that this is not really a compelling reason, but it really is. Nowadays, providing value is critical when attracting the right kind of traveller. And you may be wondering why only the right one? Because you need to attract the kind of consumer who is more susceptible to book one of your rooms. And to understand these users you have to start a dialogue and win their trust.

How? By creating valuable content for your hotel’s website and your social media platforms. Through all your publications you can meet the preferences and needs of these users, segment them and get a database of potential guests to win over with personalised content so they think there is no other option but to book in your hotel.

2. Be more profitable

For hotels with background and hoteliers with years in the travel industry, it’s difficult to think of leaving behind the classic ads in travel magazines, promotion on television or retargeting. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than Outbound marketing, given the B2C type of businesses.

Think that traditional marketing reaches a wide range of people. Not all of them are really your target and even fewer people belong to your potential client’s group. But with Inbound methodology, your communication channels are low cost and your main concern is the generation of relevant content aimed at a very specific sector. Which is what makes it cost-effective.

This does not mean that you cannot take advantage of good audio-visual production. Videos are, after all, one of the best formats to present valuable content with. Besides, video is highly consumed among Internet users, especially on YouTube. But on the other hand, you can save the costs of its promotion or PPC online ads.

Getting qualified leads that will become your final guests has a minor cost with Inbound marketing. That is why among other reasons, we assume that these travellers are within a buying cycle (traveller’s journey) that is inherent to consumers looking for content on the Internet. And if you provide the content of value that they seek, you will get the traffic that leads you to win more customers.

3. Create long-term results

Yes, it is true; with Inbound marketing, it is often harder to see short-term results. But you will not bore users with the unnecessary bombardment of ads they don’t want to see because they don’t belong to your potential client’s group. Do you know how that can negatively affect your reputation?

On the other hand, with Inbound methodology, content delivery is not aggressive. Travel consumers come to your website because they engage in the same conversations as other users on social networks and because they have accessed your content through the search engines.

When your publications are relevant, they don’t have to be obsolete if you know to reuse that content after a while and revamp it with the appropriate tools, such as social networks. It’s all about delivering the right content, at the right time, for the right people.

Perhaps with Outbound marketing, you get short-term results easily, but they also last for a short period of time. On the other hand, with Inbound any type of content delivered will have a higher durability and that will mean getting more effective results over a longer period of time.

4. Improve your ROI

Inbound marketing helps hotels improve return on investment
(ROI). HubSpot, the forerunner of Inbound marketing, has discovered that 92.3% of companies using this methodology have increased traffic to their websites, with blogging strategy being the most effective method.

As you can see, this methodology gives results, and very good ones, since measuring the return on investment or ROI, thanks to your data, is one of the best ways to determine if the online strategies implemented for your hotel are effective.

5. Generate engagement

This is one of the big problems to date. Engagement among travel consumers is difficult to achieve if good practice is not applied. Above all, you need to listen and understand them. Because it means a lot to consumers that you spend the right amount of time in creating giving them something else than your products and services.

Building relationships based on trust is not as complicated with Inbound Marketing. This is because it’s base on the knowledge of your potential customers’ need and preferences. For example, with surveys on your landing pages, you can learn valuable information that will lead you to generate personalised content that can build long-term relationships with them. That is, generating a reliable and lasting engagement.

6. Fostering Customer Loyalty

Articles and recordings contribute towards long-haul engagement, as they can be gotten to, seen and shared more than once after some time. Your current and new substance will make a bigger showcasing lifecycle and cause change guests to your site into promoters for your image. Think about these guests as your virtual team promoters. They share and advance your lodging in light of a positive affair seeing the online substance you have distributed. With the assistance of your current internet tailing, you will have the capacity to achieve a broadened system and access more individuals and potential leads.

marketing budgets

Final words

Inbound marketing isn’t just good for attracting new guests — it also works for building valuable long-term relationships with current and previous guests, turning them into repeat direct-bookers and ambassadors for your hotel.

Concluding with some final suggestions. Collect and implement guest feedback. Ask guests to complete surveys, which will not only help you make your services perfect but also personalise your guest experience and the content you share through your inbound marketing activities. Hotels and restaurants can use this information for improvement and understanding of the demands of customers. If your customers like your services, they will promote your brand. Online surveys, opinion page on social networks and review box on websites are important tools of inbound marketing for hotels that encourage and enable you to build stronger bonds with your customers.

Remember to pay close attention to the online reviews that guests are leaving on review sites and the online content they are sharing on social media, as this is the first step in the reputation management aspect of inbound marketing. There you have it — inbound marketing for hotels in a nutshell. The key thing to remember is that you’re not chasing travellers online but attracting travellers to you and giving them reasons to choose you over your competition. In other words, focus on providing the kind of relevant, high-quality online content that empowers your guests to find you and book with you all on their own.

You can begin implementing an inbound marketing strategy any time – all it takes is a solid content marketing plan and some relevant, interesting content.

Inbound Marketing for Tourism & Hospitality

Think about what your customers really want and we can help you deliver it

get in touch