The Travel Marketeer is a series dedicated to examining data, insights, and ideas around marketing, creative testing, and ways travel brands can improve the online customer experience. The series covers the following 10 topics to help you win online travel bookings:

 

  1. Message price as more than a number  

  • Price perception is shaped more by the way a price is presented than by the price itself. Brands can influence price perception simply by experimenting with different messaging.
  • SEM ad creative testing is a great way to gauge the influence of price perception without actually changing the price.

 

  1. Don’t apply retail creative best practices to travel

  • Booking travel is generally a bigger and more drawn out decision than a retail-related purchase, often with delayed gratification relative to retail.
  • Applying retail creative tactics such as using a strong purchase-oriented call-to-action can make travel brands seem out of touch with the customer perspective and hurt conversion rates—always consider the customer journey when developing travel creative.

 

  1. Improve your conversion rate with ad creative testing

  • The way marketers present offerings in ads can create lasting customer perceptions that can be difficult to change later.
  • A customer’s first impression from an ad can trigger what behavioral economists refer to as “cognitive biases” that nudge customers toward decisions like purchases and bookings.

 

  1. Message to both business and leisure travelers

  • It’s important to keep users engaged with the right creative at the right time throughout the booking decision process.
  • Understanding the customer’s context and perspective is critical. In situations where it’s tough to segment audiences cleanly between business and leisure travelers, rotate creative for both segments within the same campaigns and ad groups.

 

  1. Use words that work in travel creative

  • Ads can contain short, innocuous phrases that are unnecessary, take up space, and add no value.
  • You must test extensively to understand what words truly works in your travel ad creative.

 

  1. Capture 2016 Olympics bookings before it’s too late

  • Booking travel for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games has begun, and it’s time to develop marketing plans for all stages of this expensive international travel booking journey.
  • Start by evaluating historical data from various sources, provide creative that jives with early stages of the customer journey, and put key milestones on your Olympics travel marketing calendar now to help you stay on track to capture bookings later.

 

  1. Apply travel insights from Google Trends

  • Google Trends provides data that can be used to inform travel marketing planning decisions, including the information needed to improve regional advertising investments.
  • Review your media plan to ensure coverage for high-demand destinations.

 

  1. Influence customers through mobile

  • Mobile is a key influencer of travel booking decisions. People are using mobile to research and get inspiration for travel, but they often book using another device, which means mobile doesn’t get the last click.
  • Conduct extensive creative testing to determine how to best align messaging across devices and stages of the customer journey.

 

  1. Research keywords with traveler personas in mind

  • Utilize traveler personas to optimize your search keyword strategy and to make better marketing decisions.
  • Segment bookings by persona, develop keyword lists for each persona, and then break them into separate campaigns for experimentation—this will result in a goldmine of data to inform your persona keyword targeting strategy.

 

  1. Inform ad creative with traveler personas

  • Traveler personas can be used to optimize ad creative—review personas before developing new creative to keep them front and center.
  • To effectively engage different persona types, develop and test creative that resonates based on factors such as language the persona typically uses.

 

These 10 ideas provide a solid foundation for any travel marketing strategy. But extensive creative testing is required to identify what works best for your brand. Run creative testing early and often to develop creative that entices your customers to book their travel with you now and in the future.

 

 


About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.