Digital Marketing Trends in Tourism

The tourism industry has always been present since people started travelling to different countries for vacations, but it has changed a lot since 1811, when the phrase was first used. It is an industry that above all has been affected massively by digital developments. Just two decades ago people would call travel agents to book vacations and now you have a device more powerful than computers of the time, capable of booking vacations at your fingertips. Transport and accommodation operators were among the first to utilise digital marketing, engaging communities and making sure their customers had the best away-from-home experience.

You may have noticed that the major players in the tourism industry are always at the forefront of digital marketing practices but how exactly do they stand out. There are several techniques that companies use to engage customers with themselves. Meeting their target audience’s expectations for information delivery and advancements in technology perfectly to constantly bring them an amazing experience. Let’s discuss some of the ways in which Digital Marketers help tourism businesses stand out from the crowd, with immersive video, engaging content and Instagram.

Immersive Video: 360-Degrees

360-degree video was introduced to YouTube and Facebook in 2015, making way for thousands of tourist destinations to experiment with this new exciting medium. It is easy to see the benefit this format would have for companies in the tourism industry. If you can pull off a 360-degree video properly, it can provide an immersive experience for your audience. Viewers can get an in-depth look at destinations, activities and events. Generally, 360-degree videos generate much higher engagement than standard videos, with users sharing their personal experience and hidden objects they may find while looking around.

There has been research that backs up this information, but actively engaging people with 360-degree videos also faces its own challenges. 13% of users in the study said they had interacted with a 360-degree video, while only 51% of those users said they found them to be more engaging than standard videos. However, there are some exceptional examples of where this format truly works and provides users with a unique experience.

British Columbia: The Winter Within

The British Colombia tourism board uses skiing action to drive its incredibly immersive 360-degree video, The Winter Within, which shows viewers exactly what skiing in British Columbia is like. It also takes this a step further by allowing users to navigate around the mountains themselves, offering much more spectacular views than even actual skiers would experience. While simple 360-degree tour videos provide a functional purpose, interactive adventure videos can effectively increase a viewer’s excitement for the experience being portrayed. This is especially attractive if you are convincing someone to visit your destination or build up their anticipation.

Engaging Content: Editorial

High-quality content is a key component to successful marketing for tourist destinations. Viewing just a few websites for hotels and locations of interest will expose you to large quantities of extravagant and engaging content. Different types of content can be created for potential customers, which attract varying audiences, from blog posts to long-form editorial, eBooks, pictures and videos. You should know from your own holiday booking that most people investigate several options before deciding on their eventual travel destination, hotel and restaurants for their vacation.

A regularly updated website in an excellent opportunity to respond to customer’s needs and help them to make their decision. To do this effectively, you don’t need to focus on your product or service, but on the needs of customers and visitors and through your blog you can provide all the information they need. So, ask yourself what your target audience’s interests are. Content creation is time-consuming, but it creates an environment for customers to build their trust of you and recommend you to others.

Le Germain Hotel

The Le Germain Hotel blog demonstrates the above points perfectly. Its blog caters perfectly to its target audience is regularly update with content about the Canadian cities it has hotels in. Often, the posts revolving around art, dining and cocktails, clearly attempting to attract a sophisticated clientele. They have clearly defined their niche and caters to it perfectly, rarely even promoting itself, which is very important.

LeGermain Hotel

Instagram: Inspiration

It is no surprise that the travel industry has taken Instagram by storm, it is the perfect way to showcase your business to an active audience. The platform is a great way to increase a brand’s visibility and awareness within their target audience. More traditional social networks like Twitter and Facebook create a passive experience, with users casually scrolling through their feed for their friend’s posts or specific keywords. However, Instagram has become an essential tool in looking for inspiration, whether it be for art, designs or holiday destinations. After all, what would the perfect destination be if it wasn’t Instagram ready.

Travelcompanies can capitalise on this active audience, delivering stunning and inspirational imagery for their destination. Capturing the right imagery can inspire ideas from other Instagram users as to where they want to go and the type of photos they will be able to capture themselves. They also serve to showcase the spectacular area the travel destinations are based in and the surrounding landscape.

South Landing Inn (@southlanding)

South Landing Inn’s Instagram is an example of a new company starting off their social media the right way. They are already posting beautiful shots in and around their tourist destination, as well as featuring events around their area. This is a great example of providing quality content for a target audience.

South Landing Instagram

Exploring Together (@exploring__together)

Exploring Together’s Instagram shows the other side of tourism on Instagram, it is a couple who travels the world taking pictures in amazing, often exotic, places. They are influenced by other Instagram users and travel companies who showcase beautiful places for them to visit. Users like this usually have a big influence on audiences and provide valuable promotion without being paid to do so.

Exploring Together Instagram


Author: Helen Sayer

Bio: Helen Sayer is a Digital Marketing Executive with several years of experience in marketing and business development. She works for Halifax-based web design and SEO agency, Digital Renovators, and has helped clients from all over the world – including the UK, America, Canada, Australia and Mainland Europe.