Video Ads: Why Your Tourism Business Needs Them to Thrive
This article forms part of a monthly newsletter series that’s sent directly to travel industry professionals every month.
Want to be the first to receive it straight to your inbox?
The year of the tiger according to the Lunar New Year, signals a time to be bold, strong-willed, and enthusiastic for whatever the future holds. If there’s any time to be fearless with your video campaigns, it’s now!
This month I wanted to highlight the importance of harnessing the power of video ads in your next marketing campaign. The data is clear, the only question you need to ask yourself is ‘how best’ to utilise video ads to your advantage.
So, let’s jump in…
Where do you want to go to first?
Here's this week's roundup:
Game-changing Things That Happened in Travel in 2021 and Trends to Expect for 2022
2021 marked a turning point for the future of travel. While it was largely a mixed bag, depending on where your tourism business was located, it can’t be denied that there were some pretty incredible events for the tourism sector.
So, without further ado – What couldn’t you miss in 2021?
Google facilitating direct bookings for travel customers
Last year Google invested into new tools and features to help amplify the customer experience. They did this through a few methods;
The app’s new ‘Area Business’ allows travellers to avoid crowds and enhance their experience when visiting a new place. In fact Google surpassed Uber in 2021 and the most downloaded app.
‘Things to do’
The previous ‘Reserve with Google’ (RWG) was made obsolete in 2021 and replaced by the launch of ‘Things to do’. The aim of the new programme was to allow tourism businesses to leverage search results and gain more direct bookings.
“This is part of our larger effort to ensure people have access to all offers available to them by providing free and easy ways for businesses to connect with people on Google… Over time, we will continue building this open platform, so that all partners will have even more opportunities to highlight their information and help people book a flight, find a place to stay, or explore a new destination.” – Philipp Schindler (Chief Business Officer at Google)
Domestic Travel becomes the Preference
2021 was an amazing year for a renaissance of domestic travel in many places such as Europe and the Americas. While international travel bounced back over the summer in hot pick destinations such as Croatia and Greece, people have been taking more time to explore more localised adventures.
It’s worth noting that Trip Advisors’ Travel Trends Report 2022 shows that travel consumers across all markets will continue to travel within their home destinations in 2022.
Increased Travelling Complexity
Planning trips the past year has been far from straightforward. Travel restrictions and traveller hesitancy had a huge impact on how people organise their vacations. However, while this has been an enormous challenge to navigate for tourism businesses and customers alike, it does present one silver lining.
There is now an opportunity for tour operators and travel agents to hone in on the fact that opting for an organised itinerary from flights, to accommodation, to activities is the best way to soothe travel anxiety.
One way your tourism business can address booking concerns is through our fill-in-the-blanks flexible booking policy template, you’ll find here.
What Can You Expect to See in 2022…
The resilience of the tourism industry is set to pay off in 2022 and beyond, despite new variants and restrictions, it’s fair to say the outlook is a lot better than it was two years ago. As a result here are the trends we can expect to see in 2022:
A Focus on Exclusivity
It’s a point that’s worth doubling down on. Travellers have been seeking, and will continue to seek exclusivity while travelling. 81% of Australian tourists for instance are hoping to avoid crowded areas in order to feel safer while on the move, according to the University of Queensland.
This is a perfect opportunity for your tourism business to focus on quality over quantity – and leverage any ‘insider’ access you have within your destination. For example, you could include; full access to sites or skip-the-line tickets, never seen before experiences, or even completely tailored tours to match the travellers needs. Inherently this will also add value to your tours.
International Travel Will Start its Comeback
Skift predicts that international travel will see a 44% increase in 2022, signalling the start of its recovery. Unfortunately, this increase likely won’t apply to every region since global recovery is happening unequally. Therefore, the complexity of booking for travellers will remain for some time.
A Focus on Remote Working
Hybrid working will continue to be the norm as employees demand greater flexibility in the workplace. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 41% of employed people were working from home regularly as of November 2021 – saving an estimated AU$3,546 per annum in work-related costs.
This surplus of cash for many middle and high earners could translate into an increase in bookings for short breaks and long weekends, domestic and internationally. Your tourism business can also use this market to create more demand during off-peak and shoulder seasons, ensuring a consistent flow of bookings throughout the year.
As I mentioned in this article previously, your tourism business can tap into this demographic by providing Wi-Fi as a standard to accommodate remote workers.
Did you know that 3.7 million Americans expect to become digital nomads this year?
This represents an addressable market of $972million per year.
An Increase in Mobile
Travellers now feel more comfortable making big purchases through their mobile devices, such as vacations. For tourism businesses, this means shifting more focus on optimising your website for mobile.
An Appetite for New Experiences
2022 and beyond will be all about those bucket list experiences for travellers, and wanting to try new things. According to Trip Advisor, 75% of Americans say it’s important to see new places as part of their travel plans, a sentiment that has been echoed by 74% of Australians, 73% of Singaporeans, and 70% of Britons respectively.
If your tourism business hasn’t transcended into the digital space, now is the time. Travellers with an appetite to explore new places will actively be searching online in order to plan.
We may not be able to control the unexpected curveballs sure to be thrown our way in 2022, however, we can focus on what’s within our control. 2022 is a new opportunity for your tourism business to steam ahead by ensuring best practices are kept, and new skills are learned.
How Diversity and Inclusion Enhances the Travellers Experience
This guest post by Tonya Hemstead, Vice President of DE&I at American Express Global Business Travel highlights the growing need for diversity and inclusion in the tourism industry.
“It is also a priority for corporate travel programs. Making sure travelers feel comfortable as their true, authentic selves while on the road is as important as protecting them against any other risks.”
It can be easy to forget that only 25 years ago the first online booking tools (OTB’s) were built without accessibility in mind. Today it’s the industry standard – which makes sense considering that 15% of the world’s population are people with disabilities.
Tonya predicts that in time, compliance with accessibility standards such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) are likely to become mandatory. While many tech companies are still playing catchup on this, others are getting ahead of the curve.
Here are a few tips your tourism business can take on board with regards to the link between increased diversity and inclusion, and your customers experience.
Tap Into Your Talent To Enhance the Customer Experience
Tonya outlines one of the main concepts DE&I uses in their team is to involve the target group in the process. Whether it be women, people with disabilities, or LGBTQ+ people, forming an inclusion group of allies and members of a particular community will encourage a push for awareness – inwards and outwards.
“Teams should not assume to know what people with disabilities need when using their technology. Tech teams can rely on standards and expert consultants in the field to provide guidance from real-life experiences and data. The result is a solution that truly meets the needs of those who face physical, cognitive or neurological challenges.”
Evolve and adapt
Tourism-related businesses also need to be agile, and evolve quickly. A great example is in the field of gender identity. At least 15 countries today recognise a third gender on passports, therefore this could be an option you add to the inquiry form on your site.
Communication is key
Beyond this, providing reliable information to keep your travellers safe while travelling. For instance making sure female solo travellers, and LGBTQ+ people are aware of all the precautions to take in regions that may be hostile to their community.
“Travel is a force for good. Our industry is in a unique position to expand cultural understanding and diversifying experiences.”
Instagram Is the Platform of Focus for Marketers in 2022, According to New Research
Source: Social Media Today
One of the most common questions I get is what platform your tourism business should be focusing on?
The answer to this question varies depending on what’s worked for you so far, who you want to target and how much time you have to create content.
However, while TikTok may be the app of the moment, it doesn’t quite have the scope to fit all businesses and audiences. According to new research, by Social Media Today Instagram remains the top social media platform for marketers. This is because it has the ability to not only reach across multiple demographic subsets, it also reaches a broader audience, one you can also reach on Facebook (still the most used platform by far).
Contrast to this, Facebook appears to be less popular with marketers in 2022 – which could open up opportunities for your tourism business to reach even more people in a less saturated market in the future.
What content reigns supreme on Instagram?
Of course, video!
As we saw in 2021, Instagram will be doubling down again on video content in 2022. But that’s not all, the app will also be shifting focus onto its messaging service – hoping to make it the primary way people connect. I personally use Instagram messages a lot more than I would use Facebook messages, for instance.
As a tourism business, you should be considering this platform within your multi-channel sales process.
Want The 10xpress delivered straight to your inbox?
Don’t miss important news, reports, opinion, and case studies in the travel industry!
Join our community of tourism businesses who are the first to receive this curated quick-to-read email series every month in their inbox.
Here are my top-tip articles:
What Video Marketers Should Know in 2022, According to Wyzowl Research
It’s hard to not notice the mega beast that video marketing has become over the past decade. But, what’s happening in the video ads world right now? And what can your tourism business expect in 2022?
Every year Wowzel releases their State of Video Marketing Report which details charting usage, spend, channels, and opinions among video marketers and consumers.
For 2021, the report illustrates some interesting findings in light of the chaotic previous year.
Their research shows that:
- Video remains top priority with usage and spend both having increased in 2021, and planning to increase again in the next 12 months.
- The amount of online video people are watching has almost doubled since 2018.
- Marketers feel more positive about the ROI offered by video than ever, as it continues to strongly influence lead generation.
- Video is a vital part of the buyer’s journey, (especially in sectors such as travel).
Key Findings in More Detail
- 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, are you currently using video within your marketing strategy?
- If the answer to the above is ‘not yet’ then perhaps it’s a channel you should be considering – since 92% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part of their marketing strategy.
- 87% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI — a vastly different picture from 2015 where only 33% felt this way.
- 86% of video marketers say video has been effective for generating leads, up another 2% from 2021 and up 5% since 2019.
- 81% of marketers feel that video has a direct, positive impact on sales.
- 94% of marketers agree that videos have helped their audience and users understand their products better. Translating this to your tourism business, your audience will be able to fully envision what a tour will be like with you, if you harness the power of video.
- Most marketers (62%) consider video engagement the top metric to measure for success. Views or plays came in at a close second (61%).
- 81% report that video marketing has improved their company’s bottom line. This means videos will have a positive impact even if you’re focusing on other metrics.
- In terms of where Video Marketers will be focusing their energy in 2022 – YouTube takes the win with 88%. Signalling a huge opportunity for your tourism business to jump into for 2022.
However, as mentioned above – the answer on where you should focus your ad spend really depends on who you’re trying to target with your video ads. For travel companies we still see huge successes from Facebook and Instagram, compared to YouTube. It very much relies on your personal business situation.
YouTube Adds New Filters to its Video Performance Chart, Enabling More Specific Data Context
Source: Tech Register
Youtube has recently added a nifty analytics option to Youtube Studio, enabling you to visualise the performance of your uploads by the focus topic of each. In turn this helps you to measure your metrics more effectively and garner a greater understanding of your audience’s needs.
So, what can you do now?
You can display up to 100 videos at once in the built-in scattergram, and sort the list according to ‘first 24 hours’, ‘first 7 days’ and ‘first 28 days’. This allows you to view all your videos according to similar topics, which means you’ll be able to conduct more effective audits of your material too.
This is super effective because you’re able to gain better comparisons of video performance with like-for-like clips, rather than measuring each video against each other. Your tourism business can harness this tool to contextualise video engagement, and start to tailor your content to fit your audience’s needs.
To access your video performance chart, go to: Channel analytics > Advanced mode > Compare to’ > ‘First 24 hours video performance’
The Long & Short of it…Which Length Should Your Tourism Business be Focussing on?
Source: Marketing Dive
For tourism businesses just like yours, looking to create powerful stories that capture the hearts and minds of travellers – Video is your main ally. But, you need to do more than post a random clip of your tours.
You need to consider;
- The dimensions (I recommend 1:1 to suit the Instagram and Facebook platform)
- What will your CTA (Call to action) be?
- What story do you want to tell with your video? What emotions are you aiming to trigger in your audience to make them want to book a tour with you?
- Including a testimonial, or a ‘talking head’ being one of your guides or yourself, talking passionately about what guests can expect from their time with you.
- And, finally you need to decide on which length to choose – Short form, or long form?
While short form boosts discoverability, (and I recommend leveraging short form as much as possible for your tourism business), there is huge potential in long form videos also.
This guest post article by Patrick Harris, VC of Global Agency Development at Meta explores why your business should be introducing long-form video into your marketing strategy.
Longer form videos are excellent for brand building, and storytelling. They serve as an inspiration machine to help drive longer viewing time, and deliver more complex messages.
For instance, your tourism business can use long-form content to really hone in on a particular cultural experience your guests will find on the tour.
A traveller who is deeply engaged with documentary and educational style videos will be more open to longer form ads – does this sound like your audience?
There are so many ways to deploy creative videos these days, that you may feel a little spoilt for choice. Learn here, how this tourism business doubled their tour inquiries through a 3 step approach to video marketing.
Did you know digital video consumption has quadrupled to four hours a day since before the pandemic?
“And this jump is likely to last: Three-quarters of consumers who are viewing more online video content say they plan to maintain their watch time post-pandemic.” Patrick says.
A statistic I found interesting:
82% of Global Internet Traffic in 2022 Will Come From Video
A question for you:
Are you daunted or excited to start implementing video ads into your next campaign?
Did you enjoy reading the above?
The 10xpress is a monthly series curated exclusively for travel companies like you
Every month, I provide you with:
- Reports, opinion, case studies, and key findings that directly impact the tours and activities sector.
- Educational articles to guide you through the changing world of online sales and marketing from industry leaders.
- Tips and tools on how to improve your tour operator business, generate more sales and make your life easier.
Want The 10xpress delivered straight to your inbox?
Join our community of tour operators who are the first to receive this newsletter series every month in their inboxes.