Tourism marketing trends to tap in 2018

Cape Town - The competitive nature of the tourism industry - coupled with consumers’ constantly changing expectations - has meant that keeping tabs on, and tapping into, marketing trends is a must for business success.

So, what trends should the tourism sector expect in 2018?

Premier Hotels & Resorts’ group marketing manager Christa Badenhorst shares five forecasts for the year ahead:

Personalisation is a priority
According to the American Marketing Association, the average consumer is exposed to up to 10 000 brand messages each day.

Personalisation – using customer data to analyse, segment and target marketing efforts - is key to cutting through this clutter. A number of hotels have taken this one step further by personalising aspects of the guest experience to set themselves apart from their competitors.

Video is the way to go

With the Digital Marketing Institute revealing that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide pin point video as the type of content with the best return on investment (ROI), in addition to 43% of global internet users wanting to see more video content from marketers in the future, it’s not surprising that this tool will be increasingly used in 2018.

Video marketing offers a powerful way to tell a brand’s story, unpack its value proposition and form relationships with potential and existing customers. There is also a myriad of video marketing options to choose from such as pre-roll ads on YouTube and explainer ads on a brand’s own website.

Messaging apps on the up

Globally, the number of people using mobile messaging apps is expected to increase from 1.82 billion in 2017, to 2.01 billion in 2018.

With more and more people using apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat, marketers are following suit to raise brand awareness, distribute content, advertise, generate leads, drive sales and conduct customer service.

Embracing artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) enables marketers to use user web-browsing behaviour information in their marketing efforts.

Now that AI tools have become more affordable and accessible, more businesses will be utilising them to enhance pay-per-click ad campaigns, suggest social media content for better engagement, provide a highly personalised experience to website visitors and enable customer support via chatbots - to name but a few capabilities.

Marketing gurus say brands that delay using AI-powered solutions in their content marketing will be left behind.

New social media marketing stars

Instagram and LinkedIn are set to be the go-to social media marketing platforms in 2018.

With a report by marketing software company TrackMaven revealing that brands tend to see better engagement on Instagram than on any other social media platform, many marketers will be moving their social media spend over.

In addition, LinkedIn’s site-wide revamp that refreshed the user interface and improved its ad functionality - together with marketers moving away from Twitter due to lack of user growth and issues with its ad platform - will make it the top option for B2B marketing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how these and other trends will be shaking up the industry in 2018,” concludes Badenhorst.

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