Last week, friend Jean-Luc told us (real) tourism trends for 2022. Allow me today to put a layer of it back, but with an emphasis on the marketing aspect of our great industry. In other words, what are the tools, trends or phenomena that we should monitor, even master, over the next year with a view to optimally marketing tourism?
1. TikTok becomes essential
In October 2019, I published an article on my blog explaining why TikTok would be the platform to watch in 2020! Imagine, that was before the pandemic and the meteoric growth that this platform has experienced over the past 18 months! Thus, we recently learned that TikTok now has more than a billion active users on a monthly basis, a figure which should increase to 1.5 billion by mid-2022.
More importantly, we observe that the user base is democratizing and no longer comes down to young people aged 12-20. If these remain the important base of users of the platform, The 30-55 year olds form the fastest growing segment since the last year. Parents who watch what their offspring are doing there… then remain addicted to the content of dance, cooking, travel and everything!
During the past year, I had the opportunity to give webinars on TikTok and its marketing potential to tourism providers in Isère Attractiveness and Ain Tourisme in France, as well as to members of Tourisme Cantons-de- East, here in Quebec. My biggest challenge was to find companies in the tourism sector with a presence on the platform, in order to show concrete examples of use. If it was difficult in 2020 and even still in early 2021, it is now easier because the industry has taken the TikTok turn. Or is preparing to take it massively, in 2022!
I am thinking in particular of the Granby Zoo, which even won an award at the Quebec Tourism Summit last November, for its innovative recruitment campaign in the summer of 2021. The company used TikTok to attract and hire employees. student work during the months of July and August. And on their account, we notice a good use of playful content for the storytelling of what is happening at the Zoo, especially behind the scenes. I am also thinking of the Village Québécois d’Antan, in Drummondville, which has needed a hit with a few publications reaching over 200k users. Or ski resorts that showcase content from their users.
Some interesting accounts to follow in the world of travel:
- @ 2alpes
- @Air France
- @ oui.sncf
- @the tour of France
2. SEO and local search
Due to the pandemic that has been raging for almost two years now, local tourism has never been so popular. We travel close to home because there are beautiful things to see and experience, of course. But also (above all) because we don’t really have a choice. We are therefore not surprised to discover that searches on Google with the term “near me”, or in good French ” near me“, Have increased by 100% in 2020 and by 91% during the year 2021, according to the firm SearchEngineLand.
A traveler is therefore on the road, and he is looking for an “Italian restaurant near me” or even a “museum or cultural center near me”. Does your website and digital presence take into account this reality, these keywords? This is where the different variables that make up SEO come into play, i.e. search engine optimization. In other words, is the content that we find on your website – texts, titles, meta-descriptions, alt-images, H1-H2-H3 – designed and oriented according to the right keywords and distinctive of your business reality, destination?
Concretely, what can we do to appear better in the search engines? This is a long-term job – watch out for fortune sellers who promise you the # 1 position on Google in less than 7 days, for a lifetime monthly lump sum!
You can nevertheless work on certain aspects of your SEO:
- Manage your presence on Google with the Company Profile (formerly known as Google My Business), respond to reviews, add photos, update hours of operation, and more.
- Complete the description and the keywords (tags) in the videos you upload to your account Youtube. We sometimes forget the power of this platform, the fact that it is owned by Google and that consumers use it a lot in their online research process before a trip. Read this article on the Yoast blog to learn more (in English)
- Activate Search Console (Google Search Console) in your Google Analytics account. This will allow you to identify some popular and strategic keywords that lead users to your website. These keywords should then be used in your content creation on the website, but also on your social media and in your advertising campaigns (Google Ads).
Optimizing a website for search engines has always been an important but underused and poorly understood aspect of a majority of marketers. In the current context where online commerce is exploding, due to the lack of being able to travel in person, it will therefore be important to pay particular attention to this level in 2022.
3. Primary data> Secondary data
In 2021, there was a lot of talk about the imminent disappearance of data from third-party platforms, but what were we talking about? If you are an Apple user, you will have noticed, since the iOS14 update, that you are asked if you agree to be “followed by the application” during use. We can obviously refuse, which means that the game, weather, or social media applications (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) can no longer collect data on these users. who will have declined the option.
Google has also announced its intention to restrict the data captured via Chrome, postponing some major changes until 2023. The fact remains that for tourism businesses doing online marketing and advertising using retargeting (or remarketing), these changes are important and will prevent many opportunities for quality targeting.
This brings us back to the importance of collecting your own data, or primary data. These belong to you and are usually of better quality: your customers’ email addresses, postal addresses, surveys and customer data, etc. When compared to secondary data, obtained through a partner or a third-party platform, these are data that have tangible validity and value.
With all this local tourism that we have inherited since March 2020, what more do we do to collect primary data? Do you have a strategy for sending automated emails to your past customers? Do you send newsletters on a regular basis, in order to maintain the relationship with your customer databases? In a context where cookies will disappear and third-party data is doomed to extinction, it is more important than ever to put in place a relationship marketing strategy.
Instagram supplants Facebook
We have seen this coming for a few years now, but we have to admit that 2022 risks driving the nail even further into Facebook’s coffin. Not that Facebook has become useless or irrelevant, on the contrary. Facebook is too big to fail, and if users are much less present than before – especially young people, who have deserted the platform – it remains essential especially for its peripheral tools: events, marketplace, discussion groups, meetings (Tinder, Facebook version), advertising , etc.
That being said, we will agree that Facebook is no longer the locomotive of social media that it once was. It is rather his little sister, Instagram, which overshadows him and which is proving to be a relevant tool for those involved in tourism. As it is an eminently visual platform, it is perfect to sell dreams and inspire for a future stay. Several features have also been added over time, making a brand presence much more complete and useful from a customer service perspective: messaging, stories, reels, collections, videos, etc.
We also recently learned that Instagram will rely more than ever on video over the coming months, and that the news feed will see a return to chronological content, as in its beginnings. And when we know that it is more than 50% of French and Quebec Internet users who are now present and active there, it is high time to consider Instagram as a mainstream platform just like Facebook, and no longer as marginal, as I still hear sometimes …
The comeback of OTAs
My hotelier friends won’t like this one, sorry, but not the choice to talk about it in an article on tourism marketing over the next year … Indeed, we know that the last two years have marked a return marked to direct booking. This is good news in itself for companies offering accommodation (hotels, hotels, lodges, chalets, etc.), because it means less commission to pay to the Expedia and Booking companies of this world. These OTAs (online travel agencies) which are a necessary evil for many.
This table, taken from a white paper published by the firm D-Edge at the end of last summer, confirms this state of affairs. We can see that direct booking reached record levels in 2020 (30%) and 2021 (32%) while Booking was maintained at 47% and Expedia fell to only 7% (compared to 19% there is two years old, in 2021). The portrait is similar in Asia-Pacific, according to this report, as well as in North America according to various studies by the firms STR or even PhoCusWright.
In short, on the surface, direct bookings have made a comeback, a phenomenon that will last. Precisely, no.
Because we must understand WHY this phenomenon is observed. And according to several industry specialists, we come back to the point established earlier in this article: local tourism. Travelers thus tend to call or contact directly (email, messaging, website) an establishment when it is in their city or province. But when international travel is possible again – we hope so in 2022, in any case – we can expect a strong comeback of OTAs.
All the more reason to apply certain concepts mentioned in this article, in particular an emphasis on SEO and local search, as well as an effort on primary data and a relationship marketing strategy. These are two tactics that pay off in the long term … while encouraging the customer to book directly with the tourist provider!
And you, what other trend do you see for tourism marketing in 2022?
We want to give thanks to the writer of this article for this awesome material
5 trends in tourism marketing – Etourisme.info