The search landscape is moving fast. In particular, mobile search and mobile usage by travellers - both business and leisure. We have seen great emerging trends this year and it presents great opportunity for those willing to truly connect with their potential customers on the path to purchase via mobile.
Travellers have become very demanding of their content and information as Google tells us there are millions of searches for hotels and travel related experiences. Not only that, we have seen travellers and consumers in general take to their mobile device more often than they would on their desktop to search for information.
Mobile drives search, the evidence overwhelmingly supports this. Google is now telling us (and have been for some time) to plan for mobile first, desktop second. Here are our top 5 trends that we are seeing in the travel industry that should totally transform your marketing focus.
1. Mobile Search Overtakes PC
Google finally told us earlier in the year that finally, people search for content more on mobile devices that they do on a PC today. There are around 10 countries including the USA and Japan.
The implications are far reaching for the travel and tourism industry. While some smaller businesses still wondering if they should build a website and many large multi-nationals running clunky non-mobile friendly sites, Google has moved to penalise websites that are not mobile friendly in mobile search. If your site is not mobile friendly, other sites and pages that are mobile friendly are likely to be shown before yours. You can check here if your own site is mobile friendly.
It is serious, you stand to lose business as travellers reach to their mobile device to seek ideas, inspiration and research heavily about destinations and experiences.
2. Travel Research is a Big Micro-Moment Topic
You know you do this yourself. Any spare moment you have - waiting at the trains station, waiting for your kids playing sports, waiting in line at the supermarket, waiting for your friend to arrive at the cafe. You pull out your mobile device and start 'snacking'. Small spurts of search activity that are highly convertible and easily influenced with the right content. These are highly charged moments.
We use our mobile devices now to search with a new immediacy and urgency. The micro-moment is now the new battleground for tourism brands. Google calls them the:
- Want-to-buy moments
Micro-moments mean business to the travel industry. Google tells us that "Of leisure travellers who are smartphone users, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they're standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travellers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel"
3. Video Travel Content is Highly Consumed on Mobile Devices
YouTube data shows that travellers are spending more time watching online videos than ever before, with views of travel-related content up 118% year over year (YoY). Not only that, travellers use mobile devices to consume travel content anywhere at any time in micro-moment search experiences. According to the data, mobile devices accounted for roughly 30% of all travel video views, with mobile viewing up 97% on smartphones and 205% on tablets, YoY.
With these stats, it is not only important to be mobile, but also important to ensure that you have plenty of video content to inspire potential customers and visitors in short, sharp inspirational bursts.
And don't think you need high production values. Believe it or not, DIY videos or user-generated content, peer review videos offer a kind of authenticity that travellers are looking for along the traveller path to purchase.
There is a new dependence on mobile devices when travellers are in destination. When it comes to seeking information about getting to a place, directions, shopping, restaurants, cafes, our mobile device is the new concierge. Around 94% of people bring at least one mobile device when they take a leisure trip and that number increases to 97% on business trips. More than a third of travellers use their mobile device more when travelling than they do at home!
5. Dependency on Mobile Increases
Travellers use their mobile device during all stages of the path the purchase. From dreaming to planning right through to post trip sharing. As travellers depend more and more on the mobile 'extension' of themselves at home and while away, it is more important than ever for your travel business or destination to create content and marketing strategies to connect via mobile with potential visitors on their path to purchase.
At the most basic level, it is important for your website an all marketing communications to be mobile friendly. After that, it is important to capture your potential customers at highly charged micro-moments, when they are dreaming or looking for inspiration or ready to book.
For our members we take you through a presentation, expanding on all these trends and provide your the PowerPoint templates to use in your own research and presentations. We have also put together a series of actions and tactical executions that you can do now to improve the mobile appeal of your business, website and marketing communications. Click here to access member content
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She also runs a well respected seniors travel blog, http://www.newyoungtravel.com.au.
Bronwyn is also the published author of Seniors Travel Tips, a global travel guide for seniors.