The following are some online marketing trends that should be watched out for, considered and adapted in 2017 in diverse social media, marketing & sales, exhibition participation and advertising measures:
1. Augmented and virtual reality – perfect fit for the coach & group travel sectors
Many customers are quite ready for augmented reality (AR) experiences. More brands are in general expected to come out with AR games and AR advertisements. Expensive as they currently are, technologies are already becoming more readily available at competitive prices. AR is a perfect fit for illuminating and illustrating the positives of coach and group travel experiences. AR offers lots of interesting possibilities for co-operative marketing ventures between tour operators, wholesalers, suppliers and holiday destinations. Suppliers and tour operators can also offer virtual reality 360° videos to make users feel like they are travelling in a particular moment, or host live webinars, workshops and presentations to further client and customer engagement. The key is to provide some level of interaction in a way that makes people feel like they are a part of something much bigger.
2. Live video streaming for followers and potential customers
For group holiday operators, YouTube video channels offer plenty of opportunities to broadcast tour highlights to followers and potential customers. Here it is important to consider that people now mainly consume video on their smart phones in the vertical mode so this means that the ideal dimensions are 1080px wide x 1920px tall for vertical video for HD quality. Social media users are also now beginning to demand more live video content, giving them insights into destinations or events they had previously been unable to access. Thanks to faster Internet and the ubiquity of mobile devices, live video has become something of a trend in its own right, with more and more apps and live video platforms such as Instagram Stories, SnapChat and Periscope offering “live streaming” functionality.
3. Data visualization for effective marketing and sales analysis
Targeted and relevant data is essential nowadays for successful tourism marketing and sales. Suppliers and tour operators require quantitative information to tell who is buying what, when, where, why and what advertising and sales messages are most effective. Data analysts themselves often have difficulties understanding exactly what their data is saying. Technology is, however, catching up to the interpretation aspect of data analysis with many useful data visualisation tools available on the market. See for example: http://www.creativebloq.com/design-tools/data-visualization-712402. In 2017 most companies are going to want to start using them – the ones who do not will end up being left behind and at a significant competitive disadvantage.
4. Dense content is now essential to cut through all the noise
Client and customer attention spans are falling quickly and people are growing more impatient and demanding as technology develops and progresses. The potentially infinite scrolls of social media news feeds and endless streams of content from almost every brand and individual we follow force us to filter out the majority of messages we experience as “white noise”, i.e. random content and messages with no immediate attraction or personal appeal. We skim articles and skip posts. That is why so-called ‘dense content’ is now the key to effective online marketing and sales, we have to ensure that every line and every word counts. A good exercise is to “Say it in a Tweet” – condensing your core sales message / USP to 140 characters …