This week marks the annual World Travel Market (WTM), a huge event where travel businesses from across the globe come together to exhibit, network and learn. Whether you’re a travel business or not, here are 5 things the World Travel Market can teach us about digital marketing:
1) Know Your Audience
The organisers of the World Travel Market know their audience. Granted, with an event titled World Travel Market, it’s not too difficult to work out the industry they’re targeting but equally, it requires a deeper knowledge to ensure the content and the promotional efforts they put in are worthwhile.
In your business, knowing your audience is key. Who are you trying to reach? What benefit do you/your product/your service provide them? For WTM, they’re targeting travel businesses and the benefit they provide is a broad set of contacts, learning materials and ongoing content.
2) Pick Your Location
In event marketing, location is key. For the guys at WTM, choosing a location can’t have been easy – after all, their audience is spread across the globe. So what do you do?
In your business, it’s important to know where your audience is offline, but also where they are online. Offline, consider the geographical areas your customers are in as well as the geographical areas you service. Local SEO may be the tool you need to boost your local profile.
Online, consider where your audience is already active. Considering a Facebook page as part of your social media marketing? If your audience isn’t already on Facebook, you’ll be fighting a losing battle trying to promote to them there. They’re already chatting away on Twitter? Great, spend more time there.
3) Get Your Content Right
This year’s World Travel Market had a full agenda of travel related events and workshops, aimed at providing the attendees with something valuable and useful. The same applies for your business.
Content truly is the cornerstone of successful digital marketing and it’s important that yours is up to scratch if you’re to do well online. When considering your content, think about:
- The text on your website; does each page have a minimum of 250 words? Is it readable? The ‘we-we’ factor – do you only talk about yourself or do you relate everything back to your audience’s needs?
- The use of rich media; are you making good use of video? Imagery? Graphics? Getting this kind of content right can really improve your site and potentially your rankings in the search engines.
- Your social media interactions; are you representing your brand in the way it deserves? Consider tone of voice and brand guidelines to make sure you get it right.
4) Spread the Word
A great event simply doesn’t happen without bums-on-seats and making sure the right people hear your message is a huge part of successful digital marketing, whether you’re a travel business or not.
Consider the best way to get your message out there. Will you use, for example, SEO (search engine optimisation) to build up your website’s rankings in the search results and help new people to find you? Could you use PPC (paid search marketing) to boost your brand in the early stages and drive some really targeted traffic to your site? Is social media marketing right for you or can email marketing provide you the results you need?
In reality, you’ll need to use a combination of techniques to make your digital campaign a success – just as WTM used a range of techniques in promoting their event both online and off. Make sure your digital marketing plan is thorough and robust. And then…
5) Measure the Results
The organisers of the World Travel Market would have a tough time justifying their role if there was no purpose to the event, no tangible outcome for the organisers. Chances are, this rests primarily on on fairly simple objectives: sell tickets. The organisers can see how many tickets they sold, see the money they took and work out the profit they made – great! But for many businesses, including WTM, we have multiple goals and it’s important to measure against all of them.
For example, no doubt the organisers of WTM would quite like for people to buy their tickets again next year. So they need to ensure that everyone who visited this year was satisfied. How do they do that? Take a look at their website – testimonial videos, live streams, blogs, updates… all these things suggest they’re trying to keep their audience engaged and I would suggest they will be tracking engagement as a goal or KPI (Key Performance Indicator). Is engagement important in your business?
I would suggest they’re also looking at brand awareness – how many people are talking about their brand right now? How many new followers do they have across social media? Have they collected new names and contact details through email newsletters and other methods?
Your digital marketing strategy will tell you what you are trying to achieve and how you plan to achieve it. By measuring, monitoring and refining, your digital marketing efforts stand a far better chance of being successful.
Not a travel business? Not to worry – we work with you too! We’re delighted with our growing portfolio of clients and would love to talk to you about how we can support your digital marketing efforts. Contact us to discuss your requirements.