“People have money and time, and they’re using it to travel”: How to Attract U.S Domestic Travelers
“People have money and time, and they’re using it to travel”: this from airline analyst Helane Becker, quoted in a New York Times article highlighting the current surge in US domestic air travel.
Early in the pandemic, we talked about strategies for targeting guests within your local area: so-called ‘staycation’ travelers. Now, in a post-vaccine world, the market for many hotels is still largely domestic, but it consists of travelers from all over the country, not just your backyard. From a digital marketing perspective, this shift in travel trends invites some new strategic approaches.
Here are some tips for taking advantage of the current domestic travel boom.
Pay Attention to Analytics Data
Data is the lifeblood of digital marketing. The more data you’re able to gather, the better results you will typically achieve. The richest source of data about your hotel comes from your Google Analytics account, where you can find out where your website visitors are located, what their interests are, and what their browsing habits are prior to booking with you.
Being able to effectively analyze and draw conclusions from your analytics account can help you zero in on which domestic markets are most likely to book at your property. Identifying these segments can allow you to run more efficient campaigns, better tailor your website content, and more effectively conduct your overall marketing.
Run Targeted Campaigns
The more visitors to your website, the better, right? Not necessarily. Would you prefer 100 visitors who had only a passing interest in booking, or 30 visitors with a clear intention to make a booking?
Long story short, quality can offer an edge over quantity, especially when you’re paying for every click in a digital ad campaign. Your focus here should always be on driving qualified traffic: that is, users with a high likelihood of making a purchase with you. Once you’ve started leveraging your analytics data to determine which user segments are most likely to book at your property, use highly targeted digital ads to get your hotel’s message in front of these travelers specifically.
Adjust Your Website
In an ordinary travel world, a hotel website has to cast a wide net when it comes to potential audiences. Travelers from different parts of the world often have different expectations and needs when planning their travel experience--not to mention different language requirements.
For the time being, if the focus is almost exclusively on attracting domestic travelers, your website’s messaging and structure should accommodate that. Peruse your analytics data to see how browsing behavior has changed since pre-pandemic periods and look for clues as to how domestic audiences are moving through your site, and which types of pages and messaging cues they are responding most positively.
Making some modifications to your website--even if they’re temporary--could help you better appeal to US travelers and increase conversion rates in the coming months.
Consider a Partner
Digital marketing is a team sport and the most successful hotels are often the ones with a diverse team to assist with the different aspects of being successful online. To find out more about how we can help you maximize your business from US travelers this year, give us a call--we’re always happy to chat.
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