Social media is irrefutably a force to reckon with. For B2B traveltech companies, social media and the whole social ecosystem is like an oasis where it can find its prospective customers, if not perpetually, then time and again. The digitalization of travel is witnessing a huge influx of travel technology into the market with most vendors trying to lure corporate clients who need assistance in planning out their employee tours and trips.
2019 is the year of the rise of travel technology firms which include startups, enterprises and SMBs. Traveltech is at its growth stage and this period will continue up to the late 2025. There are about 250 Traveltech firms that are shaping the travel and hospitality landscape of the modern day.
A recent Sojern survey of more than 600 travel marketers from 46 countries has identified that social media and personalization are top of the mind for travel advertisers. Tweet This! Interestingly, many marketers surveyed reported that in 2019 they will spend more on social.
1. Video constituted only 9% of the 2018 ad spend. However, about 46% of marketers reported that in 2019 they plan to allocate more to video ads.
2. For direct response, Facebook and Instagram emerged as the top social channels. However, independent properties expressed almost equal enthusiasm for paid search (36%) as for Facebook and Instagram (38%).
3. Youtube has become a hugely popular medium for reaching out and engaging with prospective customers. 71% of the international luxury hotel chains utilize Youtube.
4. Almost half (48%) of hotel marketers indicated their top challenge in 2018 was keeping up with the fast-paced advertising and technology landscape. Tweet This!
5. Across all verticals, digital marketing took up nearly half of all travel marketers’ ad spend (47%) in 2018, with print ads coming in a very distant second place (16% of budget was devoted to this traditional medium). Television and out of home made up 13% and 12% respectively, while radio commanded just 8% of marketing dollars.
6. Facebook and Instagram are widely used in the LATAM region, as found out in a 2018 digital ad spend by region research by Sojern.
7. Another interesting study by Sojern revealed that augmented reality and virtual reality are the marketing technologies that will disrupt travel marketing over the next five years.
8. Social has become integral to the travel experience. Travelers use social networks to post their travel updates, experiences, sojourns and reviews upon returning from a vacation (MDG Advertising).
When asked, marketers felt that Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and Google Ads will be the biggest key players to end up disrupting the travel marketing industry in the next five years. Similarly, emerging technologies like voice search, chatbots, streaming audio, and CTVs will be leveraged by travel marketers to engage customers.
As for top metrics for measurements, marketers have relied on things such as traffic to their website, advertising budget and cost per booking. Social media mentions have also been proven effective for small businesses (32%) while mid-sized (40%) and large advertisers (46%) rely on click-through rates.
With approximately three billion users on social media this year alone, travel marketers have a massive opportunity to reach out and influence their target audience. Not having comprehensive and real-time visibility into the modern traveler’s journey will not only put travel brands at the risk of loss but also negatively impact the overall ROI.