Remember travel agents?
Once upon a time, they were a hospitality brand’s best friend. Whether somebody wanted to go on a cruise or plan a Las Vegas weekend, their first – and most times, only – stop was the nearest strip mall travel agency. These days, travel agents are retro reminders of a forgotten era, like VHS tapes or a Tower Records.
And now, booking travel on a desktop computer is starting to feel just as outdated. As smartphones quickly become our primary sources of information, it’s no surprise 51.8% of online travel bookers are expected to do so on a mobile device this year.
Knowing modern travelers are doing their research, decision-making, and booking on the go, it’s more important than ever for hospitality brands to shore up their mobile strategies. Maybe you’ve increased your budget allocations for mobile media. Or redesigned your website to be responsive. However you plan to reach consumers on their smartphones, here are some key strategies for winning with mobile audiences.
Show up at the right time
We all know paid search is one of the most effective tactics in the hospitality playbook. By simply appearing in mobile search ad results, brands can increase unaided awareness by 46%. So how can you take your mobile PPC strategy even further?
Obviously, travel searches surge in summer months, but are you cashing in on subtle upticks throughout the year? Tapping into even everyday resources, you can identify trends specific to your brand, such as using Google’s Suggest feature to find common seasonality-related keyword variations and entering them into Google Trends to view Interest Over Time. The more insight you have into what your audience is looking for – and when they’re looking for it – the better chance you have of being present and top of mind for those searches.
Help consumers make the right choice
According to Google, 65% of smartphone users search for the most relevant info regardless of the company providing it, and 73% of consumers say regularly getting useful info is the most important attribute when selecting a brand. Are you taking advantage of this huge opportunity to position your brand as a trusted resource?
Branded content can do much more than bolster SEO rankings. 90% of mobile consumers are uncertain of which brand to buy at the beginning of their search, and when it comes it brand perception, 69% of online consumers said they were influenced most by the timing, relevance and quality of a company’s message. Creating useful, mobile-friendly content tailored to your audience’s needs – and delivering it at the right moments – can sway booking decisions, enable consumers to discover your brand organically, and convert potential visitors into brand loyalists.
Capitalize on the right moments
Last year, mobile conversion rates went up 26%, but the average smartphone user is actually spending less time searching. This means people are finding what they need quickly to make decisions on the fly. In fact, 82% of consumers consult their phones in-store, and 33% purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because of info provided in a moment of need.
Google calls these micro-moments. In these times when mobile users need fast info, brands can “be there, be useful and be quick” to influence choices in real-time. We all know people travel during the holidays, but how many are left stranded by flight cancellations every year? Asking that very question, Red Roof Inn targeted grounded passengers with search ads for nearby properties and drove a 60% increase in bookings. So how will your brand engage with mobile travelers through micro-moments?
Close the loop by capturing the right metrics
Now that you’ve shifted focus into mobile, don’t forget to account for behavior across devices. In our new multi-screen world, 90% of people use multiple devices for everyday things, like booking travel or shopping, and 40% of users who research on a smartphone go on to purchase on a tablet, laptop, or other device. If you’re looking at desktop and mobile conversions separately, you’re not seeing the whole picture. In the travel industry alone, PPC conversions jumped 14% when cross-device data was considered.
When it comes to mobile engagement, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to success. But keeping these strategies in mind can help you step up your game in the mobile space to connect with modern travelers in more meaningful ways.