Making the most of tourism’s ever-changing digital environment can feel like a minefield.
A clear, intelligent digital tourism strategy is more important than ever.
Digital goals and cost per acquisition
Your digital strategy is the ‘road map’ to achieve your company or organization’s online and direct sales goals. The absolute first thing we do is to clarify what success looks like in this space.
Break this down by working out online sales revenue targets for the year. As a starting point, we suggest 20% YOY increases in online revenue is achievable. Then, work out the cost per acquisition you’re happy to pay for each sale. OTA’s charge between 10% and 20% commission, so you want to ensure your digital efforts for direct sales comes in below what you would pay an online agent. We believe 8% is a good Cost Per Acquisition target to begin with.
What is 8% of your target online revenue goal? There’s the sweet spot for what your digital marketing budget should be.
Booking periods and lead-time
What’s the average lead-time for your online bookings? How many times does a visitor come to your site before converting? When does your target audience like to travel to New Zealand? The answers to these questions are valuable insights that form the basis of a potent digital strategy marketing.
The travel research and booking periods for your target audiences should be matched with right place, right time paid and organic campaign activity. That’s where the travel conversion funnel comes in to play – knowing when your target audience is in the ‘Interest’ phase of their travel planning, and serving up content that helps to address their barriers to travel helps to inspire them to move closer to booking/converting online.
Which platforms, and when?
Once we know what success looks like and how your target traveller behaves online, we’ll know which digital platforms to use to help you achieve best bang-for-buck. Do Google Ads and SEO form a large part of your strategic focus? Or do you need to work more in the demand creation space, which focuses on Social Media, Lead gen activity and online partnerships? These decisions are tailored to your organisation and its strategic goals.
What makes a tourism-specific digital strategy so much more effective?
The online travel research and booking landscape is highly niche compared to other industries. An effective Digital Strategy for tourism needs to incorporate everything from key travel research & travel dates, conversion funnel nurturing and barriers to booking for your target audience. There’s no point running an Google Ads – Search campaign asking a domestic traveller to book an activity 6 months from when they’re likely to be hitting the road.