As Google puts it, “half the fun in travelling is dreaming up the destination”. In fact, we’re never far away from fantasising about that next trip away – whether we’ve just returned from one, had a rough day at the office or seen our friends’ holiday snaps on Facebook.
Google calls these ‘I-want-to-get-away’ moments; the online interactions that inspire us to plan our next trip. And knowing how to capture leads at this first stage of the planning process is vital for travel brands that want to turn those early searches into paying customers.
You can find Google’s explanation of I-want-to-get-away moments over at Think with Google.
“In these I-want-to-get-away moments, people are at the early stages of thinking about their next trip. They’re exploring destination options and dreaming about what their next getaway could look like.”
– Think with Google
However, there’s more to these I-want-to-get-away moments than targeting people who are researching on Google. You can use Facebook and other social networks to bring the travel bug out in people before they even get to the researching stage (more on this later).
As with any micro-moment, the key to securing that lead is getting people’s attention in the right place, at the right time, and providing the kind of content that will inspire them to take action.
So let’s take a closer look at what this involves with AdWords and social platforms.
By the time people reach Google, they’re actively looking for travel inspiration. They may not know where they want to go, or when they want to go there, and they almost certainly aren’t brand loyal at this stage – but they’ve got the itch to get away.
For those who don’t know where they want to go, your message should concentrate on the broader appeal of travel. Focus your message on concepts like unique travel experiences, escaping everything they’re tired of back home and great prices. At this stage, peoples’ choice of where they travel will easily be swayed by prices, exotic ideas, special offers and other influences. Use this to your advantage.
Once people narrow down their options and start researching specific places, you can target them with more relevant messages. All you need to do is select People searching for, or who show interest in your targeted location in your location targeting options. This is where people start showing an interest in the locations you operate in, so tap into that curiosity and introduce your brand to them.
As we mentioned earlier, you don’t need to wait until people hit Google with search queries in mind. You can actively bring out the desire to travel in users yourself because Facebook is a constant source of travel temptation. Holiday snaps and travel adventures are a daily theme on our News Feeds and all it takes is a timely ad that promises escape to turn a casual Facebook session into an I-want-to-get-away moment.
Google isn’t the only place people actively look for travel inspiration either. We’ve mentioned before that Instagram is now a vital travel tool for millennials on the hunt for new experiences
So get visual on Facebook and Instagram with the aim of inspiring people to plan that next trip.
If you want to win any kind of micro-moment you have to be present on the right platforms, and consumers are using more of them than now than ever. Aside from Google Search, travellers turn to Google Maps, Google Images and Destinations on Google for inspiration.
Source: Google Blog
YouTube is another important platform for travellers (think travel guides, documentaries, etc.) and you can always connect with travel bloggers to feature in their videos. Then you have Trip Adviser, Lonely Planet and various other travel tools to feature in – not to mention booking sites if you’re in the hotel or flights business.
The platforms you need to be established on depends on what kind of service you provide (hotels, travel insurance, car rentals, etc.) but it’s important you spread your visibility across all of the platforms people turn to when they’re researching and planning their travels – or they might never find you.
Winning that first moment where people get the itch to travel gives you a major advantage over other brands as their plans begin to materialise. However, I-want-to-get-away moments are just the beginning and you’ll need to nurture your leads further along the buying process. This means you’ll need to win a number of other micro-moments too.
If you need help with your targeting travelers through Google AdWords or social media, we’ve a whole team of specialists here ready to help. Just call us on 023 9283 0281 or fill in the form and we’ll call you.
Travel marketing: How to capture those ‘time-to-make-a-plan’ moments
Duncan was a PPC specialist at Vertical Leap.
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