So we know what inbound marketing is, but why is it important to the travel and tourism industry?
The travel industry has changed. Just look at the numbers: 85% of travel research is carried out via search engines, 49% is done via online hotel reviews, and 62% is done via online travel reviews and comments. It is clear that consumers are in the driver’s seat and have ample opportunities to be selective in their purchases, especially when it comes to travel. Marketers are quickly coming to the realization that the age of outbound marketing, which includes TV ads, direct mail, and telemarketing, is on the decline because in many cases consumers view these techniques as spam.
Not only does traditional marketing often get labeled as spam, but many consumers are never even exposed to it:
- There are 200 million Americans on the Do Not Call list
- 91% of email users end up unsubscribing from company newsletters
- 86% of people skip ads on TV
Why spend money on techniques that don’t even make it to the consumer over 50% of the time? Why not focus on some of the inbound techniques that are working? Inbound marketing focuses on several unique strategies that are built around creating valuable content, joining online conversations and ensuring that you are present in all the spheres that your potential consumers inhabit. Engaging consumers by encouraging them to find your website and providing them with useful information throughout the entire sales cycle will help convert leads into sales.
Inbound marketing works. Here are just a few examples of how companies are acquiring new customers through inbound marketing:
- 57% acquired a customer through their company blog
- 57% acquired a customer via LinkedIn
- 48% acquired a customer via Facebook
- 42% acquired a customer via Twitter
These new inbound techniques are becoming even more crucial for the travel industry because of the increased importance of social media and review sites during the travel planning process. In fact, according to Google’s Five Stages of Travel, roughly 1 in 3 business travelers have posted online reviews of places they’ve been. In addition, EyeforTravel’s Social Media & Mobile Travel Report stated that 7 of 10 travel brands testify that social media has resulted in a large influx of direct bookings and significantly improved overall company engagement with customers.
Now here is the really good news: the cost per sales lead via inbound marketing is 62% less than via traditional marketing. According to Hubspot, 75% of inbound marketing channels cost less than any other outbound channel. Less investment + more consumers = a no brainer for any marketer thinking about incorporating this new technique into their business strategy.