HOW PAID SOCIAL ADVERTS CAN SAVE THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY DURING A PANDEMIC
This year’s holiday season fell under the COVID -19 pandemic. We all need something to look forward to amongst the isolation and missing family. We all love a holiday. Many of us count on it as a time to destress and escape normal life, even if it is just for a weekend or a few days. So lots of us weren’t going to let a little thing like a global pandemic get in the way of our holiday plans.
Although the majority of destinations shut their borders, introduced quarantine and testing, some brave countries decided they would bite the bullet and let people in. Many of us brits, given the opportunity, flocked to the sun-soaked beaches for some fun and sun in the middle of our quarantine winter. But with the new traffic light system for travelling abroad and the UK gradually coming out of lockdown while some parts of the world face a third wave, what does this uncertainty mean for travel industries and marketing?
GOOGLE TRENDS AND TRAVEL DURING COVID-19
Through Google Trends, we are able to see what users are searching for on Google. This is a good indicator of if a destination is going to suddenly become popular, meaning we can promote ads based on these findings. It is also a good indicator of when to stop promoting areas. This happened when social media influencers took advantage of some holiday destinations – namely Dubai – whilst lots of people were struggling with lockdown over winter. When Dubai announced it was closing its borders to UK citizens, we paused ads in response.
Unlike in normal times when people plan their holidays well in advance, people want to book, pay, and go on their holiday in a matter of weeks or sometimes days in the hopes the traffic light doesn’t turn red. This is not the normal habits we see of holiday makers in pre-pandemic times, and the travel industry must adapt to succeed. What is key is staying on top of these travel tunnel areas and having quick turnarounds.
BE RESPONSIVE – BOOSTING WELL-PERFORMING SOCIAL POSTS
We want to target those eager holidaymakers who are open to last-minute and flexible deals. How do we do this? With paid social and post boosts on those organic posts performing best. We have found that focused, simple ads with a very simple booking and travelling options work best.
Post boosts cut out the time of approving and working with the clients to create copy and creatives. They can organically post their information and ads without us and then we are able to put money behind them to target the people most likely to convert. Creating simple copy containing all the important information for consumers is also key. For example, stating where the destination is on the traffic light system, “This Green light destination”.
In a post pandemic world, I think we will see normality return. The need for quick turn arounds and last minute plans may exist as people have discovered the fun of spontaneity, but the need for this will diminish as we see the traffic light system disappear and the fear of isolation on the return of holidays. People will be able to plan, book and save for their holidays which gives them something to look forward to throughout the year – and enables us to market to them differently too.