In many ways, 2015 should be the year when video marketing makes giant strides in the travel & hospitality vertical. We can also expect social and mobile to become more mainstream, in particular within the realm of local search, thus getting the industry closer to that ever elusive so-lo-mo reality – that’s for social, local and mobile, in case you were wondering!
A new study conducted by PhoCusWright for Expedia Media Solutions shows the travel marketing landscape is shifting accordingly, with three noticeable trends in tow:
1. Growth will be robust
Travel display ad spend is expected to grow by $29M dollars between 2013 and 2015 in the US, which is aligned with gross bookings. I am curious to find out how much of this increase will be invested in remarketing initiatives, and how much will go through classic Google AdWords campaigns, or if there will be a shift towards Facebook campaigns or even TripAdvisor TripConnect investments.
2. Emerging platforms are making inroads
Not much of a surprise either to find out that the fastest growth will come from social and video commercial channels, confirming a trend we have been observing for the past four to five years. In fact, it is estimated that social and video ad budgets will have tripled, from 6% of all digital budgets in 2011, to 18% in 2015! I find this figure to be still extremely low, considering how effective advertising can be on social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, not to mention remarketing campaigns across various platforms and devices.
3. Will social take off?
Perhaps the most interesting part – some may say the most intriguing part – of this report comes from the trend forecast with regards to how travel brands are experimenting with social ad targeting. I am puzzled to read that advertisers plan to experiment or adopt campaigns with Twitter cards, Google+ and Pinterest. Like, really? What about Facebook or Linkedin? Or even Instagram?
It should come as no surprise to see 46% of ad buyers stating that social networks are extremely or very effective at generating brand awareness. But I must admit I was surprised to see 33% of respondents saying they use social targeting or retargeting technologies, with another 12% intending to experiment these in 2012. In my experience, these percentages are a lot lower, so perhaps there is room for hope?
If you are a travel brand advertising on digital marketing, I would love to get your feedback in the comment section below. Do you agree with these findings?