Hooking into your customers’ emotions is the key to building connections and loyalty

If you do no other travel marketing in 2022, use visuals to tap into the emotions of your customers. As much as content is king, a photo can transport travellers to a place that their imagination can’t capture from the written word.

Your homework for January 2022?

Invest in high-quality images and video, and share them with your trade customers and travel consumers. It’s that simple.

Next step? Use a platform like Wetu to store and share all that great content, so you look professional and stand out from the crowd. Travel is a crowded space!

TRENDS IN DRIVING TRAVEL VISUALLY

Shutterstock shares these trends from the new travel marketing landscape:

1. Budgets will decline, so content strategies must adapt

With budgets ever shrinking, the glory days of hiring professional photographers and videographers on a whim are gone. Excellent websites with brilliant stock images have never seen the level of traffic they’re seeing now and you’ll find high-quality choices.

Visuals are key, so you must make sure you have awesome visuals to captivate your customers and ensure your offer is unforgettable. Get rid of pixelated, blurry images – you won’t get a second glance. Would you pitch to a party in your PJs?

2. Engage with your audience visually

Armchair travel is still a thing; so media platforms are providing the opportunity to explore via virtual tours traversing diverse destinations and discovering unique cultures. Another great way to gain traction is local takeovers where your social media platform is taken over by an influencer, chef etc., to expose the offering positively.

3. Be on the ball with the latest information

Rules and regulations around the world are changing constantly; so at times you will have to be an information service with up-to-the-minute knowledge and advice as to what’s happening out there.

4. Highlight the heroes and heroines with heart

Emotionally engage with your audience and become a storyteller. Tell stories of the people within the place. No person is an island, and we all crave human connection. It’s getting noisy out there. A hyperactive overstimulation of media and content is coming at us from every angle; so be honest, transparent, vulnerable and authentic.

TOP TIPS

  • Images are universal with no language barriers, allowing for smooth communication.
  • Don’t throw out infographics. They present complex information in a simplified way.
  • Make use of influencers and your guests to promote your brand using their images.
  • Images are leaning towards an emphasis on optimism, well-being and nature. After COVID-19, it’s hardly surprising and incredibly refreshing.
  • A great way to feature visuals is blogging. This can really drive traffic to your various media platforms and is a great opportunity for sharing content.
  • Video takes you to the heart of the destination or experience, and you can picture yourself there. Keep them short, exciting and punchy.

According to Killer Visual Strategies: “It can be enticing to read about a destination’s attractions. But one of the best ways to quickly explain the merits of travel is to show it, whether through infographics, motion graphics, or other means.”

WORD ON THE STREET: IT’S ALL ABOUT INSTAGRAM

Instagram now has over 1 billion active monthly users who post more than 100 million photos each day, a large percentage of which are travel-related. With over 97% of millennials having posted images or videos from their own trips on social media, the digital landscape is filled with visual allure – Ariana Dickson from Travel Mindset.

Instagram users are also heavily engaged with the content posted on the site. “Instagram’s geo-tag feature allows users to search a location and view all of the recent posts shared. By simply scrolling through the feed, users get an unfiltered perspective of what it’s like to visit a destination,” explains freelance writer Michaela Mendes.

Step into your travellers’ shoes and transport them to places they have only ever dreamt about, tell them stories of other worlds, and inspire them to explore and discover. Let the visuals whisk them away and when their senses are energised, they will go there.

The only question is Wetu next?

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