If you work for a destination marketing organisation, hotel or tourist attraction, you no doubt spend a lot of time thinking about how to grab people’s attention.
Yet in 2021, we’re entering uncharted waters. Travel has come to a near-standstill in many places, and the timeline for its return is unclear. People are going to be looking for different things from their trips, and attitudes towards travel have changed.
All this means that DMOs and others in the industry are going to need to be prepared to pounce on demand as it grows, with campaigns that are innovative, eye-catching and capture the mood of the moment.
Here are five ways to set your campaigns apart in 2021.
1. Focusing on good news
So many people have faced a tough time during the pandemic, and heartwarming stories will take on extra significance. Did communities in your destination come together in inspiring ways last year? Have you launched any charitable initiatives? Can you share a feel-good story or narrative that takes place in your hotel?
Think tear-jerking Christmas advert (although try to avoid the main cliches of pandemic-era advertising). Just bear in mind that being able to travel again will mean a lot to people after such a rough year.
2. Launching unusual initiatives
Obviously you always want your campaigns to be fresh, but now is the time to really think outside the box in terms of what you can offer people that might attract headlines. The Maldives, for example, has become the first country to create a loyalty scheme for travellers, who can earn points and rewards when they visit the archipelago. Hotels have been piling into new areas too, launching home-delivery breakfasts and one-day packages for those sick of home working. What’s something surprising but useful that you could offer?
3. Embracing change
You don’t necessarily need to ignore the pandemic in 2021; instead, make sure people know how things will be different. Transparency will be more appealing than if people need to go digging elsewhere for that information.
4. Fine-tuning ad spend
Budgets are going to be tight for a lot of companies this year, so it’s more important ever to put ad spend into reaching the right people, in the right places, at the right time. What channels are you going to target, will programmatic advertising work for you, do you need video as well as static ads? We’re experts in this at Digital Dialog, so get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this.
5. Leaning into humour
Let’s be honest, coming up with a funny campaign is hard. You don’t want your jokes to be boring or overused, but you also don’t want to misstep and say anything offensive.
Still, when done right, humorous marketing is definitely the most memorable. There have been some good examples recently to take inspiration from. We enjoyed Tesco’s Christmas ad, which proclaimed that this year there would be no naughty list this year, and Apple’s Work from Home series, which used the same actors and linked storylines across a series of long videos.
Do you need help crafting the perfect campaigns for 2021? Get in touch at email@example.com.
About the author
Manish is the founder of one of UK’s leading tourism and travel focused marketing agencies, Digital Dialog. He is also founder and chief editor of Travelbounce, a news website that helps travellers find essential travel information amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Manish has been helping tourism, travel and hospitality brands leverage digital channels effectively since 2012. Some of the brands he has worked with include Switzerland Tourism, Tourism Ireland, Atout France, Austria Tourism, Visit Wiltshire, Travelodge, Preferred Hotels to name a few.
If you would like to get in touch with Manish to discuss any of your marketing needs, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org