If you work for a destination marketing organisation, you no doubt spend a lot of time thinking about how to grab people’s attention.
In 2022, there’s going to be a lot of competition for those eyeballs.
As we discuss in this blog on what British holidaymakers will be looking for this year, this could finally be the spring-summer season we see short-haul breaks possible with limited or no restrictions, including no costly testing, and fewer health risks given vaccination rates and the high proportion of people who have already had Covid-19. Some news stories are even beginning to hint at what we’ve only been able to dream of for the last two years – the pandemic’s end is in sight.
All this means that DMOs and others in the industry are going to need to be prepared to pounce on demand as it grows and react to the latest announcements, with campaigns that are innovative, eye-catching and capture the mood of the moment.
Here are five ways to stand out this year.
1. Good news
News cycles have been relentlessly grim and many people have been through a tough time, so heartwarming stories will take on extra significance. Have communities in your destination come together in inspiring ways during the pandemic, which showed their resilience and spirit? Have you launched any charitable initiatives recently? Can you share a feel-good story or narrative that takes place in your hotel?
Sure, there have been some overly sentimental pandemic cliches in advertising since April 2020 (a lifetime ago), but that’s why it’s a great time to show real stories rather than vague sentiments.
2. Unusual initiatives
Now is the time to really think outside the box in terms of what you can offer people that might attract news headlines and entice people who are rethinking their travel and leisure habits.
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. Radical transparency
OK, it’s hardly a new concept to say that brands and businesses will connect with the public if they are authentic, but what will be really valuable this year is being honest, trustworthy and reliable. There will still be uncertainty around travel this year, so providing in-depth, up-to-date, accessible information will be invaluable for people. Be up-front about policies on rebookings and refunds. Make sure your customer service lines are strong and set expectations for replies. Check what people are saying about you in reviews and respond to it head-on and make changes.
4. 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.
And this brilliant campaign by tourism board House of Lapland was a spoof 2032 Summer Olympic Games campaign (that was really raising awareness about climate change) – and saw the featured destination, Salla in Finland, trend on Twitter for days.
5. Fine-tuning ad spend
You’ve got your campaign ready, but it will be more important than 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? This is our specialism at Digital Dialog, so get in touch at email@example.com to discuss this.
Do you need help crafting the perfect campaigns for 2022? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com