Online travel marketing strategies shaping the industry's future

Top global travel specialists are changing their marketing strategies to fit with ongoing shifts in customer expectations in the online space. As best practice guidelines for online marketing strategies constantly change, industries dependent on delivering top customer experiences – such as the travel industry – are having to ensure their strategies are constantly on the pulse of what their customers want.

This is why some travel brands have hit the news recently, as they look to maximise their online presence and garner more customers. As the Skift website notes, budget European airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet are hoping to expand and improve their online presence and in the process hopefully attract more business – specifically from frequent fliers and business travellers.

But how are they doing this?

Firstly, they aren't just re-imagining their online presence, but their physical presence, too. Both Ryanair and easyJet have chosen to design new logos, uniforms and livery in a bid to improve their aesthetics and appear more mature. Visual changes can make all the difference to a brand's perception, and the travel industry is no different.

On top of this, a more streamlined and appealing aesthetic also helps in the online space, as better visuals in the real world make for better visuals digitally, too. Travel brands seeking to make the most of online platforms such as the image sharing site Instagram will likely garner more fans if the images they share are more appealing – and with Instagram generating more revenues for travel brands than ever before, as well as also fundamentally changing the way people connect with a business, taking every step to better leverage the benefits of the online space is paramount to success.

Some travel brands are also looking to invest in better understanding large swathes of their online audience. Millennials are an important target audience for travel brands and they are certainly very active online; Expedia, the online travel experts, recently shelled out for an agency to specifically target millennials online to help secure more engagement and revenues in the present, as well as build a significant digital, social and mobile following that will secure the future of the brand.

The Internet of Things (IoT) may not appear at the top of the agenda for most travel brands, but a new trends report from the World Travel Market has shown that digital initiatives from travel brands should begin to incorporate the IoT as it can provide travellers with details on traffic and flight times in real-time - and more easily accessible information means happier customers.

Finally, more traditional online marketing strategies such as content and SEO are being used by travel industries as they have a proven track record for delivering better ROI and higher revenues, spelling good news for travel specialists. Content can be created to focus on hospitality, travel tips and holiday stories that engage with potential customers.

Will you be looking to implement any of these online marketing strategies for your travel brand?