Six digital marketing tips for Asia's operators this holiday season

Earlier this month, we discussed the importance of aiming your digital presence at holiday travellers ahead of Christmas. So assuming you’re a digital-savvy tour and activities operator in Asia—and you’ve already got the basics covered—then you probably think you’re well-prepped to promote your brand for New Year’s Eve as well. 

Good for you! Having things like a recyclable landing page for each season, as well as understanding key holiday travel pain points, will take you far in the context of digital positioning. However, it’s also worth noting that Christmas and New Year are two very different holidays when it comes to the types of travellers you’ll be targeting online. 

Relevant questions your digital marketing crew or agency should be asking themselves may include: Are we targeting families for Christmas and solo travellers for New Year? Which audience is most likely to spend on each respective holiday? How can we reach them ahead of time where they live, work and play? 

To save some time, we’ve compiled a list below. In no particular order, here are six digital marketing tips your brand can try out this holiday season. 

Festive but useful polls

This is something that is super easy to execute on social media and via email, but it’s an idea that many operators simply forget about. Polls are excellent because they can be engaging and a festive way for the audience to pass time on their mobile devices, but they can also deliver actionable intel. 

Facebook has made it pretty breezy. In late 2017, the social network rolled out official polls for the newsfeed, with the option for users to add GIFs. Operators should use this feature to compare two experiential travel products against each other. Perhaps you can also ask followers to opine on something your brand is currently working on. This will get travellers engaging on your social channel, but also guiding your actions as a business during the holiday season. If done correctly, it’s a double win.  

A post-Christmas blitz

Everyone knows that chilled-out moment between Christmas and New Year, when the big holiday has wrapped up, but you’ve not yet returned to the normal routine. This is actually a perfect time to bag additional bookings. It’s a moment when travellers are still settled in and blissful, but the only difference is that now, their mobile phones are out and being used again. 

Experiment with a quick-fire, limited-time discount and a subtle positioning of ‘Santa didn’t get me what I really wanted this year.’ This will let travellers book your tour or activity on the fly to finish off the year with a bang. 

For travellers who are already in-destination, they can more easily rationalise getting the experience in before their family trip comes to an end. 

Seasonal pay-per-click

During Christmas, operators who do not adjust their AdWords campaigns for the season will be left in the dust by those who do. For example, ‘canyon tours in Bali’ is a keyword that’s likely popular all year round. But the keywords ‘best Christmas travel spots in Indonesia’ and ‘top New Year destinations in Asia’ likely peak in the last week of November. How can this mechanism be applied to your offering?

You may have a more successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign if you switch the keywords you bid on right before Christmas. Doing this involves understanding acutely what your audience wants in these particular weeks. Keep in mind that good PPC campaigns lean heavily on sound research, first and foremost. For this strategy, start with what you know unquestionably first, and work outward from there.  

Stick to a theme

Depending on what your brand is offering, the position you take on the web always matters. But this is particularly the case on social media, where potential customers can easily view all your seasonal marketing plays. If they’re not all promoting a cohesive message, the users will know it instantly. 

Make sure your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and owned media assets (blog, YouTube channel, etc.) are all singing the same tune. 

Are you positioning your wine tasting tour in Hua Hin as the ‘hair of the dog’ on New Year’s day? Make sure all your online visuals allude to this theme. Perhaps your skydiving trip is asking travellers to ‘cross something off the old bucket list’ before next year. Start promoting this message hard on all digital assets and email campaigns a couple weeks before the holiday season starts, and don’t let up until the end. 

Remember: Along with a clear call-to-action, make sure the audience can instantly book your activity.  

A true sense of urgency

There’s no better time than the week between Christmas and New Year to push a campaign driven by ‘scarcity’ and ‘urgency.’ If your brand is holding a party on the beach in Phuket on New Year’s Eve, then make sure to play up the fact that there is a limited capacity that the venue will hold. Thus, those who want to attend had better book now.  

If your company is offering late night cable car rides to the top of Mount Fansipan in Vietnam to watch the fireworks at midnight, then make sure to amplify the position that there are ‘only two spots left!’ Give the audience a direct booking link.

Digital marketing is just one of the many headaches that Asia’s tour and activities operators need to cope with during the holidays. Do yourself a favor and get in touch with an experienced tech solutions provider. The right partner can ease this burden and help your brand do digital right this year. 

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