No. Don’t consult your calendar. Resist the temptation to steal a glance outside – the leaves are still green. And that means it’s not too late. Not too late to reap the benefits of a creatively inspired autumn campaign on social media.
You know the drill. While your hotel, attraction or tours fill up in the summer months, seemingly without effort, success in the shoulder months of the year is far from guaranteed. And the challenges are self-evident; the winter weather is fast approaching, the kids have gone back to school, and the parents are once again rooted to their desks.
Suddenly the goalposts have changed, but that doesn’t mean success can’t be felt. The autumn brings its own marketing benefits which, while harder to see, can set you up for positive change both in the short and long term.
Below, we take a look at three ways in which your travel business – attraction, hotel, or tour operator – can use the inherent nature of the autumn marketplace to drive bookings.
1. The Romantic – Hotels
The weather may be better/hotter at the height of summer, but autumn is undeniably the more romantic season. The burnished colours, cosy evenings and relative lack of tourists makes for an attractive prospect for visitors. It’s important that the creative inspiration behind your autumn campaigns plays on autumn’s clear benefits.
This is only a simple mock-up, but using the campaign mechanic to highlight some of the things for visitors to do in the area opens up the potential for partnerships with local businesses. If you’re based in an area known for its gastronomy, giving your creative a food and drink twist would work well.
Targeting: As with all hub campaigns on Facebook, we’d recommend appropriating some budget for promoted content and targeted advertising. In this case, the audience you should be creating content for is empty nesters, those without family commitments who are able to holiday during quieter periods.
The brand legacy of a campaign like this is a revitalised list of targeted potential customers to communicate with on an ongoing basis. But don’t the let the opportunity slip through your fingers…
Impact: The brand legacy of a campaign like this is a revitalised list of targeted potential customers to communicate with on an ongoing basis. But don’t the let the opportunity slip through your fingers, start communicating immediately with an automated email campaign. And your first message should come with a ‘book now to save’ theme to capitalise on the positive brand sentiment.
2. #BacktoNature – Attractions & Hotels
Autumn invariably brings with it a different perspective, the most obvious of which is the appearance of auburn hues, painted onto leaves that drop silently to the ground. It’s a truly beautiful season, and one that affords many attractions, hotels and businesses a different appeal. Make the most of your location – whether you’re in the city or countryside – by highlighting the various walks and nearby experiences with a ‘Back to Nature’ style campaign.
Targeting: Like the previous campaign theme, this creative would resonate with empty nesters most likely to be enticed by the idea of beautiful walks around a local area. But it would also appeal to your existing/repeat customers who might be enticed to experience something a bit different. Take advantage of this knowledge by creating a custom audience on Facebook, using it to develop a lookalike audience and ultimately target your content and advertising appropriately.
…it can be rooted in a Facebook hub, but working with influencers, running email campaigns and using content to develop your brand would make for compelling delivery.
Impact: The great thing about this campaign is that it’s easily scalable across all digital channels for something a bit more integrated. Yes, it can be rooted in a Facebook hub, but working with influencers, running email campaigns and using content to develop your brand would make for compelling delivery. Ultimately, social media is an excellent brand building tool, and you should be capitalising on every opportunity to drive your brand equity.
3. Autumn Influence – Travel General
There’s never been a better time to work with influencers. Instagram Stories – it’s ephemeral marketing feature – now has 250 million daily users, and bloggers/vloggers are as popular as they ever were and perhaps even more trusted thanks to the growing focus on advertising transparency. But what’s even better is that with the growth of micro-influencers, the entry point for influencer marketing has never been lower for brands.
…consider exclusive blogger events for a look behind the scenes of your attraction, or hosting a walking tour of your beautiful autumnal grounds that would tie in well with either of the creative ideas above.
What you can achieve will ultimately depend on budget levels, but consider exclusive blogger events for a look behind the scenes of your attraction, or hosting a walking tour of your beautiful autumnal grounds that would tie in well with either of the creative ideas above.
Impact: There’s no better way to describe what influencers can deliver than ‘brand buzz’. Hosting an exclusive blogger event at your attraction can get chins wagging. But don’t assume that influencer marketing in isolation will deliver the results you’re looking for this autumn. As above, investment in a wider campaign is essential if you’re going to have the impact you’re yearning for.
Digital Visitor is the UK's leading strategic agency in travel, tourism & hospitality. For any more information on how we can help, get in touch.