Digital travel marketing and PR agencies that focus on the buyer “DNA” of the Millennial market have the tools to propel luxury hotels to powerful sales through combined traditional and social media campaigns. You can garner a larger percentage of this important market segment through a well orchestrated combination of online, print and broadcast media, as well as Instagram and Facebook, favored by this group of adventurous and curious travelers.
How to attract Millenials?
Affluent Millennials are a unique breed. These travelers, part of an exponentially growing market on a global scale, are insulated in today’s economy from the vagaries of global fluctuations. What methods are most effective for travel and hospitality brands seeking to capture a larger market share? A digital PR agency familiar with online and SEO will push you up the rankings to the top of page one on Google.
1. Select the Appropriate PR Agency
Be rigorous in selecting a digital PR agency that is in sync with both your property and knows the editors at such target outlets as Travel and Leisure (28 million readers). An agency with hotel PR experience will know the industry and can effectively connect your property with affluent travelers who want active and interesting destinations for business and leisure travel.
2. If the Shoe Fits, Wear It!
No “one size fits all” marketing program will get the results that a strategic digital marketing program can realize in today’s luxury travel market. Find out more about the advanced digital PR and marketing initiative programs by doing an in-depth search of agencies and paying close attention to metrics –meaning results. Was website traffic increased? Did 800 lines start ringing? Were weekend nights filled?
What forces drive these consumers to splurge on one travel purchase over another? That requires an understanding of the emotional forces that motivate them to select one hotel over another. Often they are the intangibles, meaning the feeling they get when viewing your website or Instant feed.
Your social media PR agency can present images that grab attention, but once potential guests arrive at your site, you need to have a compelling one that will keep them there long enough to consider booking. Those brands that are successful are taking a fresh approach when developing a strategy to inspire travelers browsing around for hotels when planning a trip. Rarely do we see a hotel’s site that truly integrates SEO for maximum benefit.
3. Luxury Travel: Online Media the New Frontier
The powerful online travel media outlets – like Huffington Post and high quality online magazines like Matador.com, are the new frontier. The coverage from those top sites communicate authority in the minds of the readers. A top flight consumer outlet carries huge sway with the affluent audience.
The coverage, when links back to your site, will move your property up the Google indexing to the first page. Google is looking to see that quality content is connecting to your site. Abelow PR, a travel PR agency, secures links in top flight media outlets, which Google values highly in terms of Domain Authority.
4. Features and Mentions in Stories
Mentions can fill beds, and feature stories even more. For instance, if weddings are your target, outlets online to hit are Martha Stewart Weddings (10 million readers) and The Knot. The influence these outlets have over the potential guest is enormous, and has significantly more impact than the first listings that come up in a Google search such as Hotels.com or sponsored ads.
Online searches provide real-time data that you can mine to create an effective digital marketing strategy for the various target markets. If you get the coverage it will provide robust juice to your online presence because what comes up first in a hotel search are articles in the highly valued media like Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. These outlets carry the heaviest weight with Google.
Successful hotel brands are addressing the fact that younger buyers – those elusive Millennials – tend to be focused on social responsibility, with purchasing patterns that are determined by far more than the just a capacity to buy. This market segment is huge, now surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest living generation – and they spend on travel. This is why hotels and destinations that include ways for guests to interact with the community and “give back,” is a growing trend.
5. The Psyche of the Luxury Traveler – Splurging on Epic Trips
A deeper understanding of this segment requires data about the psyche of the Millennial buyer, and the factors that will motivate a purchase. For this affluent group willing to splurge on an epic trip, travel options must convey a sense of place, authenticity and comfort.
Research reveals that two different buyer types exist within the under 35 crowd: authentic pride, reflecting a sense of accomplishment, and “hubristic pride,” intended to inspire admiration or recognition of wealth. Brands generally appeal to one of these impulses – but why not both? Highly tailored PR and marketing programs can focus on inspiring both types of luxury travel buyers.
These processes impact consumer buying patterns, impulses, and the factors that drive a potential consumer to take the plunge and buy a luxury travel experience.
The social media channels that mean the most today for travel are Instagram, Facebook and to lesser extent Twitter. And if budget allows, Pinterest is an excellent referral source too for travel. However, for a successful integrated marketing campaign social media must be combined with traditional media. Nothing influences more than top outlets like the New York Times. The impact is incomparable
The luxury travel market is strong for brands that understand digital metrics when creating their marketing strategy. Social media, combined with traditional PR is going to be your best way to capture this booming market.
By Lorraine Abelow
Lorraine Abelow has had a 30-year, award-winning, boutique travel PR firm in New York City and is at the forefront of trends affecting traditional and digital media. Her firm has represented such blue-chip names as Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels, as well as boutique properties across the globe and island destinations including St Barth’s and Necker. The agency’s affordable hotel PR campaigns are designed to move the needle regularly gaining eye-catching feature exposure in such top outlets as The New York Times, Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. It’s the long-standing relationships the Abelow PR team has with high-level editors that insures coverage in A list media in every campaign. Coverage in influential blogs and social media campaigns round out Abelow PR’s expertise. Lorraine serves as an honorary judge for the Hotels Sales and Marketing International Association, from which she has won awards for her outstanding achievement over her illustrious career. For more information about this boutique New York City PR firm visit www.AbelowPR.com. You can contact her at Lorraine@AbelowPR.com or 203-226-9247.