Online marketing continues to be on the priority list of travel companies: survey
Published: 03 Nov 2008: Most travel companies are planning to maintain their current levels of spending on online marketing, or even increase their spending, according to a new survey.
According to a survey, featuring 88 companies (conducted by the online content specialist Whatsonwhen), 80 percent indicated that they intend to at least maintain their online spending. More than 50 percent of the respondents reported that they intend to increase their online marketing budgets from 11-50 percent.
Eleven out of 20 travel agencies plan to increase spending, with nine doing so by one to 50 percent.
Of the airlines surveyed, 40 percent stated that they would reduce their online marketing spending by up to 10 percent, although 60 percent said that they would increase their spending amount by from 10 to over 100 percent.
Ten hotel companies responded, with only two decreasing budgets by one to 10 percent and one keeping it level. Of the seven who plan to increase their budgets, four will do so by one to 10 percent, two by 11-50 percent and one by more than 100 percent.
Some of the other findings were as follows: More than two thirds said they would increase spending on SEO (66 percent), half planned to increase destination content and 47 percent expected to increase spend on AdWords. But a fifth said they expected to reduce spend on banners and six out of ten expected metasearch spend to remain the same; Unique content was a priority for 41 percent of the travel companies surveyed; User-generated content (34.8 percent) is the next priority for travel companies to add to their sites followed by video (28.3 percent), image galleries and marketing micro sites; Delivering content over mobile and localising for non-English markets were the lowest priorities.
Whatsonwhen´s Joel Brandon Bravo said: "In these tough times it was encouraging to see the online channel continuing to grow in importance with more than 50 percent of respondents planning to increase online spend in this year. Within this there was a noticeable shift away from traditional online advertising such as banners and a much stronger emphasis placed on content and search engine optimisation."
"The main priority for customers was increasing conversions and the main issue clients had with their content was keeping it accurate and up to date," he said. "The priority allocated to SEO and increasing destination content goes hand in hand because researching destinations has been shown to be the most popular use of Google in the travel category. In addition sites are offering information about the holiday destination as a key part of their product sale."
"The survey clearly shows that travel companies´ overall priority in adding content to their website is to increase customer conversion," he said.