You have an amazing product and a good website. You want people to know about it, but are struggling with website metrics that illustrate your customers are leaving the site just as quickly as they come in. You have two problems to solve as a marketer. How to increase visitation from your target customers, and ultimately how to drive those perspective customer’s deeper into the sales funnel.
Today, consumers trust Social Media content over any other information. Perhaps more interesting is that Social Media and user-generated content has become critical in all places along the customer path-to-purchase. This is especially the case for marketers of travel and tourism.
We all know that social media is integral to modern life. It’s how we communicate, whether no matter what demographic we live in.
Social media is where consumers get information, news, reviews, trends, and how we keep up with our personal and business relationships. People talk to each other through social media. Companies form relationships with other companies and perhaps most importantly, companies connect directly with their customers via Social media more so than any other form of media.
How Social Media adaption has changed marketing
“This year, 78% of B2C companies are planning to use user-generated content (UGC) in their marketing strategies. Last year, this practice wasn’t even included as a category.”
Source: 2015 Content Marketing Institute Report
Integrating social media content into digital campaigns and online properties not only increases consumer engagement, but also increases transactions. What is important is not determining how to integrate social media, but what tools and strategies deploy to measure the impact on the customer path to purchase, and ultimately on transaction.
Today, consumers are looking for:
They want to trust the company that they’re researching. They look at blogs, Review websites, Vblogs, posts to Facebook and other social media channels, to validate the brand experience.
They want to know the people or story behind the brand, and more importantly, they need that story validated by consumers just like them.
2. Real experiences:
Today’s customers want to be able to relate to the product or service they are considering. They put themselves in the shoes of others that have gone before them. They want to hear all sides of other’s experiences; the good, the bad, the ugly and what they can expect.
They look to Facebook posts and Instagram images of people they know, or friends of friends to initiate the “dreaming” phase of travel buying, or considering a major purchase – right down to trip planning or purchase.
3. Social Proof and Relevancy:
They check social media, not only for reviews, others’ experiences, and current updates; but for real life pictures that haven’t been photoshopped or edited. Customers of today are looking for what it was like to take that tour last week, not what it looked like in the Fall of last year.
How to use social media to drive customers down the sales funnel in travel.
Hashtagio’s social media integration platform has been used by leading travel brands to curate and organize social media content, leverage user-generated content to drive traffic deeper into the sales funnel, and ultimately to increase both customer sentiment, and transactions.
Results for travel destinations such as Nova Scotia Tourism, who have integrated social content into their website include:
Other brands who are integrating social media content have seen increases in in-bound traffic, and number of pages per user session, and even increase transactions that can be measured via Google Analytics conversion goals, and other analytics tracking.
It is no longer a question of how to inject user-generated images and video into the marketing mix, but how to inject real user experiences into the online brand to drive website visitors further down the path to purchase – and to transaction.