We know booking behavior falls flat during the holiday season. While eCommerce holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are optimal times for bookings, the rest of the year experiences a dive in online behavior. So when do travelers come back to start planning their next trip?.
The entire month of January is an incredibly important period for searching and booking—even impacting Spring and Summer travel. Having your campaigns ready and running in January is a must. Keep reading for more valuable insights gathered from our travel audience data and the key advertising tactics travel marketers can utilize to connect with travelers in January.
January Travel Behavior Has Lasting Impact
If following the regular rules of seasonality you may not be inclined to have campaigns live in January. The logic follows that your hotels have more vacancies, your flights have more seats, and your attractions are emptier, but you’re not so worried because you know the busy season will pick up again within a few months. But here’s the thing, those individuals are searching and booking starting as soon as the first week of January. And if you’re not in front of them while they’re beginning to search, you definitely won’t be a part of their consideration set when they’re ready to book.
January Travel Behavior Varies Across Regions
January travel behavior does have nuances depending on the region, but across all regions, we see the same pattern. January search and booking behavior impacts travel for the rest of the year. Prepare by getting campaigns running soon.
- For North American travelers, 25% are searching for trips more than 91 days out, and 14% will book.
- For Latin American travelers, 32% are searching for trips more than 91 days out, and 19% will book.
- For European travelers, 42% are searching for trips more than 91 days out, and most of these (36%) will book.
- For Middle East and African travelers, 25% are searching for trips more than 91 days out, and 10% will book. But even more, 45%, are traveling within a week of booking in January, all the more reason to have a strong online presence in January 2020.
- For Asian Pacific travelers, 34% are searching for trips more than 91 days out, and 21% will book.
Key Advertising Tactics for January 2020
You have the data, you know where and when travelers are planning to embark, and you know when they’ll be searching and booking. But how can you engage in the right place with the right messaging? Here are the key advertising tactics we know will work well in January 2020:
Utilize a Multi-Channel Strategy
Generate incremental bookings with SEM and Display for an omni-channel solution. By creating awareness with Display ads, users who later conduct a search of your brand will see it high on the Search Engine Results Page.
Inspire Action Today With Promotions
Millions of people are looking for the best opportunity to book. By creating a sense of urgency with a promotion, you develop a need for your product or experience that seems too good to pass up. January is the perfect chance to showcase your best promotions for Spring Break and Summer travelers: serve messaging around family discounts, cheaper couples getaways, or even single travel at half the cost. Your ads will resonate with travelers eager to plan their next trip.
Stand Out With HTML5
According to our data from A/B testing creatives, HTML5 ads show an 8% lift in conversions and a 13% higher CTR than static ads. Included in your Commission or Subscription campaign (excluding chain customers), Sojern creates HTML5 ads for your brand, and optimizes to the best performance, increasing your direct bookings.
Test & Revise Before the Busy Season
Marketers need to constantly employ an incremental, test and learn approach. The amount of searches and bookings will increase dramatically in just a few weeks. Don’t wait until the Spring to revamp your strategy. Rather, experiment with different creatives and messaging to see what works, and what doesn’t—making sure to have the strongest campaign possible before it’s too late.
Travel marketers have a small window to get in front of the right audience, at the right time, reaching in-market travel audiences to build brand awareness and drive direct bookings. Sojern has these audiences: we know when, where, and how travelers are searching.
Don’t miss out on those searching during the new year. Have your campaigns running and optimized to perform for your audiences by January 1st. Get in touch here.