Social media, content, mobile and apps, and natural search engine optimization will be the top four areas for travel organizations with 83 percent planning to increase overall digital marketing spending in 2012, according to a new global survey released by Frommer’s Unlimited, the business-to-business division of Frommer’s, a branded imprint of Wiley.
The survey of 350 travel organizations said 78 percent said they planned to increase digital marketing budgets for the year ahead and 19 percent said budgets would remain the same. Only three percent said they were decreasing marketing spending in 2012.
Two thirds of businesses surveyed (65 percent) said they would invest more money in social media next year and more than half said they would also be increasing spend on content (55 percent), mobile and apps (54 percent) and natural search engine optimization (52 percent).
The survey also revealed that nearly 80 percent of companies plan to have iPhone apps and 75 percent are aiming to have an iPad app by the end of 2012. Three quarters will also support a mobile web platform by the end of next year.
International content is also an area of growing focus. Three quarters of the survey say they are maintaining and increasing translation budgets for 2012. Half of the travel organizations surveyed currently operate a site in one language, a third operate sites in up to five languages and a fifth have sites in more than 5 languages. For 2012 that will increase – 26 percent said they plan to have up to five language sites and 17 percent plan to have more than five language sites.
Giles Longhurst, Frommer’s Unlimited director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, “In our fourth annual survey we’re seeing a clear trend of sustained investment in content in many different platforms and global players looking to create engagement as well as customer acquisition. We see this as a maturing of the online marketplace as marketers look closer at the final stages of the purchase funnel and how they can convert more visitors into loyal customers. Companies this year prioritized the need to use content to drive conversions above driving natural search traffic has moved to second priority. We also found it interesting to see that 85 percent of our survey said their cost per visitor was under US$5 but five percent of respondents said their cost per visitor was over ten dollars – higher than our survey last year.”
The problems organizations face in managing content are similar year-on-year, the survey says. The overwhelming problem facing six out of ten respondents is still keeping content up to date. Creating content which is consistent with brand values was highlighted by almost five out of ten of the survey sample and integrating content with products was a problem for three out of ten surveyed. In answer to new questions posed this year 44 percent said they had problems developing mobile content strategy and launching multilingual sites.