Summer Vacation Campaign Planning for Travel Marketers

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It’s been a rough winter for many — full of icy storms, freezing winds, and below-zero temperatures.

And it’s not over yet. A so-called “bomb cyclone” just hit the Plains of the US with blizzard conditions. (C’mon, those words should only be used when describing a dessert from Dairy Queen.)

Dreaming of warmer days, many are starting to plan their summer vacations. And they’re turning to digital platforms for crucial information.

According to an infographic from MDG advertising, 71% of travelers use digital platforms to plan their travel and 83% use it to book their trips. Expedia also found that online bookers increasingly engage with travel content in the weeks leading up to purchase.

summer campaign (1)

That’s where you — the travel marketer — comes in.

As people start to book their hotels, stock up on sunscreen, and buy those bathing suits, you need to start your summer vacation campaign planning.

That is, you need to figure out how to reach these prospective travelers with content that catches their eye and matches their interests.

Don’t worry. We did the leg work for you.

We gathered recent data on summer travel content from Taboola Trends, which analyzes images and keywords across the web on a weekly basis. In fact, we sifted through posts that collectively racked up over 10 million clicks and 9 billion impressions to find the strategies that work best for your summer vacation campaign planning.

Here’s what we found.

Travel Industry Benchmark Report

Reach travelers on Monday and Tuesday

According to our data, people prefer reading about summer travel content at the beginning of the week. Maybe they’re trying to offset the stress of heading into work again. Maybe they’re procrastinating. Or maybe they just have more time on their hands before the week gets into full swing.

summer day of week (1)

Whatever the reasoning, Mondays and Tuesdays provide the biggest opportunity for generating clicks among this audience. So don’t wait until the weekend to launch your summer travel campaigns.

Double down in April and May

In 2018, the best months for driving engagement were January and April-May. This makes sense. People aren’t planning their summer travel too early. But once Spring sets in, they’re ready to get their reservations rolling.

summer campaign time of year

In fact, we’ve found that April and May are the hottest months for travel content of any kind. So feel free to hibernate in the winter, but don’t sleep on these months if you want to supercharge your travel marketing.

Run campaigns from 3-6 PM

Our data shows that people prefer reading travel content between 3-6 PM. This is when marketers have the biggest opportunity to generate clicks for their ad spend.

summer campaign time of day

That means, if you’ve been trying to catch readers on their morning commutes to work, you might want to try reaching them in the afternoons instead, and see if that clickthrough rate (CTR) increases.

Bet on video ads — with women

Video is all the rage these days, so it’s no surprise that travel consumers prefer video over photo galleries and text-based articles. In fact, travel brands were notorious for creating the top video campaigns in 2018.

Still, if you’re looking to get even more bang for your buck, you might want to include these elements in your videos:

  • Women: Videos with women saw a +186% completion rate
  • Black-and-white: +27% completion rate
  • Eating: +34% completion rate
  • Stretching: +20% completion rate
  • Conversation: +5% completion rate

A video with women eating and chatting? That shouldn’t be too hard for a travel marketer to make happen.

Use black-and-white images

Summer travel images have their own best practices. Just as with videos, images in black and white drive more clicks — 40% more, to be exact.

summer photos

Additionally, if you’re looking to boost engagement, you can try producing images with no text (53% higher CTR than images with text) and images with people in them (35% higher CTR than images without people.)

Drive more clicks on tablet and mobile

Reportedly 85% of travelers use mobile devices to book their travel activities. And we can add to that: People are also using tablet and mobile to research their trips.

summer campaign device

Marketers are more likely to drive clicks from tablet and mobile content than desktop content. Hey, it makes sense. People are researching how to be on-the-go while they’re on-the-go.

Choose keywords carefully

As always, when it comes to campaign planning, there are certain keywords that can get your ads in front of the right audience and drive people to click. On the other hand, there are certain keywords that are clouded by competition and can get your ads buried among the noise.

We’re here to help. Let’s look at the keyword data you need for your summer travel campaigns:

Then, of course, there are those keywords that hit the sweet spot: They’re ripe for generating engagement but haven’t been saturated by your competitors yet. These are your opportunity keywords:

campaign

Measure leads and pageviews

It’s important to choose KPIs based on your specific marketing needs and audience behaviors. But if you’re curious about what your fellow travel marketers are measuring, we can tell you: leads and pageviews.

By looking at spend percentage on the Taboola Network, we’ve seen that 49.8% of marketers in the travel industry are tracking leads on their campaigns, and 31.4% are tracking pageviews.

Jumpstart your summer vacation campaign planning

As summer approaches (even if it’s not soon enough), travel marketers have a major opportunity to reach engaged audiences who are ready to research and book their trips in the sun. (Holiday travel marketers can’t have all the fun, right? Though if you need tips in that area, we’ve got you covered.)

So, if you’re ready to start your summer vacation campaign planning and make the most of this upcoming season, you can use these data-backed insights to build even more effective and click-worthy campaigns. And if you’re hungry for more data, you can always check out our updated insights on Taboola Trends.

Create Your Campaign Today!