Fall Traveler: How to Attract with Digital Advertising

By September 25, 2014Digital Advertising

Fall is here – time to sit back and relax? Definitely not! Fall offers an amazing opportunity to capture new guests and visitors that may have waited for the summer crowds to die down before planning a weekend away. When schedules slow down, the days get cooler, and fall colors start to pop, many people are looking to plan a last-minute getaway.

Here are stats to keep in mind from Q3 of 2013 according to Tnooz:

  • 72% of travel last fall was for Leisure, 28% for business
  • 81% of guests stayed between 1 – 2 days, 16% stayed between 3 – 5 days
  • 32% booked their stays on the same day, 23% booked within 1 – 2 days of their stay, and 19% booked within 3 – 7  days of their stay.
  • 92% of trips included 1 – 2 travelers

What does this mean for your off-season digital advertising strategy? Your target guest has changed from families flying in for a long summer vacation to young couples seeking a romantic weekend, baby boomers escaping to catch peak leaf season, professionals combining work with leisure; and most travelers will be within your drive-to market. They will be looking for last minute deals, fun weekend events, and the quiet beauty of fall.

That being said – your marketing and content strategy should reflect this change in personas. Whether you’re sending a last minute special via email or using digital advertising channels to promote deals and events, make sure you’re targeting the “fall visitor” persona and personalizing your messages.

Below are a few quick ideas  to make the most out of your advertising campaigns this fall:

  • Search Ads (PPC) – Test new keywords that appeal to your target visitors. You might consider including events in the area or keywords mentioning last minute specials, and you should also geo-target users within a few hours of your property – this will help draw in the drive-to market. Since fall is typically Off Season for many resort regions, it’s also a very affordable time to run a PPC campaign as average cost per click decrease and the competitive landscape lightens up.
  • Social Ads – Within your campaigns, highlight all the amazing happenings this fall in your area – maybe the wind is picking up for perfect kiteboarding, the leaves are turning for incredible foliage, or there’s a harvest festival taking place that’s perfect for young couples. Whatever it might be, highlight the best aspects of your fall season throughout your social ad campaign. And if you offer fall lodging deals or activity discounts, make sure to let your social fans know about these through ads and posts!
  • Retargeting Ads – Consider creating a custom “Fall Specials” landing page and retarget users who viewed this as well as people who checked out certain events in the fall.
  • Display Ads – Since display ads really focused on building brand awareness, don’t stress about adjusting your messages unless they highlight past events or seasons. Otherwise – continue running the brand focus and concentrate on other channels.

Subtle shifts in your campaigns can really make a difference and attract incremental more bookings during your slow months. So your challenge is – make this the best fall yet!

Who will be your guests this fall?! We’d love to hear your insights!

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