2022 marketing trends

Let’s Talk Strategy: A Look at 2022 Hospitality Marketing Trends

Jan 12, 2022 | Marketing

We’re excited to be looking ahead to the new year, and all of the marketing possibilities to come in 2022! Let’s take a closer look at the marketing strategies and trends we think you should be paying attention to and planning for.

Wandermust

We’ve all spent a little too much time at home over the last two years, which has sparked a wandermust attitude in a lot of people! During recent lockdowns, two-thirds (65%) of travelers reported being excited about traveling again, with 42% wanting to travel more in the future to make up for time lost in 2020 (rising to 51% for Gen Z and 49% for Millennials).  Over a third (38%) intend to plan a trip to make up for a celebration missed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), while two-fifths (40%) intend to rebook a trip they had to cancel. Stats via Booking.com.

  • What To Do in 2022: 
    • Embrace the return to travel and encourage visitors to extend their stays! Whether they’re rebooking a previously canceled trip, or just on a long-overdue vacation, make it easy for travelers to book with you and encourage them to extend their stays and really make the most of their time away!
    • Encourage staycations. This pent-up need to “get away” doesn’t mean everyone’s ready or able to jet off to a distant destination. Give people a local escape to come back to (time and time again) with staycation marketing and incentives.

Privacy-first challenges (and opportunities) for digital advertising.

Online privacy and tracking issues aren’t a new issue for 2022, but as the big guys like Google, Apple, and Mozilla continue to phase out cookies, block third-party cookie tracking and implement new privacy measures, how you’re approaching digital advertising needs to change,  Improvements in user privacy and data transparency are a good thing, but without the proper framework in place, this will impact your ability to reach target audiences, attribute results, and monitor brand safety and viewability metrics.

  • What To Do in 2022: 
    • Utilize sequential messaging to drive awareness through upper-funnel formats (CTV/Audio), and retarget ad viewers/ listeners with lower-funnel formats (display/ native) to drive action.
    • Leverage first-party data to engage users and to build advanced lookalike models.
    • Build customizable audiences using specialized targeting tactics that rely on data sources other than cookies.

Look to the future.

New generations of travelers and shoppers are coming of age and making more and more purchasing decisions. As these emerging markets start to travel on their own, it’s imperative we’re marketing effectively and authentically to them. By keeping your marketing fresh and customer-focused, you’ll be able to effectively attract and deliver exceptional service to all generations of guests!

  • What To Do in 2022: 
    • Dig into the data! Make sure you truly understand who these customers are, what motivates them, and how they travel. Build out new marketing personas for your target audiences by generation, focus on everything from the emotional triggers that drive them to travel, to their pain points and what stops them from booking. Make sure you keep your personas data-backed and focused, but strategic enough to drive actionable marketing initiatives.
    • Once you have a better understanding of who you’re trying to reach, and how they are shopping, consider a rebrand in 2022. A rebrand can help you move your business forward while building on your strengths. You’ll have a fresh perspective on your business goals and audiences, which is the foundation of any great rebranding strategy. Invest in your brand in 2022 to better reach new and existing customers!
    • Adjust your marketing to reach all generations of audiences! Make sure your messaging and targeting align with each audience segment. Your personas will guide you to understanding where your audiences are spending their time online and what messaging they need at each step of the journey. Develop new campaigns, new creative, and new messaging to target new generations, and to stay in front of the generational audiences you already have a relationship with!

Greater focus on mobile optimization.

As more and more people rely on their mobile devices for research, shopping, and entertainment, it’s more important than ever that you are optimizing your brand for mobile! According to Google, in the USA, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present!

  • What To Do in 2022:
    • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, meaning it should be easy to read, use, and convert on with a mobile phone. You can use this free tool from Google to get a better understanding of how your current website stacks up.
    • Implement mobile commerce and social commerce options for your business. Make it as easy as possible for people to book rooms, buy your products, or book a service from anywhere, on any device.
    • Integrate mobile-first advertising channels into your ad strategy. From mobile-optimized banner ads and click-to-call campaigns to full-screen or high-impact mobile interstitial ads, there are so many opportunities to make a big impact on small screens.

Inbound marketing will be a must-have best practice for growing brands.

Inbound marketing encompasses so many impactful marketing strategies, from SEO and content marketing to social media and more. In 2022, we predict a bigger emphasis on inbound marketing from brands looking to pull their target audience’s attention away from the competition and secure a bigger piece of the pie for themselves!

  • What To Do in 2022:
    • Make more videos! Short-form videos (up to 3 minutes) are going to perform really well for you across platforms. Channels like TikTok and Instagram are the most obvious homes for these videos, but get them up on your website (especially on your landing pages!), embed them in a blog post or email, to really make the most of them!
    • Start your own podcast, or find opportunities to be a guest on someone else’s. There are some staggering stats out there about the popularity of podcasts, 2022 will be a great year to make sure they are part of your marketing mix.
    • Write more content, then distribute it more aggressively. Content is still king and will be in 2022 and beyond. Up your content game by writing more posts, and promoting it more effectively. From social posts and email newsletters to paid distribution, grow your content with optimized content and make sure it’s seen by the right people to really draw a crowd!

Go big!

There is a pent-up demand for travel that’s going to be seen and felt in big ways in 2022! Make sure you’re going big with your marketing and PR so that you’ve got the visibility, brand awareness, and industry authority to benefit from this return to travel.

  • What To Do in 2022:
    • Look closely at your data from the last few years to determine which channels have really paid off and which have generated lackluster results. Don’t write off the underperformers quite yet though, instead, look hard at why things didn’t pay off. We’re talking to a lot of brands who cut back on marketing budgets through the pandemic and are now seeing how those cutbacks impacted their results. If content marketing underwhelmed you, did you cut back on the number of posts? Were you able to distribute them as effectively? If your ads campaigns were a bit lackluster, did you cut budgets or channels? If you pulled back on things over the last few years, you may need to reevaluate things for 2022.
    • Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. When it comes to marketing, you should never be too reliant on one source of traffic or interest. In 2022, diversify your marketing mix to include new channels and strategies! If Facebook has been your main social channel through the years, look at expanding your footprint in 2022! If you optimized your website when it went live, but haven’t been doing ongoing SEO, invest in that this year! Even if you feel like you have a well-balanced marketing mix, there’s always room for something new!
    • Consider increasing your marketing budget now so you can reap the rewards throughout the year. As travel gains traction, so does your competition. You need to spend the money now to gain the loyalty of travelers for future revenue. As of February 2021, Deloitte’s annual CMO Survey reports that marketing budgets are now roughly 11.7% of the total company-wide budget. That means if you have a $2 million budget, you should be spending at least $220,000 in marketing in order to keep up with the competition. Or you could budget based on anticipated revenue. Marketing budgets should be around 15-20% of anticipated revenue. If you expect $2 million in revenue, you should spend $300,000 to $500,000 in marketing. Be careful of cutting marketing to save dollars. In the end, it will cost you more as your revenue will be compromised.

Team up with influencers.

Influencer marketing is nothing new, but the strategy behind these partnerships is evolving! Influencer marketing is only going to get bigger in 2022, Gen Z is most influenced by influencer marketing (according to a study by Global Web Index), and as this generation ages, they will continue to make more purchasing decisions. Embracing influencer marketing in 2022 will be a great way to establish long-term relationships with young travelers.

  • What To Do in 2022:
    • Start local! There are influential people already in your network, how can you leverage those partnerships to get better reach and engagement online?
    • Look at all of your options! You don’t need to engage a huge celebrity to do influencer marketing really well. Micro-influencers (10K-50K) and Mid-Tier Influencers (50K-500K) can be incredible partners for your business.
    • Look beyond the vanity metrics. Beyond followers, how can these relationships really help your brand? Make sure they have a truly engaged audience that is well-aligned with your target audience. Also, make sure their current content is on-brand for you so that your campaign is natural and authentic.

2022 will bring big changes and big opportunities for the hospitality and travel industry! If you’re ready to make the most of things next year, contact us! We’d love to learn more about your business and your audience to see how we can help you achieve your business growth goals!

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