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ESTO Recap: Building a Winning Mobile Marketing Strategy Using Facebook

ESTO this year was filled with great, actionable sessions on everything from working with agencies, to tracking marketing ROI, to evolving your content. If you’re like me, you’ve already started thinking about how to implement everything you learned.

One trend in particular stood out to me: the importance of using Facebook and mobile marketing in concert. DMOs need to reach and engage travelers on mobile devices, and an effective content marketing strategy coupled with Facebook advertising will get results.

Mobile-First Travelers

Mobile accounts for 52% of online travel research. It’s easy to see why: A Millennial might look through Instagram and Pinterest for weekend getaway ideas, a busy parent might search for family-friendly vacations while out and about, and a couple might scope out their friends’ Facebook albums for honeymoon inspiration.

As a DMO marketer looking to engage and educate prospective travelers on your destination, having a mobile presence is critical.

Creating Mobile Content

Understanding mobile travelers is a good first step, but it will only get you so far. You need content built for mobile devices to capture and sustain their attention. That’s a challenge, because so much content is created that it surpasses our ability to consume it. To stand out, DMOs need to lighten up on long blog posts and text heavy web pages, and shift toward compelling, immersive content.

What does that look like in practice? 

Researchers found that adding visuals to content increases people’s willingness to engage with that content by 80% – so adding images and videos of your destination into your content is a great first step. Then, think about how you can stand out from all the other travel content out there. Could you use a quiz to help travelers find the perfect activity for them? Could you turn your “Top Reasons to Visit” blog post into an interactive travel guide?

Ultimately, you want your content to stand out and provide value.

Reaching Your Audience With Facebook

You know you need to create mobile content, so you go ahead and do it. Now what? Your content won’t help you if you can’t get it in front of travelers.

That’s where Facebook comes in.

Eighty-nine percent of time spent on mobile is spent in-app and the vast majority of that time is spent within the top five apps, two of which Facebook owns.

If you don’t get your content on Facebook, you’re missing out on a lot of mobile traffic. But, you can’t just post content to your page and leave it. Facebook’s recent algorithm changes made it harder for brands to reach their audiences organically. Now, marketers need to think about implementing more paid Facebook campaigns.

While it might seem frustrating that you now need to pay for Facebook reach, there’s a silver lining. By paying for reach, you’re actually getting your content in front of a more qualified audience.

Using Facebook Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences will get your content in front of travelers who want to see it. Custom Audiences let you upload a list from your existing email database and target the individuals on that list with your content. Lookalike Audiences builds an audience that reaches people who are likely going to be interested in your destination because they have similar interests and attributes to your existing contacts.

Using this combination will help increase engagement rates with your content, educate more and more travelers about your destination, and boost acquisition of new leads.

Getting Started

Mobile marketing strategies can feel intimidating, but building an effective one is attainable. Start by looking at your Google Analytics data to see your traffic breakdown by device, and then your Facebook insights to learn more about your audience. Then, think about how you can repurpose existing and switch upcoming content into something visual, immersive, and interactive. The last component is to run a Facebook Custom Audiences test – it doesn’t have to be a large amount of spend – to start getting your awesome content in front of prospective travelers. Building a mobile strategy now will pay off in the long run, so don’t wait to get started. Keep your momentum going from ESTO, and you’ll see great results.

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