81% of us keep our smartphones somewhere close during all waking hours and over half of all Millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology
Other things we do during our waking hours? Breathe, think and maybe daydream about our next vacation. We would personally like to keep our sense of smell.
One of the biggest advantages of the mobile era we now live in is our ability to get information that we need anywhere and at any time.
All of this new information at our fingertips gives us the ability to examine our choices on a much more detailed and microscopic scale, helping to increase the confidence in our decisions.
Nowhere is the determination to make the right choice more prominent than in the hospitality industry.
Travel shoppers are on the hunt for what will result in the best possible decision for themselves, for their loved ones and for bragging rights among their friends. The capability of filtering their decisions through whatever lens they see fit has given them the capability to be exact and critical in their decision making. This is something you and your property should be prepared for.
Mobile is already a necessary part of your property’s marketing strategy, so that is not the point of this post. What we’re going to talk about here is how you can reach mobile travel shoppers in “Micro-moments,” the new consumer behavior Google has uncovered in their newly published report: 4 New Moments Every Marketer Should Know.
We’ll briefly cover what these moments are, why they are so important in the mobile travel shopper’s journey and how you can take advantage of each of them while highlighting some properties that are excelling in these micro-moments already (to give you some creative inspiration).
What is a Micro-Moment?
We check our phones an average of 150 times a day and spend a total of 177 minutes a day browsing. If we stop and do a little mental math here, that means we are spending just over a minute/mobile session.
What are we doing in these brief moments of mobile bliss in such a sporadic manner?
Remember that time when you made that quick dash for your iPhone because you were trying to find the most exclusive beach for your trip to Hawaii? How about when you were sitting in the airport with some time to kill waiting for a flight and wanted to know where you can grab a quick bite when you land?
That’s a micro-moment: when you turn to your phone to take action for whatever information you need right there and then. Brands that put in the effort to provide mobile shoppers with the information they need when they need it will reap the benefits.
The keys to taking advantage of micro moments?
- Be There: One in three smartphone users have purchased from other companies/brands other than the one they intended to because of information provided in the moment they needed it
- Be Useful: 61% of mobile users say they are more likely to buy from companies who customize mobile information to their location
- Be Quick: 40% of mobile travel shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a travel site
Why Should I, As an Accommodation Provider, Care?
The influence of the micro moment is obviously impactful across all industries, but it has a particularly unique relationship with the travel world.
Consider the results of a recent study that claims 93% of travel bookers say they travel to experience places they have read about, and only seven percent say they travel to relax. This can be backed up with the findings that 88% of YouTube travel searches focus on destinations and attractions or points of interest, not brands.
Travel shoppers are traveling to discover! They are using the widespread knowledge available at their fingertips to derive inspiration for their next adventure.
With more than 60% of that inspiration coming from search engines, the time to put your best foot forward to your potential guests is when they are looking for places to go, not just places to stay. That means giving travel shoppers the content they want, when they want it.
One final statistic to cement this new behavior in to your future marketing strategies?
69% of leisure travelers with a smartphone search for travel ideas during spare moments in the day. Think of these little searches as opportunities to stand out from the crowd and be seen as a reliable source of relevant and quality information. Those little searches are the travel shopper’s screening process.
Whatever property or brand provides value in those moments passes the first round of interviewing and will be considered down the road for their booking. The only way to stay in the game is to pass that first test.
What are these Micro-Moments?
Google has identified four specific Micro-Moments and they are:
- When a travel shopper is exploring or researching, but not ready to book. All they are seeking is useful and interesting information
- Consider this stat: Two-thirds of travel shoppers watch online travel videos when thinking about taking a trip. Learn how you can take advantage of these moments when travel shoppers are simply looking for inspiration without their credit card handy
- When a travel shopper is looking local. You need to get your property in their consideration during that exact moment. The travel shopper is looking on a first-come first-serve basis
- Two of the top three reasons mobile travel shoppers engage with ads is because they have a local element attached to them. Learn when your potential visitors are open to communicating with you and when they are not
- A search moment coming either before or after purchase involving how-to instances when they want help getting things done or trying something new
- Consider this: 51% of all travel shoppers use mobile to look for things to do
- When a travel shopper is ready to make a purchase and is deciding on what or how to buy
- 33% of mobile travel searchers want to complete their transaction within the day. Know the market you are trying to attract and make sure you are there when the moment strikes
How Can I Start Creating Content to Reach Travel Shoppers in These Moments?
Identify the micro-moments that your target market may take part in and learn how they search for information. Get inside your guest’s head.
Ask yourself these questions to stand out in mobile searches:
Does my mobile presence have the ability to provide travel shoppers with content they will find satisfactory?
- This is something the J House Greenwich could not answer ‘yes’ to. So what did they do? They made it a priority to make it easy for consumers to find what they were looking for on their website on the go and mobile bookings increased 42% in just 45 days!
How can I find a unique angle to talk about my destination?
- Take Joie De Vivre for example. Their California locations luckily have a lot of content and information to draw from, but the hundreds of other properties in the area have that luxury as well. So the trick is to write content that will set them apart from the competition while being valuable to travel shoppers during micro-moments. How about a short blog post about all the ways adults can enjoy Disneyland?
What kinds of moments can my property commit to and be seen as a quick source of value?
- Red Roof Inn saw that flight cancellations left 90,000 passengers stranded at airports every day, so they created targeted search ads for their locations near airports with messages like “Stranded at the airport? Come stay with us!” and saw a 60% increase in bookings in non-branded search
What do people say about your destination on social media?
- Take Dream Hotels for example: They monitor social chatter about New York City and provide travel shoppers with valuable content when the moment of opportunity strike
Two-thirds of U.S. travel shoppers watch online travel videos when thinking about taking a trip, so am I providing valuable video content?
- Check out Marriott Hotel’s YouTube page. From “The Art of the Cocktail” to videos about artistic and trendy moments, Marriott Hotels is providing travel shoppers with content that is not associated with their brand but provides travel shoppers with the kind of content that is relevant to specific searches and is easily consumable (short, snackable videos)
Bottom line: Be Where Travel Shoppers Need You to Be
Mobile is our present and our future. It provides an opportunity to showcase your brand and your commitment to satisfying travel shoppers on whatever device they happen to find themselves.
Today this is important for all industries, but the hospitality industry is a little different.
You are providing guests with an experience. A separation from the norm. A moment that has the power to spark a little smile as they daydream about their vacation in the middle of a meeting.
Travel shoppers want to ensure they are making the best decisions possible, so it should come as no surprise that they expect accommodation providers to give them all the information they need on the journey to that destination, even when it means they aren’t ready to book. This means more than just providing them with a room. It means being there for them wherever and whenever.
Because at the end of the day, travel shoppers want the best.
Let’s give it to them.