How to Identify and Appeal to Your Target Audience: Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
In the travel, tourism and hospitality market it is vitally important that you understand the needs and wants of your potential client base if you want to maximise your sales opportunities. Who are you targeting? Why should they bring their business to you? What do you offer that your rivals do not? Knowing exactly who your clients are, what they want and how you can satisfy their demands can help you develop a content strategy for the web that will help generate your sales potential.
Consult your Business Plan
The first step towards defining your target audience is consulting your business plan and analysing the services you offer. Is your business primarily concerned with event planning? Accommodation? Package holidays? Whatever your primary services are, you have to consider how they satisfy the needs of your potential customers. Also, think about how you differ from your competitors. What is the overall benefit of your company when compared to other businesses in your industry? Figuring out your unique selling point (USP) is the first step towards identifying your ideal target audience.
Research your Market
When researching your market, start with secondary research. Look into existing sources concerning your industry, who your competition is targeting, and the broad potential customer base you have already identified in your business plan. This will give you a general idea as to your core demographic, however to get a more detailed breakdown you must also conduct your own primary research.
Primary research is important as it helps you identify your niche audience. For example, if you are business that specialises in luxury, 5-star holidays then your niche audience will be affluent holiday makers. Conversely, if you specialises in budget getaways, then you will need to know the demands of those looking for low-cost flights and accommodation.
Develop a Customer Profile
Customer profiles provide detailed descriptions of who your typical customer may be and includes useful demographic and psychographic information.
Demographic information: This should include age, gender, location, ethnic background, marital status, income, and more.
Psychographic information: This should go beyond the external information such as age and gender, and identify more about a customer’s psychology, interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, holiday preferences, spending patterns, lifestyle, and more.
Both areas of information are essential for developing a detailed customer profile and help you tailor your marketing plan to meet the demands and pique the interest of those you are targeting. Demographic information will help you identify the “who wants the service”, while psychographic information goes one step further and nails down the “why they want the service”.
Once a profile has been established, you will know exactly which areas of your services should be highlighted during your content marketing campaigns. Specialise in family holidays? Make sure you campaign targets parents and highlights how your service benefits adults and children alike. Excel in historical city tours? Ensure that your destination content provides intriguing details of all historical landmarks in the area. The more information you provide about your services and their benefits, the more likely it is that you will attract customers and turn page visits into bookings.
Find out your Audience’s Browsing Patterns
It’s not enough to just say who your target audience is; you also need to know what their online browsing patterns are. What websites and social media forums do they most frequently visit? Do they commonly check their email accounts? Do they use mobile phone apps? Knowing how your audience searches for information and spends their time on the internet will help you establish where to advertise your services. For example, if your business specialises in extreme sports holidays, you should target extreme sports forums and Facebook and Twitter groups that attract extreme sports enthusiasts.
Constantly Monitor Market Trends
Once you have identified your target audience, recognised their needs and wants, and established how they use the internet; you will be able to plan and execute an effective marketing plan. However, it is essential to continually conduct research into your market and their current trends so you can adapt your marketing campaign as and when it is necessary. Tracking the success of your campaigns is vital in regards to ensuring your money is being well spent and that you are fully up to date with the expectations of your audience. This is especially true of the travel and tourism market as new holiday trends, popular destinations and holiday-makers’ booking patterns change on a frequent basis.
Image copyright: Fotolia.comHow to Identify and Appeal to Your Target Audience: Travel, Tourism and Hospitality