Mobile will Dominate in 2016 – What does this mean for DMOs?
In 2015, Google announced that more searches took place on mobile devices than desktop in 10 countries, including the US. With an increasing amount of searches taking place on mobile in 2015, it’s clear that mobile will dominate in 2016. With that in mind, we’ve developed a list of our top tips for mobile trends for DMOs in 2016.
Optimize for Mobile
No more excuses for an outdated site. If you’ve been putting off updating your site, it’s time to invest in a fully responsive site. The first impression of your website happens literally in the blink of an eye; your user interface needs to be instantly appealing, easily understood and easily navigable. Without an optimized mobile site, your overall marketing efforts can never reach their full potential.
It’s also time to invest in content that targets the searches for which your users are looking, focusing on eliminating the pain points your prospects have when researching your destination on a phone. The majority of your traffic most likely comes from either organic search or direct traffic. Analyze the searches your users are making and make sure to provide the content they need, and then, make sure it’s easy to read on a phone. This means shorter, easier to digest chunks of content that answer all of their questions and can easily be shared on mobile. Decreasing these pain points in a mobile optimized site can increase conversions significantly.
Know How Your Market Researches Your Destination
There is a good chance that your market segments will each use mobile differently, so a one-size-fits-all mobile strategy won’t work. Leisure Travelers and Meeting Planners are both markets that will spend several hours researching your destination, but likely in very different ways. Leisure Travelers are probably more likely to use mobile for research than Meeting Planners, which are probably more likely to conduct their research on desktop during business hours. Unless there is a conference or tradeshow in the meeting planning industry, in which case you could use a strategy that geo-targets and bids up on mobile devices to target this audience.
The only way to know for certain if your market is more prone to using mobile is to test and analyze.
Put More Budget Towards Mobile Campaigns…Or Don’t. Test, test, test!
Even though the mobile market will increase in 2016, it’s always best to test on your specific audience because each audience behaves differently. For instance, you might find that your audience researches your destination on mobile but converts more on desktop.
When you want to test this, it’s imperative to have the proper metrics in place. What are your goals? Is it awareness, hotel property click-through, conversions? If your goal is conversions, it’s a good idea to not just use the last interaction attribution model to measure conversion (this is what is standard in most platforms), but also to use the linear attribution model, which takes into account conversions other than from the last click. This takes into account things like previously viewed ads, content campaigns or social media marketing that can attribute to that conversion.
Once you have the proper metrics in place, you can run a campaign to test mobile versus desktop, or even mobile apps versus mobile web to determine which performs best. You might be surprised at what you find. We ran a leisure travel campaign in two different geographical markets and split the budget between mobile app placements and managed mobile web placements. In one market, conversions were twice as high on mobile apps, in the other market: the exact opposite happened, where conversions were twice as high on mobile web placements than mobile apps.
You never know what will perform better unless you test.
Our background is in the DMO industry and we have a long track record for designing campaigns for both mobile and desktop. We’ve gained insights from past campaigns on mobile strategies for DMOs in 2016 and can help with your future campaigns.
You can find out more about all of our digital marketing here.
A veteran in Destination and Hotel Sales and Marketing, Shirley utilizes her expertise to develop services that assists DMO’s in research, generating leads and increasing awareness for the destination’s meetings product and experiences.