These days, we no longer see groups of teenagers walking into their local travel agent with £500 in their hands screaming “Take my money!” at the first sight of a cheap holiday in the sun. The digital market (especially social media) is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for the student market, giving the consumer exactly what they want, with lower costs and better targeting.
This shift to digital bookings has been reflected in the emergence of small travel start-ups, such as Tribe Ibiza and Together Ibiza that offer affordable travel packages aimed at students. While many of the fresh start-ups are relying on social media alone to advertise their services, many are also using various digital channels to advertise their products and services. We’ve collated a few key tips below on making the most out of your student marketing:
So how do you target the student population?
With 24 million active accounts in the UK alone, Facebook is a huge platform to advertise on. The system of liking pages including bands, clubs and universities gives the advertiser the opportunity to tailor a package for the consumer’s needs. For example, Tribe Ibiza sell a product which includes accommodation at a top hotel and tickets to exclusive music events where the student can see their favourite artists play at some of the world’s biggest venues (see Ibiza Rocks example below).
Here is an example of the potential reach through Facebook in the UK:
Manchester University – 660,352
Liverpool University – 812,413
Leeds Metropolitan – 331,362
Amnesia – 840,696
Space – 2,781,357
Pacha – 1,032,374
Chase and status 1,982,132
As the figures above show, the potential targeting pool of students is huge. With the growing popularity of these hotel + entertainment packages, there is clearly a demand for this type of cheap student get-away.
At Latitude, we recommend YouTube TrueView as a key advertising option. Youtube Trueview ads are skippable in-stream video ads that are inserted before, during or after a video on Youtube. YouTube is used as a music source by millions, with Mix Mag and Boiler Room alone having hundreds of thousands of followers who tune in weekly to watch their favourite DJs play a live set or catch up on previous sets. As DJs and electronic music is the main focus of an Ibiza holiday, advertising on these channels is a great opportunity for package holiday companies to gain more awareness and conversions from their target audience.
However, it’s not enough to just have a great video ad to keep your audience’s attention past a couple of seconds. The creative must entice the user right from the beginning, as opposed to one with a slow build up to the main story. In addition, aligning the theme of the ad to the main YouTube video as well as the users interests will result in a higher proportion of viewers watching the ad to the end.
Annotations are clickable text overlays on YouTube videos that can direct the viewer to an advertiser’s website and provide the perfect opportunity for the user to book their holiday straight away. The call to action on these annotations could be as simple as ‘Book now!’ and because they are situated in the bottom of the promotional video, the annotations improve the overall user experience by providing an easy path to booking a holiday.
PPC is a great digital channel for gaining conversions. The use of keywords such as ‘cheap Ibiza holidays’ or ‘student holidays,’ open up the service to people who tend not to use social media as often as others.
Overall, there is great potential for start-up holiday travel companies to expand their marketing campaigns even further, following in the footsteps of STA Travel or Contiki by broadening their online marketing outside of social media by targeting the student audience across a variety of digital channels.