Meet Canadian Consumers Where They Are: OnlineOctober 22, 2020
COVID-19 has halted so much actual travel in 2020, but it has accelerated the rate at which Canadian consumers are looking for inspiration online for when they travel again. DCI’s latest study, Capturing the Canadian Consumer: Insights into the Path to Purchase for Canadian Travellers, unlocks the data that will help destination marketing organizations understand where those Canadians are looking, what they are looking for, and how to reach them.
The second edition of this Canadian consumer study includes brand new survey data from 1500 Canadians, highlights on wealthier Canadian travelers, and of course perspectives on challenges brought on by the recent pandemic. One of the key takeaways is that destinations need to meet Canadian travelers where they are now – online.
It’s simple to understand. Closed borders and social distancing measures mean that Canadians are spending lots of time in front of their computers, sharing with friends and family. A destination looking to stay top of mind must monitor the messaging as much as possible to make sure their brand is on those screens and phones.
One way to get ahead of the curve is to do everything possible to make sure your destination is front and center when Canadians are informing themselves. While Canadians in the English-speaking and French-speaking world have slightly different priorities – as DCI’s new study details – the essential takeaway is that digital is key when trying to reach them.
So put the glossy magazines down for a moment. It’s time to assess your strategy and be sure to know the online platforms that you need to keep an eye on to attract Canadians. Meet them where they are so that they’ll want to be, well, wherever you are.
Know your SEO
A good digital strategy means understanding the basics of the all-elusive SEO – search engine optimization. The words, phrases and themes that Canadians are searching for are the first step to finding them online. If your destination is not providing what Canadians are seeking, they’ll never find you. A strong SEO strategy will provide your website with the right elements that help search engines, like Google, place you at the top of Canadian consumers’ searches.
The challenge is that it’s just not as easy as throwing in a few buzz words. There’s a whole science behind feeding the algorithms that companies like Google use. You could try to handle it in-house, but looking for some help might save you time and money in the end.
Leave it to the digital pros to assess your website, to understand how keywording and tags feed into a strategy that will ultimately connect you with Canadian travelers. Seems daunting, but DCI’s digital team is prepared to do the heavy lifting to bring you results.
While SEO is part of the battle, paid media strategies are a powerful weapon to entice Canadians to your destination. While many travelers are simply Googling keywords, it’s a wise choice to partner with a publication online and sponsor a bit of content – for a fee of course – that will help put your destination front and center more actively.
It’s part advertising, part content, but all powerful. By placing your destination alongside the online brands and publications that Canadians are already clicking on, you’re delivering your message right where it matters. Don’t leave it to chance. With destinations worldwide scrambling to attract lucrative Canadian visitors, the small investment will ultimately be a smart one.
We know what publications cater to which audiences and where Canadians are looking for different travel experiences, whether its family or adventure travel. A paid media approach will zipline your destination to those audiences, fast-tracking the process and creating a net return on your investment.
Beyond simple searches, most Canadians are looking to social networks for their inspiration. Think Instagram and Facebook, primarily, but don’t count out Twitter and other sharing sites like YouTube and Pinterest. Canadians are sitting in front of screens while they can’t travel, liking and sharing, and their personal networks are brimming with destination ideas. Is yours one of them?
A social media audit of your destination’s networks is a good start to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your content. It’s not just about followers anymore. Engagement is key. You want to be clever and endearing, but attractive and unique. Social networks give you the outlet to do all of that in real-time, to create a memorable post or campaign that Canadian travelers will remember when they start booking their next big trip.
Being on social media is one thing, but truly exploiting it is another altogether. Just like paid media that gets your destination’s name in front of the right eyeballs, influencers are the best way to connect directly with audiences on social networks.
The concept isn’t complicated. Influencers are social media users who have harnessed their unique perspectives and lifestyles to create a following, churning out content that appeals to their audiences. They may focus on adventure travel, vegan dining, wellness retreats or other niche travel. Canadians who subscribe to one such niche will, inevitably, engage with an influencer and hear what they have to say on Instagram and Twitter.
Now the question is how to make sure those influencers are talking about your destination.
DCI excels in influencer marketing, working closely with an array of trusted individuals who have successfully elevated destination brands around the world by visiting and creating bespoke content to engage their audiences. It’s a sure-fire way to meet Canadian consumers where they are by investing in a little help from a few influencers who have already created the audience you want and need.
Overwhelmed with how your destination will meet the demands of 21st century Canadian consumers? Fear not. DCI’s team is more than equipped with the tools and experience needed to create a successful digital strategy tailored to your destination. Get in touch with Susan Brake at [email protected] to learn more about how DCI’s digital team can help you capture Canadian travelers as we turn the corner on COVID-19.